This is mostly triggered by an old journal entry by Raven. It's the middle bit when he's talking about a man that is considering suicide. And how the guy was arguing that life is pointless, and we're going to die anyway so why not go out on his own terms. Raven asked him if he believed in god or believed in karma and when he didn't Raven just said there was nothing more to be said. That there was nothing else the guy had to lose.
What about the rest of his life?
What about all the effort and energy and time and care that people spent on him to get him somewhere? What about all the time and effort he's gone through already to be alive? Just toss it all?
I guess, back to the point of this whole page, it's clearly a lack of faith in life itself. Which can be entirely independent of whether or not one has faith in the laws or edicts of a religion.
There's a friend of mine that used to have to do kidney dialysis all the time. They were pretty much completely dependent on having to be filtered by machines on a frequent basis and it was painful, nasty and like any frequent or regular pain it was something they knew and something they had to anticipate and something that just got worse and worse and more and more torturous in the long run. That friend got as much out of life as they could stand, did all the things that they wanted to do, and finally just decided to no longer continue treatment. They died in a week. Quickly. Painlessly. I missed them after that, but I could understand. They did weigh their future life and all their possibilities against what release they would find from the pain. That made sense to me. And in my eyes (I speak for no one else) that person acted in good faith for the balance of what they had of life. But to just toss away a perfectly good life?
Okay. I'm of the very firm belief that everyone's spirituality is their own thing. That everyone can have their own relationship with whatever it is that they believe in, and that the only thing religion is is bringing someone else into that relationship. And when it's two or more, then you get politics and my main feeling about politics is, "RUN AWAY!"
Which, I guess, is where my deepest feelings about religion are. Utter fear.
But then I'm an introvert, so that's to be expected. But I don't really see religion as the answer to everyone's questions about the meaning of their life. Why do people assume that religions magically and completely gives everyone that goes to it a Reason for their lives? I don't doubt that it does convey meaning to a number of people's lives, but not every single person that converts to a religion gets that kind of surity. If they're at all human, or would even admit it, everyone gets doubt, too, at sometime. Doubt's the only thing that makes for real faith. Or why do people assume that those that have no religion would automatically have no Reason? That bugs me a lot.
I have dozens and hundreds of reasons for being alive. They also take into account the fact that I'm going to die anyway, that I'm going to leave with nothing more than I came, and well, heck, no one gets out alive. But WHY does that axiom about life rob it of meaning, reason, or delight? If anything, it just makes me want to live harder, burn brighter, and do, experience, and experiment more. It makes it that much more precious what time I have. In many ways, my joy in life is the basis of my Faith in the possibilities that everything has to offer.
Yeah. I understand that not everyone has my viewpoint of things, or my ability to jump into life with both feet and experience it all to the core of me, or the desire to, even. That there are folks that would rather throw it all away, and if that's what they want, then well, that's their choice, but to say that there are no more arguments to be made? I guess my whole life is an argument for the value of life independent of any Law someone or something or some organization might hand down. Mainly because I never really chose to have that in my life. I've always reserved judgement on my actions or life for God alone or in my relationship with God. It's no other organization's business unless I damage others.
I guess it disturbs me in some small way that whether or not someone chose to take up a religion might be directly related to whether or not they found value in their lives or a reason for it. There are just so many folks who choose not to be involved in the politics of religion whom I know who have perfectly happy lives with plenty of reason and point to them that this assumption makes me grind my teeth.
Anyway. That's the rant and raving that I went into on seeing the entry and what was said.
And yeah, 'What gives meaning to your life?' is an important question for anyone that would look at it and try to answer it and it seems fundamental to living at peace with oneself. Find an answer that is useful and meaningful and it'll lead to how one leads ones life. But it's not the exclusive realm of religion. It seems more a basic question of human existence. Some religions just have pat answers that sometimes don't answer the more pervasive and meaningful question of 'Why?' Some do. None has answered it to my satisfaction, though. And I've a feeling that I'll never be able to accept an answer that doesn't relate in some way to my relationship with existence.