Sunday, June 16, 2013


Death, disaster, terror, tragedy, illness, violence, suffering, failure, worry, anxiety, and all manner of things that go bump in the Night. How do we cope with the terrors of existence? What stories do we tell ourselves so that a peaceful sleep is possible?

“We all believe what we need to believe in order to make it through the Night.”

This is a phrase I frequently take refuge in, bringing a modicum of comfort to me especially when I hear people espouse the most unbelievable, unyielding kinds of beliefs, beliefs that I would call silly and nonsensical. Since my own beliefs run counter to convention, I suspect many would find my beliefs troubling or unacceptable yet, I know what works for me.

Some of us believe in a god of one form or another, some supreme being, spirit, or force, someone looking out for us, sometimes merciful, sometimes wrathful, something to bring us to its bosom, something that will take us into its cosmic home at day’s end. Some of us do quite well with little belief at all, eschewing all forms of supernaturalism.

Some of us need to believe in an afterlife or a chain of lives passing through the ages of history. Some can’t figure out how a person could live a meaningful life if there was no god, no afterlife, nothing but this one brief span of time which we are allotted.

Some of us believe that our beliefs have to be right, to be literally true for everyone or else what’s the point? We say there must only be one grand Truth. Fundamentalism of any kind generally insists on the correctness of its views and gets upset when others don’t see that. Fundamentalism is blind to the deep shadow of its own uncertainty, so much so, that it may resort to aggressive attempts to convince or annihilate others who threaten it by not believing its message.

I have never found it a productive endeavor to try to change another’s beliefs. These beliefs are what hold us together; tether us to meaning, and allow us to come to terms with the vicissitudes of living.

Whether we believe in Jesus, extraterrestrials, the Akashic Record, Spirit, reincarnation, karma, free will, or America, we hold these truths for the simple reason that they are ultimately valid for us and make sense of life. They offer solace, bring encouragement, and hold the Night at bay. 

My own beliefs are deeply rooted and foundational to my continued existence, and if there is one thing of which I am absolutely certain beyond any doubt, reasonable or otherwise, it is that I could be wrong.

Visit me at

No comments:

Post a Comment