100 Days Project

Karma: Buddhism for Assholes

This is a project that's been on my backburner for about two years. So I'm writing everyday for the next 100. In the process I hope to find my way back to my voice, back to my life and back to my practice.
Here's to shaking off Asshole 2.0.

I don't really believe that. In fact, I don't believe in a whole lot of shit - but I think today I'll focus on religion.

When I was a kid, I believed in god. Not really any particular god, though I suppose it was the Christian version. Similarly Jesus. At 5, I hadn't put a lot of thought in about it. I thought I was Jewish because dad's a jew and so we get presents from Aunt Selma for Hanukkah. When I asked to stay home for Jewish holidays, dad said, then you're going to temple. No thanks. Similar conversation about Bat Mitzvahs.

I don't come from a religious family, so most of these things weren't a part of my internal or external lives. Didn't give them much thought.

By high school, I identified mostly as agnostic. It's not that I didn't believe in god; I just needed a little more proof. I still didn't really get how Christianity and Judiasm were different. At some point, later, it was finally explained in a way I understood. Not just that Jews don't believe in Jesus, but more about what that really meant.

It's maybe worth noting here that it didn't really mean much to me. But two events over the next few years made me start thinking about how this related to me.

In college, a thing became a big thing and I was labeled JEWISH locally and a little nationally. I considered myself Jewish, certainly - my dad's family was Jewish and so I didn't really think about the political side of my mom's not Jewish so I'm not.

After college, I had a very serious relationship with a Catholic guy/asshole. His family of bigots and fuckwits called me THE JEW under their breath. There will come a time when I write more about them, but not now. It's a whole other thing.

About this time, I had some friends who were Jewish and were pretty decisive about my nonJewishness. So I labeled myself culturally Jewish and religiously atheist.

A couple years later, my life falls apart and I wander my way into Buddhism. So now I'm culturally Jewish, religiously atheist and Buddhist in practice.

And then recently - in the last small handful of years I realized I don't have any idea what I believe in. So I'm gonna break it down and hope that some day someone reads this and wants to talk about it. I'll keep it bare bones for now, but only because I'd like to examine all of these things over time. But maybe I'll do a post a day for now just to flush things out. But I've gotten to an age that has helped me realize it doesn't actually matter what I believe in. It doesn't need to be based in fact, doesn't have to line up. I can hold a million different opposing thoughts at the same time and I could just give fuck all about what anyone thinks.

Here we go!

I don't believe in reality show Jesus. Ditto bigot Jesus.

Not Christian god, Jewish god, Muslim god, Buddha as a god. Not Mormon god, not Scientology god/spaceship/whatever the fuck you pray to.

I don't particularly like Christians or Catholics of any stripe anymore. I know about six Christians I don't think are bigots or hypocrites. If this raises your ire, then stop letting the shitty ones yell louder than you.

I believe in Black Jesus.

I don't believe in Bible God. But I might (only might, ONLY might) believe in something behind evolution. MAYBE.

I don't believe Buddha was a god.

Buddhism is a lifestyle, for lack of a better word. (I will spend the next week figuring out the word I want.)

I don't believe in Muhammed. Not Scientology. Not Joseph Smith.

Not the greek nor roman gods.

Maybe a little in the Hindu gods. Shout out to Lakshmi and Ganesha.

I do not say namaste, except at the end of yoga class.

I believe in Eleggua. Papa Legba. Not given much thought to the other ifas - but Eleggua is strong around me.

I'm not sure I believe in reincarnation.

No heaven. No hell. (Hell maybe, especially in traffic.)

I believe in karma, but I'm not sure who doles it out. (I'll definitely write more about karma this week.)

I believe there are psychics who are psychic and not just mentalisty.

I don't know where I stand on ghosts.

** A couple of things to add.

1. I  believe I just found my voice. I'm super excited to start looking at all this over the next couple weeks.

2. I look forward to being wrong and seeing things in a different light. Both over the next two weeks and the next two years. Belief systems SHOULD be organic. We should not be the exact same person we were 20 years ago - that's bananas. (Shit, more on this later too!)

Day 20:

I Believe I Can Fly; But Only on My Dad’s Side