I am a very curious person by nature, and because of this, I tried practicing at some point, or at least tried understanding, the philosophy behind every religion on the face of earth, except for the extreme views. However, each time I tired, I got bored of following strict rules and routines without understanding the purpose behind them. Could it be that I suffer from ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder, and yes, this disorder does not make you stupid. It makes you curious and distracted by anything that moves; was this the reason why my attention shifted from one philosophy to another or was it due to the fact that when things do not make sense for me, when there is no reasonable explanation, I consider them bullshit and move on? I could not answer this question for a while, and it was important for me to answer it before I made my next move. If it was my short spam of attention to blame, then I had to learn to stick with one religion, to follow one plan, or finish one project before dropping everything and moving onto another case. In other words, if it was my ADD the problem for this switch on my interest, then I should blame myself, and therefore, I should work on fixing that problem. However, if the answer was that when things do not make sense one should not stick around the nonsense, then I was doing the right thing by moving on. At this point, I think that the reason why I never stuck around for too long in any religion, even though sometimes they seemed sophisticated and well-convincing for masses, it’s because I realized that nonsense does not fascinate me at all. Deep thinking and reasoning fascinates me and my children too.
I love it how my son Jon asks me challenging questions. I encouraged his deep thinking since when I realized that he was capable, at an early age, to reason that deeply on philosophical matters and grasp those concepts very fast. I never told him, you are too young to think about it, or you are too young to understand that. Instead, I tried to explain and answer all his questions as well as I could, considering his level of knowledge and his age of course. For a while I had great hopes for him based on what I saw in him, his ability to find the right words, to ask the right questions at the right time, or the ability to explain what he felt and what he thought this or that concept meant. Jon was only five weeks old and he was lying on the couch and I noticed him giggling; making faces and sounds as if he was speaking to the patterns of the flowers he was seeing on the couch’s cover. I was amazed by this. I told everyone that my son will become a politician when he grows up because he never stops talking and with his cute face and smile he could convince anyone to vote for him. But that was when he was five months old. When he turned one year old, he started to hate eating his food, and my mom who took care of him during the day decided to give him all the remotes or cellphones or anything that worked on batteries and electronics so that he would be distracted and so my mom would feed him one spoon at a time. I didn’t like this, because I thought she was spoiling him too much, but she said that electronics were the only thing that fascinated and distracted him. Our hopes were that he would become and IT or electrical engineer when he grew up were big. Finally, my dad’s wish to have someone in the family following his tracks would be fulfilled. But by the age of two we all changed our minds and agreed that Jon would become a comedian because he was indeed very funny and he didn’t mind entertaining us nonstop and he didn’t mind criticism either. One day, after eating chocolate, Jon found it funny to wipe the melted chocolate not only on his face but on his hair, clothes and even on the car’s window. Thank goodness he was restricted to his car seat. To discourage him from thinking that this was fun I told him that he in fact looked ugly covered like that in chocolate. He smiled at me in the most cutest way, as we were exchanging looks through the rear mirror, and said, “I am not ugly, I am cute.” He could not have been more right.
By the age of three we all thought that Jon will become a philanthropist when he grows up because when he did not eat his food and we threatened him that either Rosie, our cat, or a child down the street will eat his food, he did not mind at all. He gladly decided to share the food with them the next time he saw them. Uncles and aunts often make jokes and when a child is eating something good like cake or candy, or chocolate they pretend they will take that away from them. They did this with Jon too, and to our surprise, Jon let them take it, without even minding it. In fact he insisted that they should take the food, believing that these uncles and aunts really wanted to eat his chocolate. We were amazed. By the age of five Jon was the most friendliest kid, the most polite one, and the most interesting one. Since he was three he developed this habit of hugging and kissing every little girl he found on the street, restaurants, or at daycare. At the church I used to go, one day, this teenage girl was praying with her head down and Jon would stare at her in fascination. (I believe Jon decided to raise his standards at this point). He was quietly waiting for her to notice him, but got tired of waiting and finally decided to go under her arms as she was kneeling in praying and gave her a quick kiss. No one could pray anymore as they all burst into laughs. That was the last time I took Jon to that church.
By the time Jon turned five he got his wish to have a little sister. He had been asking for a little sister since he was three but I had divorced his dad at that time and was not looking forward to remarry again. So, my oldest daughter and I put a wig of blond fake hair on Jon and told him to look in the mirror, there was his little sister. But Jon was serious, damn serious about wanting a little sister. When Jon turned four I remarried and as I was expecting a new baby, Jon was sure that this was his little sister he was waiting for. Worried about his obsession, I asked him what we would do with the baby if baby were a brother instead. He answered, “Return him. I want my sister.” Luckily, we did not have to return the baby to “the factory,” because Jon got what he wished for. He got his little sister as a Christmas’s gift that year. You would think children that age would be jealous of younger siblings who take all the attention away from them, but not with Jon. Jon was never a jealous type.
