The word God
has had a fairly clear-cut meaning for centuries in the West.
It has meant a being of some sort,
a Santa-like creator concerned with questions of good and evil.
I don’t believe in such a God.
I believe God is a cosmic energy of beauty and harmony,
verb as much or more than noun,
lending the term an entirely new meaning.
I used to see myself as some character in a cosmic drama:
I was created, have sinned, and would be saved
a grand story.
Now I realize
that we’re more like actors standing around on a stage
and I have no choice but to improvise a little drama here,
a little comedy there.
My aversion to religion
stems from the fact that I felt a longing
for something I now know isn’t true.
The laws of nature are impersonal;
they’re not all just about me.
How could I have warm feelings for them
as I do for another human being?
There’s nothing in the laws of nature
to suggest that I have a special place in the universe
without living my life fully in love.
I don’t find my life pointless
when I live in love while trying to understand creation.
I myself have to give my life meaning.
Great works of art can console me.
I can go on enjoying cathedrals and Gregorian chants
And many of the greatest pieces of literature
manage without any religious background;
witness all the works of Shakespeare.
And through it all, I still have humor.
I can be amused with myself
not with a sneering humor
but with a kindhearted one.
It’s the sort of humor I feel
when I see a child taking its first steps.
I laugh at all the child’s arduous efforts,
but I do it full of empathy.
And if laughter ever fails me,
I can still take satisfaction
in that I was able to live