Musing #13 : Religion
This poem is a gateway drug
Al salamu 3alaikom,
This is the last part of my mini-series of Magic, Art, Science and Religion. These together form the quadratic theme of my novel. I’ll share more in the upcoming posts about how these themes have shaped my characters and the conflict between them.
But for now, here is the fourth and last installment of my own stories engaging with these four quadrants. I hope you enjoy this story in a poem.
I’ll be changing the format based on the survey I did, starting next week. Thanks for all of you who voted and sent me comments about what they enjoy the most. More to come.
Never miss my gut wrenching posts. Ever.
Part IV. Religion (3 min read)
Just like Shabbat, and Church on Sundays, Muslims have Fridays to pray and be nice. My dad and I would go together, like every father and son in the hood. I hated the mosque and before you kill me, listen to my strictly practical reasons. First of all, my shoes always got stolen, but also, I had to stand awkwardly next to my dad. I’d stare at the boys, in silence we circled, and listened to the parents talk about the weather. Oh this oh that! Get me out of here this ugly kid is killing me. But Friday afternoons, they were quite special, just my father and I, away and together buying newspapers, eating Persian bread, Times I now cherish being so far away. Then I would ask him the weirdest questions And he would strategically hide his dread. Like once I asked him: Is religion even real? We all need it, son And it's the whole deal. That Didn't Make Sense! Islam to me was a video game Developed by God, and installed by my parents I was into winning and I must ace it like every other act. But soon the play became quite old and fresher thoughts entered my brain. Some may say I was Westernized by Classic Rock and South Park. I argued, I fought I won many battles but lost great friends and felt quite battered. I wasn’t an atheist or maybe i just dabbled but realized that they are equally terrible. So I rested with my indifference to the answer and stayed cozy and warm in my echo chamber. Then one day I heard me say horrible things to myself. I felt alone and not quite right. And suddenly a mountain and a zooming out. At some point, I stopped thinking and started intuiting, And felt connected To other humans, to the birds, to the trees, to the Earth. I might have taken a tab of acid, or maybe grandma was praying hard for me. But the point is that, I transcended the layers of bullshit that have us stuck. So it was me And the mountains And the desert and The Big Ol’ Sun. The divine mystery, I was reminded of. Angelic sounds were here to show me Yes, you are loved. You are not separate. You are not against. You are with! You are protected. God speaks to all. Each and every one of us is connected to each and every one of us. Amen, Aho, and Ohmmmm. Say what you say, dance how you may, just know when you judge me, that you’ve gone astray. God doesn’t care, she’s everywhere, and isn’t waiting for your masturbation to make sure that her day’s work was worth it. So just do the thing that lights you up, and find a community that opens you to your deepest intuition. Go for Renaissance not Prohibition. May you be peaceful May you be kind May you be free from suffering May you be fulfilled. In your work, in your relationships, in your spirituality, and in your purpose. Amen.
Thanks for reading In Search of Gumption! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Many of us have been let down by religion, but we also like to throw the baby out with the bath water. Ways besides religion have a harder time tying us together as a society. The United States is a religion. It’s a shared set of beliefs, at least that was the intent. Now it’s polarized fighting to control what’s left of it. And, it’s a shit show to watch and be a part of it. I have so much resistance to organized religion, but I’m a hypocrite because I can’t come up with a better way than shared beliefs, rituals, and traditions to hold our societal fabric together. I also love to story of you and your dad. Life is messy, but in the mess is beauty too!