Sunday, July 3, 2016
It's occurred to me that one of the reasons that people hang onto the idea of religion, is that it's tied to the idea of immortality. Or perhaps it's simply the fear of death.
Follow this or that dogma, pray to this or that god, and you'll be guaranteed a nice place in the afterlife. If you're raised in a religious family, early on in life, you're taught that you don't really die. Your pet didn't really die, grandma or whomever didn't die, but they're in heaven. Even a "Dog Heaven". (Oh Really?) The reality that they're gone, and won't be coming back, just seems too scary for some, I suppose. Why is it that so many humans find it so horrible to consider the fact that our loved ones, and even one day ourselves, will simply be gone? Like smoke dispersing from a fire, our souls are never to be recaptured again.
If we're raised within a religious framework we're told that if we pray hard enough, give enough of ourselves, be humble enough, etc. etc., we will be given a mansion in heaven and spend the hereafter with our God. That just doesn't work for me.
Why is it so hard to just simply say. "Hey! We're here this one time, and we ought to get it right. For no one else, other than for ourselves? What's wrong with doing the right thing just for the sake of it being the right thing to do? Why do we need to have all of these extra carrots? What about teaching our children, and each other, that doing the right thing, for the right reason ought to be enough? The reward? That we can live life with a clear conscience if we do. What if we teach that greed, envy, hate, etc. AND other addictive activities can destroy us? And if they don't, they would at the very least mess with our serenity. We need, I need, to live life on life's terms. For an alcoholic / addict, we desperately need to be able to stay sober. No matter what. Because if we don't we have a very good chance that we will fall into a pit of despair. We'll have a life void of joy and happiness.
For me, the fact that we're only going to be here once, that there's only going to be one today, is a good enough reason. Human life is special. We should try to treasure each other.
We all will come to an end, sooner or later. But for me, the simple fact that working with fellow alcoholics helps me keep my serenity, and sanity. Even if they don't feel the way I do about God, they help can me, and visa versa. It's a pithy saying, but it still holds true. "Take what you need, and leave the rest."