This is one of two questions I do kind of need to answer, for this blog to make any sense in the long run (the other obviously being why am I Conservative…after that comes why those two work together, and why I’m getting just a little annoyed at Conservative being erroneously a stand in for Christian…but one thing at a time). Unfortunately a lot of this post is going to be rationalizations and justification, because the main reason I’m a New Ager is the main reason anyone belongs to any religion, Faith–thus all the logical arguments that follow are admittedly a little self-serving to my faith…but I admit it at least!
For as long as I can remember I tended to believe that all faith will lead to God, and I still believe that, so understand as I am about to do a little bashing of other religions, it’s only saying it doesn’t work for me, if it works for you, great…I’m sure at some future lifetime I will look back on my current beliefs with the same derision that I currently look at other religions. But just because you believe all faiths lead to God (well maybe not atheism, since it is such a limited and fearful perspective) still left me without an actual path to follow…and believe me I did actually look at most of them.
My general problem with the Abrahamic faiths (yes I’m just going to lump them together) is that the god of Abraham is a rather illogical and petty person. All three main Abrahamic faiths agree the he is “a jealous god,” and I personally believe the deity has to be above our petty human natures, or if he isn’t than he sure as hell doesn’t deserve worship. Further all Abrahamic faiths seem to have a god that believes in punishment, whether from Yahweh’s multiple punishments for disobeying the covenant, the Father needing a bloody sacrifice to forgive punishment, or Allah’s general need to kill everyone who doesn’t believe in him–let alone the concept of hell–the god of Abraham seems to believe in punishing people, usually in an eternal sort of way. This strikes me as odd, since I tend to believe that God would want to help his creation be the best that they are capable of, and while any parent needs to occasionally discipline their child, eternal damnation seems a bit beyond tough love. Now some may claim that Free Will was given to us and we have to live with our choices. To which I respond, yes we have free will, but not everyone learns at the same speed, not everyone has the same opportunities in one lifetime, not everyone has the same teachers and chances to learn. God also gave us reason, which even with free will, even the most stubborn will has to eventually give way to reason that points to the truth, given enough time and education. The souls of the damned thus would seem to be to be failing due to lack of opportunity to learn…which would be the fault to the teacher, in this case God, and I refuse to think of my deity as being that poor a teacher, and that flawed in coming up with a classroom.
The Eastern beliefs also were somewhat lacking for me. While I found the idea of this world being nothing but an illusion, thus the problem of evil raised in western belief, I found the lack of a meaningful end to life. In Eastern philosophy the world either cyclically goes from everyone being out of enlightenment to everyone reaching Enlightenment, and then the whole thing starts again (seems rather pointless, a little like Hell if you ask me) or the idea of Enlightenment is almost akin to reaching nothingness. Neither option seems all that enjoyable.
Hence New Age philosophy came as a far more rational system to me. There is a point to existence (to spread love) but this world is also an illusion that we must overcome. As there is no eternal torment, or any punishment except the kind we create for ourselves. It offers me a God who is not limited by base human emotions, is understanding, and will allow me all the time in the universe (time being only an illusion) to return to him.
Thus ends part one (I’ll have more to come when I think up specific topics)…