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9:05 a.m. - 1992-05-24
Faith and delusions
This morning I am struggling (again) with getting down in print, where I stand today with my belief system. I'm going to ramble back and forth in my attempt to connect and make sense. I do it often, this kind of brainstorming, all of us do. It is part of the process we go through consciously and often unconsciously (and in dreams) to find a solution...'a' solution, not 'the' solution. I say this because, as humans we tend to search throughout life, putting on the shelf only for later what we cannot solve. We seem not to be able to live with meaninglessness. Sometimes, if we cannot put what is presently unsolveable on the shelf, we become irritable, somewhat stressed and sometimes if we find a solution, the answers we find are delusional. Answers can sometimes be delustional and only seen as such when a new truth or part of a truth pierces the mind. Like infatuated love, no one can talk us out of it. Beliefs often come after a period of illness or stress where a need is not met or meaning is not readily available or something along that line. An answer is found, consciously through many avenues or unconsciously, where we believe we now know. First there is an uneasiness, that we are somehow deficient of something, then anxiety, stress perhaps chaos, and then comes the solution (hopefully!).

The solution could be delusional but if it is the same delusion the mainstream of society accepts, then we are not considered deluded. If we are the only one or, only one of a minority few who accept the delusion, then we are considered mad. Yet today, we live in a much more tolerant society, especially in Toronto, and often we treat persons whom we believe are delusional (their delusion being different than mine), with acceptance as long as it doesn't touch on many other things in life, like the workplace,or places where we might feel uncomfortable with their belief expression.

From my earliest upbringing, Christianity has been part of my life. I was baptized and had my first communion in a Catholic Church, sang in the choir and a priest bought my first communion dress. When older, I went to live with my mother who was not Catholic and was sent to a Baptist Community church. I found the same God. This was surprising, I was taught all non-Catholics were heathens. My best friend throughout childhood went to another denominational church, we visited congregations back and forth and attended C.G.I.T. at a third church of yet another denomination. In my teens, I had a time away from church attendance occurring after a move, and the death of both my beloved grandfather and a pet cat, Tippy. Although I was drawn towards churches I passed, I would not enter, telling my self they were boring. I got married, four years later gave birth to our daughter, and then began studying Chaucer at an Anglican College. I had to sign a document at Richmond College, stating my belief in a form of the Apostle's Creed. I read the document and without hesitation thought, "I believe that", and signed. From there on I was drawn back into the search for what I believed. I wanted a community to associate with. Religious programming on television, of the Pentecostal kind, told me, "God loved me". I knew that and even checked out the local Pentecostal church which the TV hosts told me was more or less, the best kind. I listened to the sermons, full of judgments and then statements that said, "Thou shall not judge", so I was confused but continued attendance and bible study. One day, during such a study, the pastor's wife came down the aisle after making some statement and asked me what I thought. She had previously said I had a fine mind. I spoke up spontaneously that if I am to believe in something, I have to believe it is true, intimating that what she had just said, I could not believe. I don't remember her reply. Not too long after, I stopped going there and started attending the Anglican church, which was a compromise between my Catholic and Protestant roots. I was confirmed there but not before I had already begun studying, and eventually completing six semesters at Word of Faith Leadership Institute and four years of ICI University afterwards. I made more sense out of the former school, especially when in between the two institutions I completed a diploma in social work. The social work studies allowed me to find similarities and connections without all the God talk. During my times of trying sort out, I'm sure I sounded like I was full of delusions to those who were around me and hadn't taken the journey I had. My journey continued taking CPE first at a local hospital and later at hospitals further away. I was searching at midlife much like in my teens for identity, understanding, meaning. Just who was I? other an an ordinary human being looking for love, acceptance and self-understanding?....I ran my own successful business that was very stressful....perhaps that stress contributed to such a long search. I often thought, while running the resort, that was beautiful and located on a pristine lake, that, "I didn't own the resort, it was like the land and to a minor extent the business owned me". The land would always be here and beautiful, accidents and disaster omitting, forever and the business for a long time, when I was used up, another owner/manager would be found. I had a sense of meaninglessness and sought answers. Religion gives answers, such as "Let go and let God" Often people reach a state of peace and can live their lives perpetually in this state, I was told. Often, after prayer and attempts to let go, I felt peace...but I also saw the process. I had peak moments when individuality melted into oneness with the universe. I also knew that this peace came to me when I completed some portraits or when I completed a piece of stained glass that I would give away or put in one of our buildings. It was the process of bringing things together, integrating threads to make a whole........and there would be such sweet peace...until life intervened eventually with its constant...change. I could cling to my faith beliefs, a pattern, find unity and therefore peace or I could throw myself into some artistic endeavour and create order out of rough beginnings and find peace. I see the pattern and see why various multi-cultural groups cling to varying systems of beliefs. It is a universal process.

At the end of this thought, I think about my own belief system and exactly what it is. I believe other people have access to God though ways different than mine. Of course, the pattern is universal not the means. Yet, part of me cannot help think that this is a game. Perhaps "God" forbid the thought, is not real and then immediately think, of course God is real! Which leads to which God, what God. Since there is only One God, who is God? I don't believe I have the mind to comprehend God or that anyone else does for that matter. I have a strong sense that God, exists, intelligence exists, creativity exists, understanding exists and humans,being the so-called highest form of life on earth, the eyes and ears and consciousness of earth, I'm somehow like God, being pulled towards God becoming more, as perhaps God as totality is evolving...and that is as far as I get.

When I get stressed in life, I go back to my meditations, prayers and Christian principles but not into dogmatics. I sometimes start to draw pictures--art......the process......letting go...finding unity....letting the unconscious do, what I cannot consciously do....however that works. Einstein understood the process and many, many others....letting go, after working at a problems from many angles...then just letting it rest....and often, it forms a unity....but is the unity...a new truth...sometimes...and sometimes, it is a delusion.

Which of course means not to uncritically accept what comes you to from various sources....a brain is part of the whole of which we have to work with, whether searching for my own answers or helping another search for theirs.


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