Thursday, February 28, 2013

Soul searching

Marriage is a huge commitment. But have you ever thought that there is something which requires even deeper commitment than marriage? For me, that 'something bigger' is and has always been religion.

I'm born Taoist (i think) (i'm also confused about Buddhism & Taoism) but not a diligently practising one. Like most people, i have always taken 'God' for granted. I only pray and light up joss sticks when i need something or when i need God's blessing. I don't always pray to the deities when I go to temples but when I do, I do it out of respect more than because I believe. 

Other times when I am more pious, I will light up joss sticks and ask the deities to 'bless my families and protect them' and etc etc, during the 1st or 15th day of the lunar month (usually under my mother's instruction as well) However, it is much easier for me to pick up joss sticks to pray to my deceased grandmother, probably because I love her dearly and also, maybe because she existed - I talked to her, held her, loved her and so have no reasons to doubt her (existence).

Why do I say marriage requires easier commitment than religion? Because marriage is something you can see, you have someone to hold and to tell them your ups and downs and receives their response in return - just like how I have communicated with and received my grandmother's responses while she was still alive.

Now you may say that it is the same with religion - God will answer your prayers, protect you in times of need and all.

But I can't. I just can't, because I find it hard to hold on to what I can't see, can't hold and that makes me question and have doubts. It's not that I do not believe in God, I do but it gets harder when there's doubt. You can say it is my faith which is wavering but if I tell you I don't have that much of faith to begin with? Maybe I'm not well-educated as a Taoist from young but you cannot say I'm clueless because I know quite a number of things and do believe in some other as well.

I think I am only trying to justify reality and the efficiency of a religion. Religion is the commitment to believe and to have faith in something without doubt or questions. 

I am currently stuck in the middle. There was this period I thought I've turned totally faithless, started taking beef (guilty but i loved it) but then guilt comes and i reverted to being the pre-beef me. I'm not saying it's just about beef, of course it's more than that (though i've missed the cheezeburger)

Now I'm avoiding beef again and trying to light up more frequently. 

Can't help but to compare my religion with the rest.

Anyway, I like how in Islam, Christianity and Buddhism, they have the habits of saying prayers frequently and that Muslims/Christians and Buddhists seem to talk to God all the time and not only when they need Him to do something. They have specific prayers for different things and I think I need that too. I want to say a prayer, to ease my heart and to give me courage and not just lighting up the joss sticks and that's it. I feel so insincere each time I pray because other than the doing the gesture(joss sticks) I don't know how does Taoists pray.

I guess, even if there are specific prayers to be said, I wouldn't be able to find it online or understand it because most of it would be in Chinese writings anyway. BUT at the same time, I don't think I can commit even if the English version is available- I'll just end up finding excuses for myself. I do not totally reject the idea of God but it is just harder to convince me now as I tend to question a lot especially about my own faith. 

Every religion sends out the idea that their God is the ultimate one and so, how do we have so many Gods at the same time, in the same planet? I am an utterly confused sinner but I strongly believe that religion is not the only way to shape a good,kind and compassionate human, though.

Amitabha ( the only 'prayer' I know - not even a Taoist prayer, I think it's a Buddhist one)

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