Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

God is not religion

First of all I want to tell Susan a long delayed Happy Birthday! no connexion with the rest of the post… Sorry Susan, I’ve fallen under hard times…

————————-

Communism has its advantages: I grew up in a communist regime where they taught us “Religion was the opium (miam! miam!) of the people” and God did not exist. Officially, I was God &Religion free for most of my life… Privately, my grandmother taught me (gently) the main prayers, Our Father Who Art In Heaven and the one with the gardian angel who was supposed to take care of me personally… I don’t know if it was it (or Him? or Her? the sexe of the angels isn’t that certain…) but I was pretty lucky in my life, until now…

But when you get over 40 and then over 50 you start thinking at things you never thought before: like your own death, the death of others (your parents for one) and you start wondering about God, religions, after life, the meaning of life… And then you got kind of confused…

I suppose God and religions are the search of man (I mean, of course, men and women) for a meaning, a meaning greater than ourselves, greater than the lame: you get born (?), you live, you die, which seems to be the short way to put it…

Transilvania, the central romanian region were I was born and raised, is a mixture of cultures, peoples and religions: we had there Greek-Ortodox (most of the Romanians), Catholics (some Romanians, most of the Hungarians), Protestants (Germans and Hungarians, respectively Lutherans and Calvinists, some Romanians), Judaism (jews, a lot less than before the 2nd WW)… Sure, there were historical frictions among these peoples and religions. But, essentially, it was and is a quite tolerant and cosmopolite region. So, I get samples of all of those religions (I’m baptised Ortodox but part of my mothers family are “United”, that is Roman-Catholics) And neither of those religons satisfied my mind and soul entirely… Greek-Ortodox, in it’s mild forms, is not a bad religion to have: it’s generally much more tolerant than any of the others, more inclined to accept the human fraily and practically, quite mild… No Inquisition, no witch hunt (ok, there was a recent case of exorcism which turned to tragedy but that really was unusual), no severe punishement for sins… But still, a highly organised religion… Exactly the thing which makes me, like Kevin, like Miki, skeptical about religion (and by way of consequance, about God, their God). Once an organisation, once a higly organised hierachical structure, the search for truth (spiritual truth) ends and DOGMA takes all the place. If there is still a search for God (or Truth or watever name you want to give it) there is a marginal, periferical, rebel search and usually the organisations are taking care of those rebels quite efficiently and swiftly…

The only religion which kind of satisfied both my mind and my soul until now is a lax, not very organised form of zen bouddhism (I fear there are ortodox, fanatical forms of zen bouddhism too… ) Only a God whom is in everything (in us too) can be ubicuitous and “catholic” (universal)… Only a God whom is not interferring directly and consciently in the human life is, IMHO, believable. Life is suffering. No contest to that, I think… Finally, life IS suffering. We cannot “defeat” Death but by accepting it as a part of life. I won’t go further than that, for the moment. But I know one thing: the God I could conceive is neither interested nor capable of changing for better or for worst my insignifiant life (or yours) unless we call God “the secret geometry of chance” (to use Stings words). And if he is benevolent he (or she? it’s sexe wasn’t well determined either) is benevolent to everybody without exception: benevolent to murderers and rapists, to mass murderers and child molesters, to old fools like me and to very strict Hasidic Jews… To Osama Bin Laden and Mother Theresa equally… For there is one question the organised religions, the big ones, have never answered quite satisfactory: if God is omnipotent why does he allow Evil to exists?

I will illustrate this “heretic” post with one of my paintings called “The Ghost of Madness”…

The Ghost of Madness

March 15, 2008 Posted by | Art, books, culture, death, drawing, education, family, God in our life, health, life, literature, love, painting, personal, religion | , , , , | 13 Comments