I am not a religious person in the traditional sense of adhering to a particular denomination or sect. Though my family was Catholic and I was raised in Christianity, I can count on my hands the number of times I’ve been to church in my life. Still I’ve read the Bible, and I have long enjoyed the study of world religions. It fascinates me that so many of the stories from these different branches align. Humans have used religion as a tool to control others and justify terrible means to horrific ends, but religion also teaches valuable principles and morals. It brings peace to the hearts of so many. It even helps lead people out of darkness to find a different path. It also captures a part of our humanity and history. I certainly see its value and enjoy the study of it.
My religious beliefs align more with those of Einstein. Many people mistook him and other great scientists for atheists, when in fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Einstein believed that God manifests himself in the universe. The patterns that repeat themselves from the subatomic to the astronomic level, the laws that govern the universe, and the connections we don’t even understand yet—these are all His work. By studying them, we become closer to God. Science was Einstein’s religion, and this is the closest I’ve come to finding someone who vocalized my own feelings on the matter. There is no doubt in my mind or heart that there is a greater power which connects us all. I have felt it, and even tapped into it when I did not have the strength to survive on my own.
On the topic of connectedness, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
How far away we seem at times from any Higher Power. We simply cannot connect with a power greater than ourselves, and we lose faith in its existence.
It is important to remember that the distance is within us. We are the ones who have moved away from that power and that connectedness. It has not moved away from us.
Our rushing around, our busyness, our constant caretaking and compulsive working leave little or no time or energy for anyone or anything to enter. Yet when we stop and notice, the connection with this power greater than ourselves is always there. It has never left us. We have left us.
This is so true. When we fail to stop and simply be, to still our minds and calm our hearts, we prevent ourselves from letting anything else in. I always notice this when I have been overexerting myself to the point of exhaustion, and I start to feel empty and alone. I have created distance between myself and that power by simply doing too much and denying myself rest and quiet. There is energy all around us, and we can tap into the highest form of good energy only if we allow ourselves some space through which it can enter. In this way, I feel meditation and praying are essentially two names for the same thing. You are communicating with God by quieting your mind and heart enough to let Him in.