On the road to enlightenment, when we sometimes think that we have arrived, that we are home and that we know for sure, we realize that we are not quite there yet and that we are merely getting closer to where we are meant to be. We can no longer deny that we don’t know for sure, that we don’t know it all and we accept that we will never know it all for sure. We learn the truth that life is a series of events. Life is a journey which presents us with choices at all times.
I believe there is destiny. At the same time, I am fully aware of my free will. I am once again reminded that life is full of paradoxical truths. Fortunately, Philosophy teaches me to philosophize. It is an essential part of my life if I aim to grow, gain knowledge and wisdom, and perhaps to live a better life. To philosophize is to refuse ignorance, idleness and apathy. I philosophize to arrive at my own way of thinking, beliefs, values and principles. I believe that it is the only way to know for sure that I am living my life according to my personal divine plan. I need to question the so-called knowledge handed down to me by others, including the great philosophers of the early civilization and the contemporary world, to take ownership of my thoughts. This is my sure way to avoid being a puppet.
At times, I think that some Christians are like robots. They recite passages from the Bible or narrate their interpretation of the same like a parrot. It is easy to understand why they would rather not read other materials in case they come across information that might question what they have learned and have believed all their lives. If I was confident of my belief, of my faith in God, I will not have a problem with other information to the contrary. In the end, I will remain faithful to my God and at the same time knowledgeable of other religions or a dissimilar way of life.
I have nothing against Christians. I am one. I am a Catholic. There is nothing wrong with religion as long as the intention, reason, purpose and heart are all in the right places. Religion and God are not to be used as a crutch. Similarly, we cannot believe in God and the final judgment if only to have something to fear so that we may do and be good to others and to ourselves.
I believe that humanity itself should be the reason for doing good deeds. However, I do believe in my God although His existence cannot be proven because I have not come across believable proof that God does not exist either. Both the believers and the atheists have reasons for believing what they do. I say therefore that my choosing God as my creator is a personal choice. In the absence of proof [that I buy into], I choose to believe that there is God. Many times in my life when everything is going perfectly well, I forge ahead, even arrogantly, confident of my accomplishments and certain that only I make the good things happen. I do not think of and thank God. The wheel turns and I find myself in a less desirable predicament. While it may be true that it is the inevitability of life and situations would have eventually improved, is it pure random luck that my position improves shortly after my conversation with God? And, why is it that when I maintain my relationship with my God, my good fortunes do not seem to really go away? Do I simply possess the right perception and frame of mind on that precise moment? It is possible. The question I ask though is, are there not just far too many coincidences?
One may say that it is our frame of reference, the health of our unconscious and the strength of our conviction that contribute to our being able to see both the good and the bad and consequently, the same make us choose to acknowledge the good in every situation. Is a healthy disposition genetically passed on from generation to generation? What is the ultimate causality of it all? Do we or do we not have a say on how we view and live our lives? Does free will not afford us the freedom to choose? And to balance the power of choice, do we not have ethics, morality and humanity to consider? I choose good over evil not only because God commands so, not because I fear judgment day, and not because I am afraid of being found out, or of hell, or a lower form of reincarnated being, but because I know that it is the right thing to do, my right thing to do. An action is good if it makes the world a better place to live. The inverse is true too.
We all know from Peter Parker’s uncle Ben that “with great power comes great responsibility” but we prefer the easy life. Thus, we are not and we do not want to be Spiderman. Well, I didn’t! I shied away from growth and from the chance to gain wisdom. It is hard work to live better. I chose to sit on my bottom and take what I can from what is offered to me, even the junk. But no more! Laziness and complacency has no place in my world. The best is yet to come. I am a work in progress. I am still working on my masterpiece. I may be living to die but while I am still alive, my responsibility towards humanity to think, say and do only what makes this world the best place for all is my right thing to do.