Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 341

I love talking to my girlfriend. Few things make me happier. Which is odd, considering she's not much of a talker. I guess that's why I feel extra special when she talks to me.

I like feeling special.

Anyways, talk to her, knit, and watch Psych is all I've done today. And I think that is a successful Sunday. Oh, except for the part where I watched the Titans v. Texans game. That broke my heart.

Day 17: A book that changed your views on something

At least, I think that is what Day 17 is supposed to be about.

For this, I would have to say The Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

It was required reading my senior year of high school, and I've been trying to convince my mother to read it ever since. I've also been trying to get her to read The Egyptologist by Arthur Phillips, but that has also been unsuccessful. I'm beginning to think that my mom disregards all of my suggestions. The Cracker Barrel Thanksgiving is the first suggestion of mine that mom has taken to heart in years.


This book is fantastical and dramatic, but I have found some of the most whimsical books to be some of the most thought-provoking. In this instance, the main character, for the entire half of the book, is recounting his life, and part of his recollections is how he discovered religion. He starts out as Christian, but through life encounters he assimilates to other religions as well.

What was fascinating was how, when he took on Islam, he didn't stop being Christian. He became of the Christian and the Islamic faith. He also began to study a third religion (that I can't remember off the top of my head, probably Judaism), and all three religions are considered polar opposites. His family gave him shit, saying that you can't believe in more than one religion. But in the book he argued how they were all compatible. Religions don't conflict except where followers hate other religions for not calling things by the same name.

It's kind of like how the French despise tourists for not speaking perfect French.

This book is where my mind first started opening to the possibility. It wasn't until I was listening to a tour guide give me the Idiot's Guide to Hinduism in a dark bus driving through the streets of New Delhi that it really sank in. The religion he was describing to me was essentially the home-grown Christianity I'd been raised to. A little ad-libbed, sure, but the basics were all there.

It was a beautiful, shining moment when I realized that God is God is God. I saw religion as something as fluid as a language, but as solid as communication. I saw God as this mulit-dimensional, infinite, diverse being who knows humanity and its cultures and adapts accordingly. This might sound like a "Yeah, Duh" moment, but it was an astounding personal revelation. Christianity is Islam is Judaism is Hinduism is Buddhism is any other major religion.

Except Confucianism. That is technically a philosophy.

The Life of Pi has started a journey for me. Now I know that if I want to fully understand God, if I want to really build a spiritual relationship, I have to approach Her/Him/It from all sides. You don't hire someone after looking at one resume. You don't base friendships off of one commonality. You don't love someone for only one aspect. Why would you worship someone through only one religion?

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