By the of six I started to see the deep little thinker in Jon when one morning I yelled at him because he was moving too much and because of this I was having a hard time putting his snow pants on. I worried that we would be late for the school bus that was supposed to pick him up with the other kids at a certain stop in the neighborhood. When I yelled at him, he stopped moving and was quietly thinking. Two or three minutes later he asked me a question that let me thinking all day, “Does God yell mommy?” At first I answered, “I don’t know,” because I was angry at him for making me late, but then I thought, I should teach him something about God. I was indeed glad that Jon showed some interest on this matter because we as a family used to go to church on Sundays at that time, and Jon did not seem to grasp the idea of God yet. He was able to somehow understand the stories of Jesus, but not God. Although even with Jesus’ story, the way Jon tried to comprehend Jesus’ death was very funny. Jon came to us one day and said, “Mom, I think I know why Jesus died. Was Jesus the crossing guard, who died on the cross road for us, to save us from being hit by the cars? Is that right mommy?” And as Jon challenged us every day with questions about God, and how could God have blessed his vegetables when they still tasted that bad, therefore, that morning I was glad that he asked me a nicer question about God. I answered to his question by saying, “God does not yell, because God is love. He loves everyone.” Then Jon hit me with another deep and sharp question, “Then why do you yell at me mommy?” I understood what he was trying to say, “Don’t you love me mom?” I was caught speechless, but an adult is an adult. We will always have the last word, so I said, “Because I am not God.” When I thought back about this conversation that day, I realized that I was right, I am not God. Being limited of knowledge and full of fear and anticipation for the future we make mistakes, we allow our emotions to drive us sometimes. Sometimes this is good and sometimes this is bad.
Now Jon is twelve and lately I had big conversation about death and life with him. Being scared of death, Jon developed this defense mechanism of believing that the purpose of being born as humans, is to find a way to become immortal. He believes that one day we will do something about that. In contrary to him, I do not see any good or bad in becoming immortal. In fact, I believe that if someone would live that long or forever, he would need a psychotherapist by his ass all the time. There are so many things happening in life and so many matters that one might wish to forget about and would not want to deal with them anymore. Hence death may seem sweeter than living. But, Jon is too young to understand that. I tried to explain it to him one day that living forever is like staying awake 24 hours a day without a rest. At some point you will feel weary and would want to take a rest and sleep. But I realized that that was a wrong example because at this age Jon is thrilled by the idea of staying awake all night. I am not, I need my sleep. So, we agreed that he must follow his passion in life and finding if there is a cure to mortality, but he must do that not because he is afraid of death but because he feels excited and curious about his dream. As we settled our differences on the death matters, where I love to be reborn and not looking forward to becoming immortal, and him looking forward to find a way to bring humans closer to immortality, then Jon moved on another matter. He asked me the other day to define life. I said, “Life is living.” He was not happy with this definition, he challenged me not to use the word life or living in the same sentence twice, because they stand for one another. As Jon said it, one indicates the process and one indicates the action during that process. I agreed, so I answered differently, “Life is the awareness that you exist, the perception of where you are during this experience and trying to understanding the reality around you. Next, based on this understanding you make decisions to test how limited or unlimited you are during this existence.” He liked this definition. Then he asked, “Is there any purpose in this existence then?” I answered, “I used to think there was a purpose, but…” Jon was surprised, “But not anymore? You don’t think there is a purpose in our existence?” This always terrifies him, because he wants to believe that we all have a purpose and have a destiny to fulfill, because this makes him feel secured and it assures him that he will be led and protected in order to complete that purpose. Then in the end, when he completes his duty, he will be safe. This is a good strategy, to keep you moving forward in life and inspire you to be optimistic and hope for a good ending, but life has taught me many bitter but valuable lessons so far. So I told Jon, “I cannot say that everyone has a purpose, not anymore. Some people may have purposes and some others may not. It was a time when I thought that I had a purpose too and I put my whole self in and I was very passionate about following that purpose because I believed it would bring some good knowledge and good tools for other people too, that would teach them to experience life as joyful. In this process Jon, I got hurt very badly. I almost lost my everything I had built in this life by that point, including my house, my career and even the rights to raise you and your sisters. I was at the edge of the cliff in 2011. I hope you remember our trip to Jordan where we just had fun for two months and totally relaxed. I did that because I wanted to make a decision to either follow my purpose forcefully, no matter what, believing in my good intentions, or to relax and let go and live life one day at a time. And it was then when I decided to step back of that cliff and start enjoying life one day at a time. It was then, when I realized that looking too much into the future and purpose of life will deny you the pleasant moments of living your human life now in the present. So from that day on, my dear Jon, I decided to have goals and dreams and even make plans for the future, but not to be too passionate about them to the point that they become my focus or that may blind me and lose my focus. My focus is now on the present time. My focus is to enjoy every minute of living, but always being careful not to hurt anyone. I do not want to wake up one morning and feel regrets, that because of my pride or my emotions or my plans and dream for my future, I mistakenly ruined the present and the future of others. So, now I am living in the moment and I am letting myself carried away by the flow of energy, instead of resisting it. Yet, I never become passive as to sleep and close my eyes and let the good opportunities pass me by.” Jon was fascinated by this answer, but I was fascinated by his answer when he next said, “Wow mom! There, maybe you just found your purpose. Maybe living life moment by moment and enjoying it is your purpose.” I think he was right. Maybe that is my purpose.
