I've always been uncertain and confused when it comes to faith and religion. So much so that I think uncertainty and skeptisism are my religious beliefs sometimes. There has always been a real disconnect for me between what many popular religions preach, and what they actually practice. There's so much talk of faith, discipline, scriptures, laws, and God's will, and yet there has never been a day in human history without a war raging somewhere on this planet. Humans continue to screw each other over, sometimes for the most petty of things, and for what? Where is God in all this?
Thinking about this for several years has unfortunately left me with a bit of a negative view of most organized religions. Except for Buddhism. When I was younger I took an interest in Buddhism, and for me, it seemed to make the most sense out of any of the religious doctrines I had learned about. I have an enormous amount of respect and admiration for the Dalai Lama, probably more then any other human I know of. He actually did practice what he preached. But even though I had developed a strong interest in Buddhism, I would not call myself a Buddhist. I know myself too well, and I'm too lazy to be disciplined enough to become a Buddhist. I also developed an interest in paganism and wicca because of the respect they give to the earth and nature. But again, I'm too undisciplined to dedicate myself to either one.
Dispite all my confusion, the idea of God has always been in the back of my mind. Not a Christian, Jewish, or Muslim God. Not a God according to any religion. Not a male or female God. But just a God, a higher power, a natural force that exists in the universe that works in ways that we are not meant to understand. God can not be defined, only experienced. And that experience is different for every human being. Some people get it, and some people never experience God at all.
When I look into the face of my son, I see God. When I stand amongst the paeceful towering Redwoods, I see God. When I create something with my own two hands, I experience God. And when I danced with 20 thousand other people while the Grateful Dead played, I experienced God. I have never felt such a feeling of complete peace and joy with so many people as when I was at a Dead show. It wasn't just a concert, it was a spiritual event. For me, it was like going to church.
And if it wasn't for the Grateful Dead, I never would have meet all the people that are my good friends, or meet my wonderful wife, or had a beautiful son. God truly does work in mysterious ways. I still haven't made up my mind about religion, but I know there is a higher power that exists.
and no mater what the walk or choice is i ask...imagine if everyone practice's their religion/philkosopy kore than one hour a week, imagine'
Although I am a cheerful agnostic, I thought you all might find this article interesting:
"Pastor finds message in Grateful Dead music"
Yo Soy Boricua!
The Dude Abides!
...of the puzzle!
The Dude Abides!
We Deadheads shouldn't forget that the very concept of "the Grateful Dead" derives from a Medieval Christian fable. But we can also follow many paths in our seeking. As someone once put it, "there's a seeker born every minute".
I converted after our daughter was born - my wife and I decided it was important for our daughter to be raised in one faith and tradition. A Catholic priest was very important to our daughter's recovery when she was in the hospital (she was born prematurely), and it seemed very natural for me to convert.
We attend Mass most Sundays, are sending our daughter to Catholic school in the fall, and I see no incompatibility at all with our faith and our quest for musical adventure. Catholicism works for us - not for everybody, of course - and we don't impose it on anyone. I'm far pushier in my zeal to turn people on to the music I love!
My wife and I are also trained reiki practitioners as well as yoga, meditation, and guided imagery enthusiasts. It all works for us. The way I look at it is, you gotta keep an open mind, because you really don't know what happens when you die until ... you die. Meanwhile, you gotta live, and live for the greater good of all.
"Folk rock for groovin families!"
Abob like you I thought I was probably the only Christian/Deadhead, it's great to see other posts on this forum.
Greg I can totally relate to your thoughts on Theology.
Actually, I am a solid Catholic, who really gets into the transcendent mysteries of the Christian faith. I find myself getting lost sometimes in the far reaches of God Almighty. Theology can be pretty deep and wild at times. I think ever since I heard the first live radio broadcast of the GD on WNEW, I fell in love with it for similar reasons. I guess I am drawn to ocean deep mystical things. The GD music in a sense opens up for me the depths of my mind, and sort of plays and interacts with my faith, playing notes common to both.
How can a Dead-head not appreciate many of Jerry's solo shows which at times expressed Jerry's love for filling up that empty spot he had for the King.
As a Christian / head, I thought I was about the only one. I grew up in a Christian household as a son of a pastor. I was never completely happy with the organizational side of things. As many heads, I went through my wild years (with no regrets), and came out of them, but the one thing that remained was the love for the music and the community. One thing I love is that God gave man the ability to create (or channel as Phil might say) such beautiful music.