I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the past few months. I don’t believe in astrology, but I read and mull over my horoscope monthly. I don’t believe in god, yet I pray and sometimes even chant the names of Hindu deities. I don’t even understand what is meant by the words “spirit” and “soul,” but I devote a large part of my life to a practice that would be no more than fancy gymnastics if not for its metaphysical underpinnings. Am I just hedging my bets? No. I don’t have any lingering doubts about astrology; I don’t even have any curiosity about the existence of god. As for spiritual matters, I tend to think that the work we do is what matters in life. Why the inconsistency, then? Why do my actions and beliefs not gel?

Maybe the question is wrong; maybe there is no underlying inconsistency. There is value in prayer even if it goes no further than the person who is praying, because it focuses and calms the mind. Same is true of chanting. Astrology is a bit harder to explain… maybe I just like the idea of getting vague advice that I can interpret through the lens of my own perceptions. The mind is a curious beast; you can feed it garbage or you can feed it gourmet, and either way what it chiefly wants is to make sense of the meal.

It does appeal to my DIY/punk ethos to explain these schisms away as taking the trappings of various and sundry belief systems and putting them to my own use. I guess it worries me that the difference between being punk and being self-delusional is so fine. And it worries me that I do not think of myself as a materialist, yet I’d be hard pressed to prove that I’m not.

H’mmm. Maybe that’s the point.


4 Responses

  1. you have punk ethos? hmmm…. how does one define that?

  2. Ah, one doesn’t define it, which I believe is the point. :)(I’m circumspect about anything neatly packaged or processed.)

  3. Thanks!!!

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