Friday, February 10, 2012

A few posts ago I wrote about my father and the death of his very close friend.  I noted that his faith would provide him some comfort.

It isn't.

My father is deeply religious and believes in a heaven.  Of believers.

His friend was not a believer.  They will not meet again in an after life.  His friend is gone.  Forever.   My dad's faith is strong and there are no exceptions or reinterpretations.  I respect and admire his commitment to his principles.  They have brought him profound comfort, peace and joy but often times the depth of one emotion can be matched by it's opposite.

In an effort to better understand the origin of this belief I've started to study the bible.  My limited understanding of the contents suggest an element of interpretation.  I have no intention of trying to change what my dad believes.  I truly want to understand what guides him.

I'm not religious but I am interested in the study of it.  A year ago I took a class about the Philosophy of Religion that explored arguments for and against the existence of God.  It led me to wonder how my very logical father reasoned his faith.  It led me to ask him.  The depth of his faith is such that the question of the existence of god isn't a fathomable question.

I admit that as much as I admire my dad's faith I wonder about the idea of set of prescribed beliefs rather than reasoned or discovered guiding principles.  There's something inflexible about the former and slippery about the latter.

I've explored the question of my own spirituality and I cannot embrace the idea of a god.  I can ask the question, but sometimes I wonder if I've truly allowed myself to fathom the idea and if I any less flexible in my so called exploration of the topic.

I just don't know.

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