I couldn’t think of a post today. Honest, I tried. I’ve been getting into something of a rhythm lately, finding a theme. I know you haven’t been able to see it yet, but it’s there. It’s coming. But then Easter came and sort of plopped down in the middle of it, and . . . I couldn’t think of anything to say.
What is there to say (without sounding preachy) about a religious holiday to an international audience? I learned in Taiwan how greatly perspectives can differ.
And so I hoed and hummed. I typed things and erased them. I went for a ride and cleaned my apartment and tried to forget that I wanted to write a post. But I couldn’t. I do believe in God. I do care . . . And then I got an idea.
Below are a few quotes about God and religion. Can you sense a theme? Guess which one’s my favorite? What’s yours?
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
– C.S. Lewis
“I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.”
“God has no religion.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
“God save us from religion.”
– David Eddings
“Without God all things are permitted.”
– Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“God is the same everywhere.”
– Leo Tolstoy
“I have to believe much in God because I have lost my faith in man.”
– José Rizal
“The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums.”
“God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere.”
“It matters not the path on earth my feet are made to trod. It only matters how I live: Obedient to God.“
I have to say I like that of Jose Rizal’s. I’m biased because Jose Rizal is the Philippines’ National hero.
I visited his memorial at that park (forgetting its name right now) in Manila while I was there. It’s no surprise he lost his faith in man, that’s for sure. I like that quote, too.
You want to say something (international) about Easter without sounding preachy.
Lewis: Contingency: Desire. My definition of desire is that which I have not fulfilled of Maslow’s list. I do not think that constitutes that another world exists. It just means that I have to work toward satisfying that desire.
Wilde: Contingency: Puts man down. Says of God that he made a mistake in creating man, but as with Lewis’ contingency, desire defines man (See: Deluze and Gatarri). In this understanding, man is fine. He wants something akin to the sensation of catharsis, which is a sense of physical perfection better than himself, smarter, sublime, an edited version, but he doesn’t think of God, he/she thinks of the person, who has power over them. It’s a field of imperfection that makes life interesting. There’s no mystery in God. There is mystery in man.
Ghandi: Contingency: God is not religious, which is simply to say that he is not present in rigamarole. Man has religion because he is insecure. He needs to control others so that he can make enough money on them to support himself.
Blake: Contingency: What’s good about God is that he forgives. I say, what is there to forgive? The point is to accept and be surprised, but of course you don’t want to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Dostoyevsky: Contingency: We are not supposed to do everything. I say we do because life is sensation. We are compelled like we are compelled to eat. It is a feeling, a need. If we don’t have the need or we aren’t compelled to do something, we couldn’t care less. On Maslow’s list, God is not mentioned.
Tolstoy: Contingency: We all see the same God. The problem is that we don’t all agree that he exists, which of course is the real question. Just because we believe in the definition of God, forgets that we are imagining him, which might/probably only means that we create God.
Kierkegaard: Contingency: God makes us saintly. I’ve seen angry people die.
Rizal: Contingency: Man is a waste of time. But, there are novelists/philosophers/artists who create perfection.
Chesterton: Contingency: Confidence leads to lunacy. Perfection is not possible.
Voltaire: Contingency: God is everywhere and nowhere. Actually, the mind gives life.
Clark: Contingency: Obedience. What matters are forays into what your heart feels.
I am not all that religious but I’ll say “God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere” was the one that stood out to me. This quote sort of means, at least to me, there are no boundaries to what we can believe, dream and achieve. Anything’s possible.
It’s funny that you post about religion and it’s Easter break and all. Faith and religion has been on my mind a lot lately as I’m figuring out what I want to do in life. I’m inclined to think that there are higher forces at work that shapes our lives. Hope all is well with you, Jess :)
In our material world, the center generates the circumference and we run around in the proverbial circles. But when one is at the center the running in circles ceases and peace is revealed – and one is everywhere.
Myself, I’m still runnin as fast as I can.
I am torn between trying to find peace and harmony within god and the circle Bumba speaks of. If you are caught in the outside of the wheel; you can not settle into a cycle of free. Money can not buy happiness. This is true. But in this age, money buys time.
A person without money can not get on their smart phone and pay the bills. So they sit in line at the bank or Money Store. They rely on public transportation which eats time. They work odd hours that are not 9-5 so their family life is disrupted. They work on holidays. It is a never ending drain that someone who has wealth does not get.
But god gives me strength to move forward.
Metaphorically wise words, Bumba. Running at the edge of the circle in this material world, I guess that’s how a lot of us live today to make a living. 1stpeaksteve sums it up: “Money can not buy happiness…(but) buys time”. Only when we’re at the centre of the circle can we stop and look at the world around us, see it for what it is and believe what we want to believe.
Currently, I’m like you, running as fast as I can in circles to pay the bills, longing to go back to a time not too long ago when life involved sitting at home, writing. I have faith.
Me, too, Bumba. Me too…
Sorry for my super delayed response, Mabel. It seems we are both on the same page! I think we all kind of look to the sky when we can’t seem to make sense of things and are looking for direction in our lives…
Thanks for your friendship!
I do not believe in God. In a nutshell, it’s because I don’t need to. I don’t need to believe in anything other than myself and the goodness and badness of humans. I don’t need to believe that God let down all those kids on the Korean ferry when all it was was human error…by a Christian captain. However, I do believe that your favorite quote was Oscar Wilde, saying “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” Like!
I love that quote, too, Steven. Oscar Wilde is pretty much my favorite. And if there is a God, I have a LOT of questions for him, too.
Thanks for reading and commenting!
I will no say anything beyond that I do believe in God. In answer to your question, I’m guessing that you like the Oscar Wilde quote best… I like the one from C.S. Lewis, myself.
And I’m guessing that your theme is “What a MESS man has made of things!!”
All good guesses, Krusty! I actually like “God has no religion best.” Because that’s what I truly believe… But, yes, man sure has made a mess of things!!
I love the Oscar Wilde quote, too, though, by the way. And sorry for my delayed response!!
Your apartment? Oh and I go with Eddings.
Ours. And me too. Oh, and wrong post.
One of those days and “holidays”, huh? I’m probably in the same boat as Steven above: I believe in the potential and actions of humans. But since you asked Jess, I do like Mahatma Gandhi’s. :-)
Perception is truth…
“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” ― Edgar Allan Poe
I love the Gandhi quote, too, Professor. It’s my favorite. And the Poe quote is amazing. :) And yeah, “one of those holidays ” is right!