Hello my darling Em,
It will be a long time before you'll be able to read this blog and, who knows, I might not be around when you do! So, I feel quite happy writing about things that you won't understand for a long time to come. When you are old enough to read these posts with understanding, they might give you an insight into who I am and why 'I am'.
You have forced me to think of things that Ihave put out of my mind for many years. Like humankind's place on the earth, religion, creation and many other deep thoughts!
You came to our house on Tuesday and your Mom left you with me while she went to town to look for wedding dress material. Once again you were an angel! You slept, fed, played on your little mat, slept, fed, played. After Mom got back and fed you, she had a chance to have a lie down. Apparently you take after most of the women in your family - you are a night bird and are not quite so angelic at night!
I watched you for a long time while you were sleeping - so innocent, so angelic, so pure. I felt quite protective of you and thought that I would do anything in my power to protect you from harm, from injury, illness - from the big cruel world. But I know that you can't be protected from life. I had a drunken, abusive father and nothing could protect us from that. It struck me, that is why I don't believe in divine beings, in gods, demons, devils etc. Such dreadful, unspeakable things happen to innocent babes and children that, if benevolent divine beings were here looking over us (as depicted in children's books with angels with wings and fairies} No all-powerful, loving divine beings would put up with such things.
Some religions teach us that human beings are made in a god's image (I use the lower case intentionally). I used to think that the god who made us must feel an awful sense of failure and despair! We are, for the most part, nowhere near the godly state that we are supposed to be striving for. Many humans are barbaric, violent, selfish, uncaring, aggressive, cruel and unholy.
I believe that each person, individually, has a responsibility to make this world a better place for all living creatures - not just humans. A great man once said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." (Mahatma Gandhi) If judged on that premise, most countries' moral progress world would fail miserably. There is a fine dividing line when we condone cruelty to life forms and accepting cruelty to humans. Wars, poverty, global warming - all caused by humans - created in the image of gods. The god of the Christian is not the same god for the Muslim, nor is he/ she the same god for the Jews, Hindus or the other dozen or more major religions in the world today. Each religion believes that their god is the only true god and that if you do not accept their god as the one true god, you will go to hell. You will go to 'their' hell, because every religion has its own heaven and its own hell. Christians say that satan is in control of all other religions and gods! I don't buy this whole gods thing!!
What do I believe, Em? Although I can't call myself a Buddhist, I prefer the non-aggressive, moral and philosophical teachings of the Buddha who teaches us to depend on ourselves for morality, salvation, discipline, charity etc and not on others. In Buddhism there is no divine being to reward or punish you, and pain or happiness are considered the inevitable results of one's actions. I suppose you could call this Secular Humanism. Although traced to the birth of the Buddha in 623BC, the history of Buddhism was written in 83BC in the Tipitaka which is 10 times the size of the Bible.
What I will try to teach you, by my own example, is to be a kind, tolerant, moral,independent, giving person. You will be able to chose your own path - whether it is organised religion, secular humanism or some other philosophy.
For now, you need nurturing of a different kind!
I love you Em,