Journey to Belief (part 5)
So far, except in replies to comments, I have only postulated a god or gods that exist and the benevolence of deity as the only state that matters. Up to this point, really, I haven't commented on if such deity resembles the Judeo-Christian god or is a pantheon of gods or something more like what Buddhism and other eastern religions describe.
To go any further, we must now deal the human experience. I have struggled to write this because frankly, I'm limited. I'm very limited. I really only understand part of what has gone on in western traditions. I really only understand what I, myself, have experienced.
But even that is a very tricky mess to tease out.
Most accounts are second or third hand at best.
Accounts suffer from misinterpreting because of cultural context.
Accounts suffer from transmission errors
They suffer from cultural contamination: mental illnesses, for instance, interpreted as heavenly visions that conform to cultural expectations of what those visions should be like.
Accounts may actually be stories misinterpreted as real events. Job, for instance, may very well be a parable rather than a real person.
Accounts may be purposefully deceptive, for whatever reason.
That's so much garbage to go through that some people, understandably enough, just throw their hands in the air, exclaim Occam's Razor and be done with it.
And then we have personal experience. How are we to interpret our own personal experience?
When I was pregnant once, the music from the end credits of a movie I had thought was stupid made me cry. It made me feel that tearful joy that many of my religious contemporaries have classified as the Holy Spirit testifying something, but it had no meaning to convey. There was no clarity in the emotion. It was merely an emotional reaction, probably because I was pregnant. My feelings had betrayed me. They were illogical. Except during that pregnancy and post partum period where hormones ruled, I didn't cry again, for good or ill, for two years. I let nothing touch me.