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Religion quiz

Hmmm, taking a new quiz has me thinking.

You are Agonistic

You're not sure if God exists, and you don't care.
For you, there's no true way to figure out the divine.
You rather focus on what you can control - your own life.
And you tend to resent when others "sell" religion to you.


The High Holidays are upon us and I basically hate them. The purpose is pure--look at ourselves and what we have done during the year and try to gain forgiveness from folks for the things we could change (such as deceit, rudeness, passiveness, and so forth) and from G-d for the things of the spirit (such as any promises or vows we have made that we couldn't fulfill). I do so much navel gazing during the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and get very very depressed over the things in my life that I cannot change, such as hubby's unemployment and depression and daughter's struggles with life and school. I also get depressed over things in my own life that I wish I could do better, such as not try so hard and be able to deal with people who are different than myself without getting angry or frustrated. I need to deal with adversity without taking it personally.

My other problem fits that quiz--I feel good about being Jewish but I have no clue about G-d. So prayer is very hard for me. Luckily, Judaism doesn't require a devout negation of yourself but simply live a life where you do right by your fellow man. The rituals are a beautiful way of encircling our lives with the divine. So, I pretend to pray and hope I don't get found out as a hypocrite or a fake, but then my entire life feels like that.

Comments

Ah, see Catholics and Jews have many similarities when it comes to the purpose of the teachings--at least on earth. Yes, I struggle because I too believe in the purpose of religion towards mankind--I think it is my most devout belief.

Thanks for sharing. Not clueless comments at all, but extremely powerful.
You will not be surprised when I tell you that I, too, scored as Agnostic. *g*

I think that "do right by your fellow man" is a pretty good guiding principle.

Do you watch "Lost"? This week's ep got me to thinking thoughts about faith and belief and free will and predetermination. The ep came down to (IMO): pushing the button (analog for saying the prayer, making the pilgrimage, sacrificing the chicken, whatever) even when one suspects that nothing bad will happen if one *doesn't* push the button is an act of asserting control over one's life and one's world. Maybe nothing bad will happen either way, but if one has pushed the button, one can cling to a belief that one's life matters and that one has, in fact, influenced what might have happened otherwise.

Which kinda round-aboutly is a way of saying that prayer even when one isn't sure one believes, isn't a bad thing. It represents one's desire to be an agent of good - and I think that that one gets karmic credit for making the effort.

Huh - that kinda sorta sounds like something I mean to say about the ep anyway, so 'scuse me - I'm gonna go cross-post it. Thanks for being my muse. :)
Bexxa, as usual you are very wise. I like how you couched prayer. It is interesting that the word "Prayer" is a mistranslation of the Hebrew which is really Praise. We don't pray for things but rather thank G-d either before or after for doing something that was going to happen anyway. That is my confusion. Free will but thanking because we have the ability to turn away from good. Prayer reminds us to be good. I'm just not sure of the G-d part.

You make sense though. I have to think on this more.
Huh. I hadn't known that bit about prayer/praise, but now that you mention it, I can see the connection.

I like the way you framed prayer as a reminder to be good.

'Cause I'm still agnostic - maybe there's a god, maybe there isn't, but either way, I have choices as to how I want to live my life and the person I want to be, and yes, prayers are reminders to myself about the choices I want to make.

Which makes it sound all me-me-me... But then I'm reminded that part of the Quaker belief is that there is "God in every man." So one way to look at it is that the choices I want to make is me manifesting God/god. (I get all conflicted about the capitalization.)

Which still sounds all me-me-me, but maybe not so bad.
See, it is not me, me, me because the goal is to build a better community--justice, charity, and learning so being "good" is a way of working toward the goal of everyone working together to build a just community. If you weren't aware of your own behavior, then there would be no just community because you would be running around being sociopathic. Which you are not... except about fandom (nope,not even there).

The me part comes in because we are self-aware and the prayer part comes in because we have a one-to-one relationship with G-d. It is personal and here on earth. At least that is the Jewish take on things. I like that part of the relationship, but I don't understand the bigger picture (or believe in some sort of presence as a person I can talk to). See how confused I am? I can be self aware beause I know how I am supposed to act. But the words given to me by the rabbis doesn't resonate. So I make my own up.

Thanks, you have me thinking really hard.