There is a long list in the back of my mind of beliefs, concepts, and ideas which I no longer follow or believe in, but that I once did believe in and even defended before others. The list is pretty long and significant. If you were to glance at this list, which you can’t because it doesn’t physically exist, you would find some concepts which, taking into account the fact I no longer defend them or consider them part of me, may surprise you.
But in the end, it’s just a list. And everyone has such a list, whether we claim we have always remained the same type of person or not. Part of the growing experience is the fact that as we grow and are transformed throughout life, by age, experience, our environment, and the people we share life with, we shed parts of ourselves. We shed these layers of ourselves that, as we evolve as beings, we longer find relevant to the person we become or we are trying to become. Going through this list of mine may be something to consider for a future piece.
However, that is not my intention here. I find it very interesting—at least, that is what I thought the other day—that throughout my whole life, taking into account all the concepts and ideas which I now doubt and the ones I have reconciled with, I have never ever doubt the existence of a spiritual world or dimension beyond our own. I used the word “beyond,” but this spiritual world could very well be part of ours, but simply beyond our sensual understanding. I find it amusing that of all things I have never doubted, the spiritual world and the belief in an afterlife and two key concepts which, throughout my existence, I have never been at odds with. Now, I couldn’t begin to explain why that is the case. It could be that growing up I was always terrified of scary movies—which often deal with spiritual elements–; therefore, I always took into account the possibility of forces out there beyond our grasp. Maybe it’s the fact that in my travels and life experiences, I have always found a way to connect and bond to my fellow human beings, without regards to the circumstances before us, thus, believing in a spiritual bond that goes beyond blood and bone. It is hard to pin this down.
As a Christian, I believe that our world is only part of God’s world and fraction of creation. I believe in forces, beings, dominions, and powers beyond those which our senses can account for. And yet, at times I have been at odds with Christ and the Gospel, but never with my unshakeable belief of a spiritual reality beyond on our own. Does that make me a heretic? I hope not. I think not. But, as I stated above, I find it amusing.
Being Latin American, descendant of Spaniards, Corsicans, Aztecs, and Africans, through my blood and lineage runs a strong tradition of superstition and respect for the spiritual. I no longer just refer to the Biblical concept of the spiritual but even those traditions that we could call tribal and pagan. Is my constant belief in the supernatural simply an extension of my ancestors’ superstitions? Or were they right? Were they right to fear and tremble in the presence of the unknown and misunderstood? Maybe they weren’t superstitions after all.
All I’ve gotten from this introspection are more questions unanswered to ponder beyond today. At times, when I encounter someone who doesn’t believe in the spiritual, in the supernatural, I stand in awe. I am marveled, sometimes in pity, but mostly confused by someone’s doubt of something that has always been so real and so obvious to me. In my heart, I can understand someone disbelieving the Gospel of Christ, but harder to understand someone not believing in a reality and in a world beyond our own.