Fear, Spirits, Religion and Reason

April 20, 2008 / Culture, Opinion / 15 Comments

Disclaimer: This post is heavily religious and philosophical. If this is not your cup of tea, don’t drink it. If this is your cup of tea, please drink till the very end. If you are out to preach or contend, don’t bother. I’m a staunch agnostic theist. These are simply my beliefs . Note that I am NOT out to preach or to brainwash. This is MY blog, so I am merely writing out my thoughts. So try not to be offended because I am not out to offend. Please remember this while reading. Thank you.

I just started watching an anime called Ghost Hunt [ゴーストハント] earlier today – and I have to admit that I’m so freaked out by it. It’s pretty interesting because the exorcists and investigators are lead overly-narcisstic scientific teen, who exorcises or cleanse spirits with the help of a Catholic exorcist, a Miko [巫女] a.k.a. a Shinto shrine maiden, a Buddhist monk and a girl who possesses the ESP (extrasensory perception) to sense spirts.

I have to admit that under all that fear is some fascination with the supernatural. As a child and a pre-teen I’ve seen some things that I cannot tell whether they belong to a figment of my imagination or are truly something else. The last ‘paranormal’ activity I sensed was four years ago – when I slept in a church which was converted into a temple and I heard some…one calling out to me. I heard it very clearly. And I was very sure that it wasn’t my imagination. It called to me six times, and got louder each time. It was the very first time I cried out of fear…

It was the result of that fear that I was dragged into that cult-like organization. But I eventually left. I don’t feel the need to belong to a religious organization. Having grown up in a family where my paternal side were staunch Theravada Buddhists and my maternal side Presbyterian Christians, religion was nothing more than family politics to me. I went to Sunday school on and off for seven years. I was never baptized. I went there to spend time with my grandmother. I went to temples on and off throughout my life. I went because I was dragged by my extended family. Though, just for a while I was very fascinated with Mahayana Buddhism because it didn’t seem to rely on faith. It was a way of life.

One of the biggest reasons why I cannot align myself to any particular religion is my dependency on logic. I am an extremely logical person who will try to reason out everything. As such, I am unable to make any leap of faith. To me if anything requires faith, there is reason to doubt. I simply cannot follow something that is unsupported. Even if I were forced to, nothing in this world can erase that doubt (except evidence). I cannot believe in something I confirm see with my eyes, hear with my own ears, smell with my own nose, touch with my own fingers.

Just as I am skeptical about the political nuances propagated by the world’s media, I am skeptical about religion. It is a scientific fact that the world was ruled by insects in the pre-cambrian era, the Bigfoot Pest Control wasn’t around obviously, this is why there were so many of them. It is a scientific fact that the world was ruled by dinosaurs. If God required our worship, why didn’t the dinosaurs worship God? Why didn’t the predecessors of today’s insects worship God? The proof lies with the fact that there were no Churches or temples enacted to worship God.

So sometimes, I think that religion is created by man and in some sense, the idea of God is also created by man. I somehow cannot shake off the possibility that man created God; not God to man.

Yet, despite all that reasoning based on scientific evidence, I still believe in the existence of God.

After watching Ghost Hunt, I have come to the revelation that humans feel the need to align themselves with the idea of a greater force because of fear. There are many things we still don’t understand about our world and our after-life. Out of fear of the unknown we will seek something to cling on to so we feel in peace. Out of fear of retribution, we will seek something to forgive us so we can rest our conscience in peace. Out of fear of being alone, we will seek something to watch over us so we can sleep in peace.

Having nearly died at the of 13, I felt peace with myself the moment I realized that my life may end. But, at that moment, it felt as if my soul, my heart and my body were merged into one being and acted on its own accord to survive. (Some of you may wonder what I meant by merging into one being. For me, at least, I feel that my my mind, my heart and my soul don’t always agree. At that moment, however, all three worked together instead of competed with each other.)

Personally, I have less to fear because death no longer scares me. I have less to fear because I have not done anything that will result in retribution. I have less to fear because I have absolute confidence in myself, my mind and my soul. My only fear is the fear of the world of the paranormal. Science could not explain it. Religion could barely explain it. And I can’t deny I have not sensed it. Perhaps this is why I believe in God despite choosing not to align with any religion. I’d rather believe something that has not been proven so that I don’t have to confront my fear – a fear where I have no power to overcome alone.

It’s an extremely humanist and egocentric perspective. But look into your souls before you chastise me. Not the mind because the brain can reason excuses. Not the heart because your emotions will cloud the truth. Your soul; the very essence of your being. I’m sure you too (at least some of you) will find fear buried somewhere in there.

So what are your thoughts on religion? On the paranormal? On Ghost Hunt? Oh and please refrain from bashing other religions – especially if you don’t want your religion to be bashed by others.