In order to understand why one believes, one first must understand what one believes, and I don’t know that I believe anything in the spiritual/religious sense. I believe that there are parts of nearly every religion that are deserving of respect and study, but I don’t believe any religion is wholly right. I’m pretty sure that there is no creator figure pulling all the world’s puppet strings and talking to a chosen few in conspiratorial whispers, but when it comes to whether there is or isn’t a creator and what form they will take, I don’t have an answer and therefore can’t say what I believe. The best I can offer is that there is an answer one way or another and the ultimate truth won’t be discovered in my lifetime and I’m okay with that.
I think I believe this way because I trained myself to think this way. I grew up around all kinds of “crazies” – Christian fundamentalists, Wiccans that took crystals waaay too seriously, ghost-hunters, social scene dogmatists, eco- and animal rights terrorists, etc. Whether I was watching people in pews speaking in tongues deep in the woods of Kentucky (it’s eye-opening, to say the least) or being used as a “magical battery” by a coven that was “spiritually cleansing” a shop, I realized that whatever they were experiencing was completely different than what I was experiencing. Although I could not know why that person was having that experience, I could see that they were having some experience and would continue having it, whether I could validate it through my own experiences or not.
So I can’t say I believe anything except that the majority of beliefs I’ve encountered are perfectly valid and as long as they aren’t harming someone else, I’m okay with whatever. I believe in what I’ve personally evidenced, and in the knowledge I’m given by people I put my faith in. Most of my faith lies in men of science and thinkers that have been taken to task and come out stronger for it. I believe that way because I don’t know how else to believe in something. I taught myself that “see it to believe it/without footage, it’s fiction.” I did that because I couldn’t rationally reconcile all the disparate beliefs I was receiving from people that I admired, respected or at least invested time and energy in associating or friendship, especially knowing through evidence, time and again, that people are prone to embellishment and invention under just about any circumstance.
Does that make sense?