Thursday, July 12, 2007


One of the issues I wrestle with on a regular basis is faith and belief in God. I go back and forth in my own mind about His existence. Though I alternately harbor grave doubts about and grandiose detachment from the Almighty; I am also very aware of an almost desperate desire on my part to want God to be real.

Because it seems to me that, only if He is real do the concepts of justice or truth live up to their meaning; and only then does the universe make sense. Only if God is real does the meaning of life take on a dimension that is worthy of the human mind.

The search for God is nothing more and nothing less than a search for and understanding of one's own self. Siggy has this to say in a recent post that struck a chord in me:

Firstly, to be human, by definition, is to be something other than God. That means that we cannot be expected to always understand God or His intent. By design, God may exclude or preclude us from ever ‘getting it.’

When we accept our ‘humaness,’ we are accepting our imperfections. As humans, we are not blessed with perfection. We are blessed with something far greater- free will. And, we are blessed with doubt.

Doubt is indeed a blessing, perhaps the greatest of God’s gifts to His Creation, because every time we overcome that doubt and behave in a way that honors God, we have chosen to honor both Him and us. Only those that have experienced darkness can experience and appreciate light and the ability to see both the beauty and the dangers of our surroundings. In fact, if we do not acknowledge that darkness even exists, we can never see and appreciate the light.

We are supposed to struggle with faith and even tire of the struggle. It is the burden of that struggle that makes us whole and makes us complete. When we experience the doubt, the pain, and the despair of our search for God and meaning, we are not in violation of spirituality- just the opposite, really. When we are dealing with our doubts and pains, we begin to approach the final spirituality of acceptance.

I have had periods of my life when I was fairly religious; other times when I scorned the very idea of God; and I have been at practically every point in between those two extremes at one time or another.

I think Siggy is right. The search for God; the struggle with faith is a search for meaning; a search for understanding one's place in the universe; a way to create order out of chaos and light out of darkness.

The conviction that the author of SC&A has about the struggle for faith and the role of God in a rational person's life is one of the many reasons I admire him. His own conviction and his faith are compelling.

Ultimately, the only purpose served when the very human need to connect with the Infinite is mocked and ridiculed, is the dehumanization of mankind--a process that eliminates the spirit of the divine that exists within us all and which separates us and elevates us compared to all other animals on the earth.

As a psychiatrist I have traveled too deeply into the despair and pain of a human soul. Sometimes the journey has made me fear for my own sanity and that I might lose who I am. But I have always been aware, in the distance, of a light that marks the path back to my own self, and have always managed to find my way back. I cannot decide if that luminous signpost is simply a part of me...or if it is the God I find comfort in believing in.

In the end, perhaps the distinction does not matter.


Long has he traveled and far;
Into shadowed nights with never a dawn;
Through groaning cities, dying in despair;
Searching for a man he has never known.

And who will tell him that his search can have no end?
That he pursues a memory soon to fade?
That frustration and pain are the gifts reserved for those whose dream is life?
Who will tell him?

He has traveled long and far;
Made his way through darkness desperate for light;
Survived cities without tears without sinking into despair;
And always searched.
Because the memory will not fade
And life is his to live....
Because the man that must be found
Is himself.

And anyway, he will not listen.

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