About a month ago I met a woman named Kaya, a native of South Africa, one of the more determined people I’ve met, and fun to talk to. We met in my Jimjilbang, I meet the best people there, honestly. She fell so in love with the experience that I’ve seen her multiple times since, each one the same. As our conversations continued I learned that she had some troubles with finding a job, something not in my power to fix, but I did remind her that she’s only lived here a month. We didn’t only speak of business, but of our lives as well, family, relationships, the way we grew up, and there it was.
Kaya grew up in a regimented Christian household, I’m unsure of the denomination. Nearly every day had something religious to do and the rules of the church affected her life. That finally ebbed when she moved to The States. She had control of her life and a part of that was assessing what she believed as opposed to what she was taught throughout her childhood through to young adult. She attended a Southern Baptist church which gave her a small shift in how to interpret God & His will.
She described this life and then, in a whisper, she said she thought she might be an atheist. My prompt response was that I was, it’s what I usually tell people but, I did I have many years of being an atheist. She scooted forward, grabbed something to write on, and asked: “How do you become an atheist?” I said that it wouldn’t take many lines of notes, that you simply are. She waited, pen poised, “What are the rules?” The rules are simple, do not believe that any deity exists. There are no meditations or rituals required, just do not believe. She was amazed at the difference life between the two, this was nothing like she was raised or practiced as an adult. At the end of our back & forth I asked her, “Do you believe in any god?” “No” “Congratulations!” She left happy.
My husband is a true atheist, he realized that what was taught in religious schools and churches didn’t make any sense to him. The stories conflicted or didn’t meet the logic requirements he had. So from the age of 6, he did not believe in any religion, and that has not changed. It’s not big news or mentioned at all unless asked. He just is.
I came from similar roots but went in a different direction. We didn’t go to church much when I was young. Not because my parents weren’t religious, but they worked every single day making it difficult to attend services. When we moved my grandmother introduced me to her Presbyterian ways, and I went along, learning from Sunday school, and thinking it made no sense. I went to a Catholic high school & university, both taught comparative religions and how to dissect the Bible, Atheist teachers maybe? I read the Bible for a class, and that was too much for me. So many of the stories seemed like rules to live & survive, which makes sense when trying to organize a ton of people.
However, in High School I explored a few religions, trying them on to see if they fit. Pagan/Wiccan, Buddhism, and read about/conversed with others about Judaism. As I got older and the internet got bigger, I looked into Jainism, and others I do not remember. Despite all of the information, none of it clicked as right for me, until all of it did.
I stand now as a Polytheist. I believe that, in a way, all religions are correct as the faith of those in it create the anthropomorphized versions of their diety. That the power of the human mind can shape the world, they believe in. My belief that all life on earth is connected, even if it’s just through the transfer of electrons. This is a part of how kindness spreads, as well as cruelty. I do all I can to offer bits of endorphins to many through care, even if it’s just a genuine smile to brighten their day. There is so much unexplained by science, every theory can be right.
Scale Update: I Broke!!!! I was in the Jimjilbang, walked into the main women’s area and had their medical scale right in front of me and I caved. At least I’m only up a pound. The SHAME! Time to set a new record.
Note: I realize that religion is a hot bed of people and opinions. Many feel they are justified in being hateful. However, I will approve no posts filled with hate, only those that follow one of the most important rules. Don’t be a dick.