Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I've said before that I'm a Buddhist agnostic Christian. Or an Agnostic Christian Buddhist. Or a Christian Buddhist agnostic. You get the idea. It depends on the day you ask which one of those is the noun and which are the qualifiers. This isn't always popular. You get the impression from some people that it is wrong to combine ideas. If you're Christian, you're somehow betraying The Church if you adopt ideas from Buddhists or atheists. Or if you're atheist, you're lower than dirt if you admit that sometimes you have spiritual feelings that make you wonder. You don't get that from everyone, of course. Lots of people out there have cobbled together their own belief system. But I get it from enough people, from all three of my "areas," that it bugs me sometimes.

And I have to admit that the idea of adopting a single belief system and declaring complete loyalty to it is pretty appealing to me. Probably partly because I was raised to believe that is the "right" way to do it, but also because I know some people who are that way whose faith I envy. In the past week I've spent time with two dear friends, one Mormon and one Buddhist, who are both radiant with the happiness that their belief system brings them. They have each found the system that suits them, clearly. It's obvious from the way they glow when they talk about it. I'm fairly comfortable with my weird, one-person path most of the time, but I don't glow. I was envious.


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