Whether or not you were raised in a household where religion played a big part of your life or not, with SO many people on the planet showing faith in differing deities, why so vast a spectrum of faith (belief)? The concept in an all-powerful entity controlling, or at least affecting, things on Earth, seems to me to be the common denominator. There is no universal God because there is no universal BELIEF that there is. There is The Lord, Shiva, Jehovah, Allah, and Akal Murat, to name the most adhered beliefs. I did not include Buddha, because Buddhists do not believe he is a god, but rather a tranquil human being. I don’t care for that take because why him? Out of EVERY tranquil human being, was he the MOST tranquil? Did he fall asleep in the interview? I like the concept from Sikhism that there is ONE god over all religions, but which god would that be and what would be the criteria for deciding? Miracles performed? That would never work, because of course every “god” will claim them. Driving record, credit report? I was raised as a strict Catholic, so Christianity was my “team.” I kind of strayed from the Church for a while (a polite term for my 30-year period of excess and debauchery). I pray every day, at different times. I might see something on TV and make the sign of the cross instinctively.
A lot of my belief has come to me ex post facto. Here’a great example. We were cooling our jets at Apache Lake one lazy day in the early seventies. Now, there are assigned parking lots, but back then we just pulled up to the shore in our trucks. We awoke early and sat shoreside. Stan had a huge fresh pineapple and had cored it, chunked all the fruit, and replaced it in the pineapple “shell. He then poured a quart of mezcal in it, and let it sit in his cooler for the whole day. So the next day, like real “cowboys” we ate a couple tabs of mescaline and sat there, stabbing the chunks of mezcal-soaked fruit and talking shit. We stopped when my friend stabbed his cheek (missed it by THAT much),You either had to jump in and swim, or stay on shore because if you just waded in, you placed your toes at risk from the little crawdads that used to patrol the shallow shores. All in all, a fantastic day. Long story short, at midnight we were still drunk and feeling the drugs’ effects, so someone had the brilliant idea to go cliff-diving. In Arizona. Our “cliff” was only about 20 feet or so, but at night, with no moonlight, we might as well have been hundreds of feet up with hundreds of spectators in Acapulco cheering us on. So off I lept, the thunderous cheers ringing in my polluted brain. Stan followed my jump with a leap of his own. We climbed back to camp and crashed. In the morning we had to go back to the “cliff” because we had left the cooler there. As I peered over the ledge, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Stan craned his neck to see and he also shook his head in disbelief. There was a hole in the underlying protruding rocks that was BARELY enough clearance to fit a body through vertically! And we were jumping at night. Blind. Drunk. Intoxicated. And you think I don’t believe in SOMETHING that kept me safe that night? Understand why I pray every single day?