“Exactly what do I believe about reality, though?” I ask myself this every day and am greeted with my own blank, empty eyestaringnesses. Not really, though, I don’t think, now that I really consider it. I think that most days I’m pretty solid on the main points of the particular system of traditional mythology that was handed down to me socially, culturally, & etc.
My own personal experiences play a role, of course, too, as they do with everyone. For me, communion with the holy in the form of personal contact with the divine as I was experiencing it at the time became a huge thing to me in my late teens and early twenties. it got weird, and for years it looked like things weren’t going to end well. Then It all turned around.
Not just like that, though, of course. I mean, there was a period of like five years during which it got ridiculously hard to exist, and I had to really work to rise up and move forward. I just wanted to give up so bad. I remember sitting in the bathroom spinning the partially loaded cylinder of this little .357 I used to have, just longing to live in a world where I could put that barrel up to the roof of my mouth and not have to worry about ridiculous things like eternity and hell. I’m really not adhering to any rational chronological narrative yet, so bear with me.
I had a lot of good people in my life, though, and I found that the more I accepted them as my spiritual family (trusting was something I’d learned not to do, so unlearning this was a challenge) and allow them to speak words of support and healing into my life, the more equipped and motivated I found myself, and the more I just went with it, the stronger I got. I quit getting constantly drunk, got a degree, and started working in a professional field, earning enough to support my family, and experienced a progressively greater and greater amount of personal freedom and fulfillment as I put the right things in the right places. Faith has been a consistently recurring thing for me, something that seems to stick with me more than I really stick with it, to be perfectly candid.
I say faith even though I have questions. I think the moment you stop having questions is the moment when a very important part of your brain has just entirely shut down (I speak with more experience on this than I’d care to admit.) You’ve got to wonder about the things you cannot see in some way, or you’re at least partly a vegetable. I think that, when it really comes down to it, we’re all myth believers in some way, save perhaps an instance in which a person might consciously try to unlearn everything they’d ever been handed down spiritually through their culture and family of origin (unless, of course, that was only ever nothing whatsoever to begin with, in which case that would be a short day of work.)
By the way, ‘myth’ is not the same as ‘fabrication.’ In fact, in terms of common speech, it might actually be closer to our meaning to say ‘legend’ rather than ‘myth’ when we’re really talking about what myth actually is, but we will say ‘myth’ because it really is the correct term for what we are talking about, which is simply the way that we’ve come to put the world together in our heads so that we are able to have a ‘reality,’ the having of which is an important requirement for the human mind in order for it to not go insane.
It’s a really great picture, though, isn’t it? Luke is the one who drew this, and I keep it here, on top of everything else on my bookshelf.