I may not know art...
by: David Bulin
To open a discussion on this article, please use the contact page to provide your comments.
I may not know art but I know what I like
I was raised in a house that was loosely half Jewish / half Lutheran. I don’t count that as a weakness by any stretch but I am often asked what religion I was raised with and with that background I usually say Objective. (This frustrates the crap out of my mother who thinks she failed by not raising a Jewish son.) We celebrated the usual major holidays, yes the State authorized ones, the Christian ones and one or two of the Jewish ones. (No, I did not cash in on presents.)
I did spend a great deal of time learning and was corrupted at an early age by believing in only what is observable, measureable and reproducible. What can I say? I was headed for disaster. God, did not alas, have a big place in my thought processes. I did not say this aloud until much later when I was able to gather with other similarly bent or at least open minded people. It helps to know you are not alone, that’s why people have friends in the sky.
And I studied Chemistry, Astrophysics, Sociology and History amongst other subjects. I feel I can safely say that I have seen the very big and probed the very small. Guess what I haven’t seen? Sociology told me how people interact and history told me what they did. Now comes the fun stuff.
As I went deeper back in history I saw a thread; that people have needed something to believe, to blame and to thank. The odd and violent history of western civilization, such as it is, is rife with competing belief systems not the least of which is the belief in the supernatural. And worse still, who’s right? I mean when you come down to it, all that was said was, “my beard in the sky is better than your beard in the sky.” Each of these “beards” had a group of followers and after those followers were gone that “beard” was forgotten. This is the course of history, even today there are beards disappearing all over the world. This is especially true in Anchorage at the end of February when they hold the Fur Rendezvous.
“Ok”, I hear you say; “Compelling, but not absorbing.” You are right; this is about me and what I believe, not in any way a cerebral assault to get you lined up behind what I think you should believe. What I have learned is that, gods rise and fall and belief systems come and go. What I really believe is that I am required to be good to my fellow H.Sapiens as well as other things that inhabit this world. The golden rule is good but with the caveat that there will be times to do unto others before they do unto you. Take a moment to see that there is beauty in everything around you. I will go to a good place when I die and that no currently organized belief in a god or goddess has any parallel to my version of my next life.
Follow the wash of history, belief is as transient as life itself. If it weren’t you wouldn’t be able to convert from one faith to another with such ease. Look to the planets and stars, even they move! And yet, and yet; there is some small consistency there. The sun rises every day. The moon and stars all follow a path and the seasons present us with a recurring theme. There is death and there is birth. Those I can see, those I can measure. It’s nice to be able to call for help but sad when those calls are unanswered, so perhaps we are alone after all.
Martin Luther said, “Faith is under the left nipple.” I can’t see it or feel it. Gravity works and that is good enough for me.
I may not know God, but I know what I know.