I'm a Believer
I don’t know if we come from cosmic stardust or the matrix or a divine breath or an earthen impetus that imbues cells with the drive to divide, always divide and duplicate and distribute until they can sustain no more and return to the elemental matter that comprises our perceived universe.
Whether our ancestors, knowing less, somehow knew better or whether we, with an ever-expanding compendium of comprehension, have outflanked their primitive impulses and ascended to a higher state of existence, one where we have become the gods they once revered.
Whether an other-dimensional being reached through space and time to impregnate our world with consciousness and meaning and morality or whether chemical processes and synapses and senses have conflated and conspired to invent these concepts that exist only insofar as we imagine them.
I don’t know shit about where we come from, why we’re here, or where we’re going. I only have these feelings, this skin, these eyes, this brain that slowly became aware of itself as it compiled information and learned to manipulate the body that contains it.
And knowing full well that my entire sense of self and indeed my very body may be a hoax or an illusion or a dream in the mind of something else, that even the letters that form the words that construct the sentences that my mouth and lungs are generating right now are ephemeral, existing only because you and I have agreed that a symbol correlates to a sound, and a sound corresponds to an object or an idea - knowing these things, being aware of the unsubstantial and ever-shifting firmament on which my understanding of the world is precariously balanced, I choose to believe.
Moment by moment, I choose to trust the sustaining power of breath. I hold close the notion that I woke this morning with a purpose. I embrace the idea that goodness not only exists, but lives in both my physical body and the mind with which I perceive it. I believe in friendship, in love, in justice, in wholeness. I believe in me, I believe in you, and I believe in a togetherness and oneness and belonging that binds us. I believe that when I harm you, I harm myself, and that when I nurture me, I nurture you as well.
Every day, I trust in concepts that I can’t prove. I try to align my choices with values that don’t really have any reinforcing authority. I have faith for things I cannot see, I hope for that for which I have no evidence.
I’m a believer, and I belong in the family of believers. Whatever the reason for my belief, I belong. Whatever the object of my belief, I belong. Whatever the underpinnings and constructs and creeds and dogma of my belief, I belong.
And so you do, my friend, so do you. You belong to the family of believers. Welcome home, beloved.
The audio version of this piece can be found at the beginning of episode 048 of Heathen Podcast.
Photo by Haley Hill