by Jake McPherson
I think I’m an anomaly. I want to know the truth, even if it contradicts something I hold dear. I am willing to step back from what I think and believe and allow those things to be questioned.
I do have some precious ideas that would pain me greatly to let go. The most important of those ideas are the spiritual ones. I do not fear disagreement with my spiritual beliefs as some people do. I don’t need to defend them. I recognize my spirituality is not based on anything that can be empirically verified.
My spiritual ideas feel right.
That’s all. There’s nothing more to it.
It feels right.
This understanding that my spirituality feels right is not new. However, the type of spiritual practice I enjoy today was not possible when I practiced religion. Having another person define my relationship with existence I see as larger than what can be described with our five senses was too confining. I am much calmer now that I left religion and all its trappings. I don’t need to explain anything to anybody. I sit and know that I am part of a magnificent reality.
Leaving religion freed me.
I am not in any way a materialist who views life mechanistically. I am more than chemical processes occurring in the mass called my brain. I recognize those processes take place, but I reject the idea they define me. I do not think the day will come when a scientist will open my skull and find me.
I am the memory of the cascading scent of freshly turned earth and hot marigolds on a summer’s day.
I am waking from a long nap riding in the car, opening the door only to be assaulted by a wall of fragrant pines.
I am the sound my foot makes in the gravel as I walk with my son as we view the ruins in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico.
I am the first sight of a clear night’s stars glistening overhead.
I am the taste of warm skin under my lips.
I am vast.