I realized that each theory or religion can pull you into nonsense but it does not start like that at first. At first they all start by making sense, and then as you agree with their findings, the ones at the surface of their philosophy, they pull you down the rabbit hole by selling you more and more rubbish. It is in human nature to protect our first choices that we make, because we do not want to prove ourselves wrong in the first place. As so, we continue to convey to rules and rituals that make no sense, have no purpose other than to make everything seem mystical so you would not ask any further deeper questions. If you do, you will break the sand tower they were building around you. So each religion keeps you fascinated by their findings and concepts that you cannot possibly understand, or unfortunately, they themselves do not understand. For example I am now reading the book “The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga” by Dr. Jung, and as he explains it even those who practice it do not know how to explain what that is, they just took things literally, without ever questioning any of that. Based on what Dr. Jung explains in his book, in Eastern Philosophy they believe for example that when we start moving up from the Muladhara chakra (known as the base chakra in the Western culture) to the crown chakra, this process in the Western culture of practicing yoga is interpreted as moving from the unconsciousness at the base chakra to the consciousness at the crown chakra. However, for Eastern Philosophy the base chakra is where gods sleep and that’s where the consciousness is, not the unconsciousness. But, when asked to explain how so, they could not explain it. Not that they did not want too, not that this was a sacred secret, but it was a secret that no one spoke off because they had no way of explaining it, Jung explains. So, Jung and other psychologists of the same era decided to westernize the Eastern Philosophy by using psychology to interpret and make sense of it. I am reading this book and I am indeed fascinated by the facts and findings and the way Jung analyses it, but I must add that I believe that Eastern Philosophy is quite right about the fact that consciousness is at our roots and unconsciousness is in our head. The deception that consciousness is in our head derives from the fact that we think in our head and we perceive our reality using our brain, just like a computer uses its information from and in the temporary memory. Anyhow, I will not stop here to explain Kundalini Yoga, even though I think I have a lot to say based on my theory of antimatter and based on my own personal experience. My point I want to make in this post is to explain that each religious philosophy can pull you down in the rabbit hole if you act or accept their concepts without understanding them. My advice? Stick in the middle, don’t go anywhere; do not follow any one or any religion or philosophy if you do not understand their concepts, no matter how promising they may sound. After so much I went through in life and after being almost sucked in by each of these philosophies, I decided to prevent any of them from leading my anywhere where love is absent, and stick in the middle of all the turmoil by enjoying being a human day by day.
Anyhow, as I said at the beginning of this post, like every mother and father, I had big dreams for my son. I was hoping to see all A’s in his report cards, I was hoping he would be brave and participate in all kinds of sports, and I was hoping for this or that, but nothing of what I hoped happened. Jon turned out to be just a normal kid after all, curious but anxious. Jon is facing the everyday problems like everyone else is. He is facing his anxiety about bullying at school, about injustice (sometimes justice or injustice defined by his own terms, as we all do), anxiety about his academic achievements, worrying too much sometimes about illnesses, germs, deadly viruses and death. He loves Pokemon, he plays his Nintendo games, but hates reading. Jon feels like he is the smartest kid in his class, but refuses to learn more so that he becomes more knowledgeable. He likes to interpret things based on his own concepts and ideas about what world is and what world should be, and as a mother I am worried that my teenage son is flying too high due to his hormones levels. Nevertheless, I learned to let all my hopes for him drop at some point, and teach him how to deal with his anxiety. Pills did nothing for him. Only our ongoing conversations are helping him to face life and death one day at a time. We are after all just a normal family. We make mistakes, and we fix them. We yell at each other or at the dog sometimes, but we also joke around and have fun too; we feel frustrated but we also feel loved. We are learning to live under the same roof and accept one another while at the same time we adjust to the needs and requests of one another. We are a normal family, because I believe that despite that wound in my heart when I realized how my true and only love was stripped away from me, a wound which is still bleeding but I’m hiding it pretty well from my children, despite all that I am teaching them to be sorry for their mistakes, and to accept their mistakes, instead of making excuses. I am teaching them to be humble and I am teaching them to take life one day at a time. I am teaching them what it means to be human and act humanly. And this is my religion.