When I was asked to pray for someone dear to me a couple of weeks ago, I was struck by the fact that I have no God to pray to. That combination of no God coupled with too much medical knowledge makes me abandon hope and imagine the worst when faced with imminent loss.
I did try to find God when I was much younger, visiting most of the Christian churches within walking distance of my parents’ house, but the experience was for the most part disappointing, and by its exclusiveness, painful.
So call me a non-believer if you must, even though I believe in lots of the same things that organized religion supports, like the importance of community and altruism. I am also comforted by the rituals and use of scriptures to explain away the inexplicable, like how someone so young and worthy of life, could possibly have died.
But the problem with borrowing religious doctrines, is that the relief is short-lived. And when the nagging doubts and questions stir once again, there is no white light and no hope, only blackness. So what does come after religion then? Are there alternatives? Aren’t we all seeking the same things via different paths? Alain de Bottom’s new book may have some answers. I am definitely putting it on my “to-read” list.