"Your question [about God] is the most difficult in the world. It is not a question I can answer simply with yes or no. I am not an Atheist. I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. May I not reply with a parable? The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. We see a universe marvellously arranged, obeying certain laws, but we understand the laws only dimly. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations. " (Albert Einstein)
Today my classmates and I went visiting two old Orthodox monasteries from Arad. I am an Orthodox by baptism, but I can’t say that I find my true self in this religion. So most of the time spent at the monasteries I felt as a complete stranger.
I claim myself to be an agnostic: one who does not deny the existence of God and heaven but holds that one cannot know for certain whether or not they exist.
I do believe there is something greater than mankind. A God if you would call it so. “I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals himself in the harmony of all that exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.” “If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.” (Einstein)
I do not believe there is a God who judges people and I do not believe in living a life in fear of punishment in the afterlife. I do believe man should do good and be humble, compassionate and caring for others. But this desire for kindness should not come from fear of God, but from one’s inner soul. “The proper guidance during the life of a man should be the weight that he puts upon ethics and the amount of consideration that he has for others. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life.” (Einstein)
In some ways, my phylosophy about life is somehow related to secular humanism, as I do believe humans are capable of being ethical and moral without religion or a God. And I believe that education is the basis of all morality in a man. Without education men are blind and evil rises. “If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.” (Victor Hugo, Les Miserables)
Because of this personal view regarding religion, today’s little trip seemed oddly. I felt no connection with what should be my religion. I felt no need for praying nor for making the Sign of the Cross when I entered the church. I didn’t want to conform to a ritual as long as I didn’t believe in it.
Yet, I developed a deep admiration for people who are enlightened by religion, no matter if it’s Orthodoxy, Catholicism or Buddhism. It’s the inner peace and harmony it brings to man that defines a true religion and not the fear of punishment and afterlife in Hell. I can’t stand people who criticise others for their lack of faith in God. It is everyone’s freedom to choose their religion. There are no bad religions.
My philosophy of life is pretty much summed up in this quote by Anne Rice:
"There’s one purpose to life and one only: to bear witness to and understand as mush as possible of the complexity of the world - its beauty, its mysteries, its riddles."
— Anais Nin (via wastedrita)