Do you believe?

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I remember the question as a child, asked of me by other children, “Do you believe in God?”

I always answered “yes.” right away, but not because I knew the answer, only because someone else had planted the answer. So every time I would say yes, I would immediately feel a nagging sense of uncertainty. I would silently question my automatic answer and unconsciously wonder why it didn’t feel right to me.

It wasn’t until later when I replaced the word “God” with the name of one of my friends and asked the question again, that I realized how ridiculous the question really is, at least grammatically. “Do you believe in Catherine?” I mean what are we asking here? Do I believe Catherine exists? Well, that’s self-evident. Or is the question more like, “Do you believe in Catherine’s magical powers?” Um, hello! Again self-evident.

But five decades later people are still asking the question: Do you believe in God? The answer has been chosen by many and both “yes” and “no” answers have the same amount of conviction behind them.

I definitely believe it’s a matter of semantics. It depends on what you’re calling God. If ever there was a crux, I’m pretty sure this is the granddaddy of them all.

I like to have fun with it, to imagine what God is (if, indeed, God exists).

It appears to me that the crux of the question is focused on locus of control. Either God’s in charge and is pulling the strings of fate and destiny, or each of us is in control with no magical outside help. This is where the fun comes in.

Just as an aside, I like to imagine what it would be like to have a clean slate when it comes to beliefs. Tabula rasa.

ta·bu·la ra·sa
ˈtäbyo͝olə ˈräsə,ˈräzə/
noun
  1. an absence of preconceived ideas or predetermined goals; a clean slate.

You know, what it would be like to wipe the slate clean of all beliefs and start over. But more about that later.

For now I want to turn your attention to the concept of Magic. We get a whole mess of opinions about it from people who believe in God and people who don’t. Some would prefer to call Magic fantasy. Some caution that it is the sole providence of God and you’d better not mess with it! Some get pissed off if you include the word Magic in the same sentence as the word God. Some see Magic everywhere they look and have no doubt in its existence or usefulness. Here is that crux again; it depends on what you’re calling Magic.

It fascinates me that people have such widely held beliefs… so many of them and so many variations of them… yet many claim that only one is right. That’s odd to me. But most importantly, what’s it like for those who don’t allow for Magic?

If you’re one of those who doesn’t allow for Magic, tell me what it’s like for you. If you’re one who does allow for Magic, tell me what that means to you. It’s a fascinating subject either way.

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