I think that people cling so hopelessly to religion because they have no sense of self. It’s why they make a mess of it. Because they are a bunch of people who do not know who they are. And so they delve into religion to gain a sense of self. But they do not know that you cannot be a nonentity and want to walk the hallways of religion. You have to know who you are, or at least have an idea. Then who you are, it will guide you. Such that whatever doctrine might come along, you know who you are so there cannot be a shifting. This is what people in my country are suffering from, today. Pastor A will come and preach his own. Pastor B will then come, and make either a mess or a mockery of it. I watch it happen. Flipping blind people leading an already blind populace.
See. I was born a Christian. Good christian upbringing too. The best of the best. So I am going to focus on Christians because I know what they are supposed to be about as opposed to what they actually are at the moment. All that Christianity teaches is good and lofty. Brilliant. I have read some parts of the bible and have thoroughly been blown by some of the wisdom on there. But see in reality, in the actual living, goodness. It’s from one bollocks to the other. I am aware that other religions suffer from their “bad eggs”, however, as I stated earlier, I focus on the one I know.
When I was younger, there was one pastor who was supposed to help my mother supervise the foundation laying on her land. I never payed much attention to him. I greeted him whenever he came by the house, offered him refreshments if he wanted, and that was it. One day he came by when I was ill. I did not go to school that day. I was lying on the couch in the sitting room when the door bell rang. I opened the door and boom, it was him. He was doing the usual small talk and because I was too weak to stand and listen to him, I went back to lie on my good ol’ couchy couch. Next thing I know, he’s sitting in space left on the couch. That made me open my eyes, but I stayed put. My hyper mind suspected what he might be up to and lordy, I needed to “catch” him. Next, he started rubbing my arm. I bolted upright on that couch. I asked him what he was trying to do. He replied that he just wanted to play.
“Play” he said. It still makes me laugh. I remember feeling very insulted. Because I knew what “play” meant. I realize that I might not have looked like the brightest kid in the world at that moment but for him to even judge that I might not know what kind of play he was talking about, ah, I was livid. My brains are my vanity flexor, you see. It’s my one ace against a world that tries all the time to bring me down. So you can understand how I felt when he used the word “play” to throw me off. Like, really? I’m too sharp for that. Anyway, he lunged at my waist. This was a man in his late fifties. I was just twenty. Flipping twenty! What kind of stupid play would we be playing? Of course I shoved the goat away. Went to my door, opened it, and in my loudest voice(so that the gate-man would hear), I asked him to kindly leave my house because I was too ill to play. The gate-man (smart man, that) quickly came and stood at the door with me. The pastor left without looking back. I did not tell my mum. No need. To me, it was already handled.
When I was older, maybe my third year in college, I toyed with the idea of dating a pastor. He asked me out, I agreed. To be honest, deep in my mind, and though a part of me was very open minded about it, the other parts of me were also aware that I had just set myself up to be a social experiment. I wanted to really see, if they were, behind closed doors, what they project on the altar. Now don’t get me wrong (but feel free to get me wrong, if you like), I am very aware of the very unpredictable human nature. Maybe more aware than most. So you can understand that this is not a smear campaign. No. This is me highlighting what we all like to conveniently ignore. That who we are, it will always come forth. It is better that you are a nominal good person for the sake of just being good. Then add religion to that, and boom, prime citizen! But to come, and use religion as a hiding place for your vices, pretending, light by day, storm by night… no. That is just disgusting. Embrace your humanity first. Choose then, who you want to be, then work to be that person. Religion, if you are of a mind to use it, it should help you be you. It is supposed to work hand in glove with who you are. It is like salt that you add to food. It can’t cook the food, but it may give it taste, depending on the type you put.
But first, lemme finish my story.
Now this guy. Whenever we would have disagreements, fire. He was very unforgiving. Very vindictive. Harsh. Punishing. He would not be in good terms with me, yet, go up to the altar and preach. How? This one, it used to really disappoint me. Then he would tell half-truths and pretend like he was just being smart. But what I read in the bible, it tells me that the Christian God is one that hates all lies. All. He does not want half-truths, but whole truths. And then if you say you are a custodian of his nature, as a pastor, lies should never be a part of you. No one should please tell me that it is impossible to not lie. I do not lie. When I was a child, yes. It helped me cope with the rubbish I had to endure. But now, never. I speak the truth even if it kills me and yet, I am far from being a prime citizen. Now if I, who is not beholden to any oaths can do this, how much more the custodians of any god?
Now let us leave the pastors. What about the normal Christians? And get a load of this: Do you know that non-Christians have been the best people in my life? While the actual Christians have sought to bring me down in every way imaginable, the Atheists, Muslims, Buddhists… all of them, they have been a back bone. They have been there for me, carried me, fought for me, they have done everything that Christians preach but do not do. A Christian tried to starve me, an Atheist fed me. A christian actually tried to physically kill me. A so called un-believer saved me.
To be fair, I know a couple of really good Christians who live by their code to the letter. But they are just a tiny minority. The rest of them, they are horrible. It brings to mind a couple of questions. What are we all doing with religion? Do we really know what it is? Do we really need it? And if we say we need it, why? Are we in the wrong or right religion? Is there a wrong or right religion? And see, based on conversion, if I were lost and looking for a religion to call my own, with all the behavior I have been shown, do you think I would want to be a Christian? Wouldn’t they have already lost a much needed soul?
All I need from humanity is for them to just be. Let us take responsibility for our failings and leave the devil out of it. Let us strive to be our various definitions of good, work hard for it, and not leave it all to the gods. If we are pigs, let us be pigs. If we are angels, let us be angels. I do not want to go to a china shop and see wooden cups. Neither do I want to go swimming and find hot larva instead. In spite of the failings of humanity, regardless of how hard it is to function sometimes, let us try, let us aim to be functional. If you are going to practice any religion, make sure that you practice a lofty one. Drop the shenanigans, make it about you. Don’t bury who you are under it. If who you are cannot exist alongside it, then check again. Do not confuse humanity. Keep it real, and you shall not be judged too harshly. Religion should bring life, not take away our reasons for living. Embrace your humanity… open your eyes… see yourself clearly… then chart your course. Only you can do that. Only you. And remember, sometimes the only religion that matters, the one that you will find yourself living everyday, is the religion of self. Man o’ man… know thyself.
To those who need it.