Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Life, Death and Beliefs


I guess today is a good day to ponder this stuff. My eldest daughter would have been 20 today. I had promised Terri that I would try to put my thoughts on religion into words, so here goes.

Life

My general approach to how to behave in everyday life is based on my Christian up-bringing - the Ten Commandments give a good guide on how we should live.

The Bible seems to contain some contradictions - for example, in the Old Testament we have "an eye for an eye", while Jesus would have us turning the other cheek. For me they are both sensible options in different situations. In the time that Jesus was alive, everyone was trying to sort out their problems with war, which was clearly not working, especially for the Jews who were repeatedly crushed by the Romans. Taking a different approach seems only natural.

I believe God is here and will judge us when the time comes, but he is not stupid - he will judge us on the intentions behind our actions, rather than our actions and their results. We are human and make bad calls which have the wrong effect, this is how we were made after all. Merely putting on the trappings of being a good Christian does not fool him either. If we live life with the right intentions then God will judge us accordingly.

Death

I believe that we are judged as soon as we die - think how long the queue would be if not! ;-) If we have lived a life that makes the grade we get to go to the next world, the place that I saw my daughter in during the dream I had and wrote about in an old post. If not, I believe we get sent back to try again. This is a bit Buddhist, I guess, but I firmly believe in reincarnation and do not hold with the eternal damnation in fire and brimstone that my grandfather told us about. My God is not like that.

I also believe that the barrier between this world and the next is fluid and that we can cross both ways. There are times when we can have a glimpse of what is to come (I am certainly not the only person that I know that this has happened to) and those who have moved on are able to visit us at times. I often feel my daughter's presence. I used to put it down to wishful thinking but have realised that it does not only happen when I am thinking of her. I guess this leads me to believe that "ghosts" are spirits that have decided they want to remain here permanently.

That sums it up, I guess. Not much but it works for me. Hope you found it of interest.

4 comments:

Ali said...

Funny you should write about this today, as later I'm planning on posting my views on Heaven and Hell.
I'm glad you decided to share your views with us, it's always interesting to know what other people think about this sort of stuff.
It makes my heart smile that you can feel your daughter's presence with you. It's a great feeling to know that someone is watching over you.
My grandfather has been with me since he passed away in 1988 - and even though I was only 8 when that happened, I knew right away that he was with me.

Terri said...

Thanks for sharing this, John. I like that you have a very peace-filled belief system. I think I have spent much of my life feeling scared because I was "doing it wrong" and growing frustrated because no matter how much I try to get it right, failure is inevitable. I will remember what you have said here and am going to try to incorporate much of this into my own life. I'll be thinking of you and your family today as you remember your daughter on her birthday.

Logziella said...

Birthdays are wonderful because they are a celebration of someone's life. I hope you have a good day today as you remember the precious time you had with your daughter. I too will be thinking about you and your family today as well.

Thanks for sharing your beliefs with us!

Rock Chef said...

Ali - looking forward to hearing your views. That is nice about your grandfather.

Terri - I am glad you like it.

Logzie - we are having her 20th birthday party on Saturday, very much a celebration of her life. I will write about this soon.