I'll start this post by saying that I have no idea where this blog is going anymore. The soul-searching that started in August by means of bettering myself after a break-up is really just getting started... so I'm not making any promises about content. Or frequency.
With that out of the way, I want to share a few of the things that I heard today at Chicago Ideas Week. Sessions are $15 each, and the enrichment I've gotten this week is beyond words. Best thing I've been to since living in Chicago.
Anyway, there have been a lot of impactful moments this week thanks to CIW, but the best were at talks this afternoon and tonight. The first talk was about religion. Oddly enough, the part that really stuck with me most was the speech given by a Catholic turned atheist.
As she spoke about the "fairy tale" of religion, this anthropologic explanation we've created to give context to our world... it just made me, well, sad. Mainly because I feel like in the last year I have tapped into a vein of energy, spirituality and happiness that's just pouring out from my world like a spigot. Certainly that's always existed - but now my perception and awareness have opened it up. And it just saddens me to hear people speak adamantly, declaring that doesn't exist. And maybe it is all made up. A figment of my imagination, as I've heard it described by some. But so what if it is? I'm happier and tapped into a whole new plane that I'd never experienced before, and surely there's no harm in that.
This speaker's reasoning for atheism was that it cannot be proven that God exists. Well... isn't that the whole point? Faith wouldn't be faith if you had cold, hard, scientific evidence that God exists. But the people who don't believe want proof. But there's ample proof. I mean, if God doesn't exist, whatever he/she/it is, how else do you explain the healing power of prayer? Or that felt experience of God being in the room with you, as I did when my Zio Adriano died? Or the calm and clarity that wash over you after asking God for those exact things? Forget science. That's all the proof I need.
Then came tonight's talk. I heard Deepak Chopra, Mitch Albom (author of Tuesdays with Morrie) and others speak on the meaning of life. Chopra said that "we are not human beings having a spiritual experience - we are spiritual beings having a human experience." I think that's true and that it transcends all religions.
Later Albom spoke, essentially saying that the key to immortality was giving of yourself. Listening. Sharing with others. Being open. That small stone of kindness you throw into the pond of the world can have huge ripples - don't underestimate. Be kind and giving and you'll live on through others. He gave a wonderful metaphor about living on after death. If you put a penny in a piggy bank, that penny is gone. You can't see it or feel it. But shake that piggy bank, and you can still hear it.
Lots of great things to think about. I'm continually figuring it out, but thought these were points worth sharing.
Goodnight and God bless!