Epilogue

Putting this exploration into words has felt like a decent into madness. Staring directly into the eyes of life’s harshness is unsettling. I can think of only one path out of this descent: faith. Faith is the belief in something in spite of the absence of evidence. Living my life, continuing my passage through this world of control and chaos, takes a conscious act of faith. I am not meant to survive—this I have established during this exploration—and so, I must continue my life in the absence of evidence that my life will continue.

Faith.

I know of no other way to do this.

I am tired of humanity’s mad rush toward control in the face of being mortal. It leads us into spoiling the wonder that surrounds us. It leads us into lines of division, alienation, and oppression. But if one is to relinquish control, then one must have faith that life will continue, and if life doesn’t continue… then somehow, this is OK, too.

Faith.

The rational and linear minded say that this is an act of madness. Faith forms the foundation of intellectual corruption.

Ironically, rationality itself is an act of control. Reason is structure. Reason builds walls. Reason turns the world into an array of objects to be manipulated and analyzed. I am tired of walls. I wish to see the world as a whole rather than as a series of compartments, neatly arranged and cataloged.

And so, faith and reason are not compatible bedfellows. One entails the relinquishing of control while the other entails the imposition of control. Once again, we have the ancient dance of chaos and order.

However, I am an agent of chaos and so, it would seem that faith is my sister. Perhaps then, I should get to know Her better?

It brings me joy to know that this declaration characterizes me as a source of evil for both those of religious and scientific persuasions. It would seem, in these modern times, that both religion and science struggle to conquer the spirit, the body, and the mind. And what better tools to accomplish this than control, division, and hierarchy? Two Holy Trinities meet and grapple with one another. Who will subdue whom?

Religion and science are not the answers. One tries to use faith as a means of control while the other tries to destroy it entirely.

Religion says, “Take faith in God. Relinquish control over to Him.” In reality, He is actually the church and its functionaries. Religion uses the godhead as a ruse for the accumulation of wealth and social power. Religion’s version of faith is nothing more than an ancient game of bait and switch.

Science, on the other hand, serves to undermine faith. The scientific method is designed to restructure the mind in ways that reproduce linear, analytical thought. Linear, analytical thought is, by its very nature, the cognitive equivalent of the imposition of control. This serves to destroy faith from the inside out. Unfortunately, without faith, one is left vulnerable to filling the resulting void with the constant struggle for control. We are left only with the illusion of comfort provided by human society, a realm which is focused upon control, division, and hierarchy. Religion disguises this Holy Trinity as God. Science disguises the Trinity as reason and technology.

Science and religion are both structured in ways which dehumanize and objectify the world and all that live within it. Deep down, I have reached a place where I actively abhor both institutions. Neither deserve to be trusted, as they both seek a form of tyranny. Both embrace the illusion of control and they revel in it.

Consequently, science and religion, as they are currently formed, are incompatible with spiritual connection. The sense of holistic connection that I seek withers under the acidic breath of their tyranny. One claims to provide refuge for the spirit, the other, a refuge for the mind. Both institutions peddle snake oil.

Faith is my known path. And so, I must learn to embrace Her and allow Her to embrace me. There is no other way. I cast my life into Her arms.

I am lost.

I am seeking.

No god or guru can hold my heart.

This article is one installment of a five part series:

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

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~ by timberwraith on March 13, 2012.

4 Responses to “Epilogue”

  1. Hi. Your five-part post strongly reminded me of a poem Robert Graves once wrote and included in his vast and essentially incomprehensible book, The White Goddess. He speaks here about the Muse, who in a sense is the Her to whom you might be referring in this epilogue:

    If strange things happen where she is
    So that men say that graves open
    And the dead walk, or that futurity
    Becomes a womb, and the unborn are shed—
    Such portents are not to be wondered at
    Being tourbillions in Time made
    By the strong pulling of her bladed mind
    Through that ever-reluctant element.
    Robert Graves

  2. Hmmm. It’s interesting to make a connection between the notion of faith, the “her” that I refer to, and the Muse. I’ll have to ponder that connection.

    I chose “her” for the concept of faith for three reasons. First, I wished to contrast faith with the concept of God, which is viewed as masculine in patriarchal cultures. Referencing commonly held notions surrounding the gender binary was an easy way of doing that.

    Choosing a “feminine” depiction of faith is also symbolic of my rejection of the patriarchal notion of God. My embracing of faith is essentially the same as letting go of the notion that I truly control that which is around me. It’s a letting go of the notion of hierarchy created by positioning myself over my environment and the people around me. The notion of God, in contrast, is one of control and dominance (at least, as depicted in most Abrahamic forms of religion). I reject God because it serves as a symbolic construct that represents control and dominance. The Christian church has used the symbolic construct of God as a proxy for its own power and dominance in Western cultures.

    As a side note, the gendered contrasting of faith and God parallels my personal transformation from male to female. That transition entailed a relinquishing of the control and dominance that is a part of male privilege as delineated by patriarchy. Hence, there is a personal resonance for me when employing this gendered theme.

    My third reason is a reference to the character Faith of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. She is a very troubled young woman for whom violence and social isolation feature prominently. She eventually moves past these issues into a place of healing and connection with others. Her character’s narrative somewhat parallels the five part series that I wrote. She is also one of my favorite characters from the two television shows.

    Of course, a lot of what I have discussed in this comment thread is only implied in the actual text of the series that I wrote. Much of this series was written as prose and is meant to serve as a kind emotional sounding board for myself and the reader. A lot is implied rather than stated in concrete, literal terms. It made me happy to see you compare what I’ve written to a work of poetry. 🙂

  3. My dream is that one day I am able to explain my theological stance as clearly and as eloquently as you have here! Much of the scrutiny that is thrown towards those that opt to bow out of the struggle between theism and atheism, at least in my experience, is that ours is described as a stance of lack or “not having”. I either don’t have faith or I don’t have reason, depending on who’s scrutinizing. 

    But you’ve argued Faith back into my corner very nicely and for I thank you!

  4. Hi drockthecasbah. Thanks for stopping by!

    Yeah, being in the boundary lands between what is commonly understood as theism and what is commonly understood as atheism (notice how I phrase that), is an odd place to be. You wind up catching shrapnel from both warring parties.

    Btw, the language and concepts you use on your blog show a strong influence from feminist and anti-oppression sources. There’s a lot of that kind of influence in my writing, too. I’m guessing that has something to do with the mutual affinity for each other’s writing.

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