Saturday, March 14, 2009

Not Ruling It Out


Last night MathMan and I watched Real Time with Bill Mahr (who irritated me to no end when he advocated for the busting of teachers' unions, but that's for another time). Sarah Silverman was a guest on Real Time. Silverman, a popular Jewish comedienne, joked that it doesn't matter that she doesn't believe in god, she's still culturally Jewish. As she explained her statement she used the phrase "I wouldn't rule it out, though." She meant she wouldn't rule out the possibility of god's existence.

Well, I guess that pretty much explains my position on god. I won't tell you how I feel about religion - a completely separate issue - but I remember even in my earlier non-believer days being awed by the fact that people believed enough in something to erect those massive temples and cathedrals in which to worship and honor their god(s).

Well, now I need those of you who believe to do me a favor. I do not pray. Oh, sure, I can keep a good thought and I'm aces at worry and concern. But I don't have anyone or anything on whom I can call to ask for help when I or someone I care about needs it. I know. I know. Why can't I believe? What's wrong with me that I can't have faith? I have no answers for those questions, but I can tell you that in most situations, I don't feel a void. I just accept what is and carry on.

In this case, though, I'm part of a community and I feel it's my duty to honor the community spirit by participating in a moment of silence/prayer at noon today.

You see, a friend and her husband and the man who was driving their taxi on the way to the airport in Mayapur, India were injured in a car crash. Braja, who some of you might recognize as a commenter here, and her husband are in the hospital being treated for serious injuries. As word got out among the blogging community, lisa has made the wonderful suggestion that we all pull together for a moment at noon today (March 14) to pray for Braja and her husband and driver.

That's where you come in, my friends who pray. I need you and your power of prayer that I won't concede to, but I won't dismiss either. Please. And I'll be pausing to think my good thoughts and participate in what I hope is a moment of unexplainable magic that will send the healing strength of many far flung wishes and prayers from around the globe to that hospital in India where Braja recovers.

Thanks, gang, for indulging my request.

38 comments:

  1. Lisa, I am very sorry about your friends. Of course I will pray for them. While my view of god is similar to yours and Sarah Silverman (except for the Jewish part), I do believe that pray sometimes seems to help. I hope they get good medical care and recover fully soon.

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  2. If a non believer's prayers can be heard I will send a prayer.

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  3. Oh no...tears...and prayers.....

    (I have heard from folks who have believed that prayers for them have worked.......)

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  4. Hey Lisa,

    Thanks for posting the link.

    Lisa

    p.s. we're gonna need new names or code names. There's too many of us out there.

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  5. I am praying for them. Any loving thought strengthens prayer, so I hope non-believers send good thoughts, too. Specifically I'm praying for the blood in their bodies to flow in its proper courses without congestion or diversion (no internal clots or bleeding, stated positively), for freedom from infection, reduction of swelling, whole and proper functioning of organs, clear and unlabored respiration, rapid healing of bruises, proper alignment of bones, restoration of crushed pelvis and groin, and full functionality of limbs and all body parts when they awake. If you really like medicine, a prayer/thought that it be effective and useful in healing them might help.

    Thank you for sharing this opportunity to pray, Lisa.

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  6. Done.

    BTW, I went through a brief, somewhat intense period of non-belief. In college, of course. It caused me no end of worry - I thought I should still believe in something, but just felt there was nothing there. What helped me? A line from Stephen King's The Stand, believe it or not. Mother Abigail tells Nick Andros, who has confessed his own non-belief, "That's alright. He believes in you." It was a long road from there, in the winter of 1984-1985 to seminary six years later, and a nearly-16 year marriage to a United Methodist minister, but that little sentence jarred something in me - my belief had absolutely nothing to do with God's existence or presence in my life.

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  7. Like you, I'm a "I won't rule it out" nonbeliever. So I'm sending up my prayers and positive thoughts and hope they will have a full recovery.

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  8. well it is after noon now but I'm pretty sure a late prayer/stray good thought positive energy can't hurt

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  9. I didn't log on in time to participate, but I'll certainly send my prayers out to the cosmos.

    Something is "out there", I believe, but I'm not convinced it is a single entity, or even multiples. More like collective consciousness - but, in typical CYA fashion, I'm not ruling anything out, either.

    I will add them to the list of folks whose cases I plead before the Whatever.

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  10. Sorry to hear about this. Good thoughts.

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  11. Sending healing though vibes and thoughts can work just as well as praying to a non exitent God.

    So that is what I did. I hate when bad things happen to good people. I wish your friends recuperation and strength.

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  12. I also missed the time-line; however it must be noon somewhere, so I'll add my prayers and positive mindwaves to the mix.

    Keep us posted.

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  13. I am way too late.....but am sending positive thoughts. I have no religion and never have had....but positive thinking.....I hope can help.
    My very best wishes and thoughts to them and to you.

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  14. I've added whatever good thoughts I can bring to bear. Thanks for posting this.

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  15. Oh dear god,
    Think is that I don't pray. I my relationship with Da Man is lapsed after deep cynicism seeded by Catholic upbringing.
    I wouldn't rule it out, either, but would be a hypocrite to "pray" Da Man would know.

    But I can send good genuine vibes and will do so on Monday. I'll be in a beautiful place then, up in snow covered hill with a spectacular panorama.
    I will send good thoughts to Braja and her husband and the man driving the taxi.

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  16. Me too. It's after noon but I will send all the positive thoughts I have in their direction.

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  17. lisa, I read about braja yesterday and have been sending healing energies to them ... there was something I wanted to share with you. I did not know about this "call to prayer" today but at noon my time, I was outside watching as one huge vulture sat with it's wings stretched to the sun...then it was joined by two more, who did the same...I tried to take a picture of them but only caught one and since they can see so well, everytime one saw me,, the wings went down....so I gave up and watched....to a Native American, seeing a vulture with outstretched wings is a blessings upon the people...I also believe it's true and later, when I read this, I realized this was going on at the time some might be sending thoughts and prayers to braja and her husband and driver. I thought it was amazing, the timing of it, and had to share it with you...I considered an email but why not just do it here? ;)
    xoxox

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  18. Reading late, but adding my prayers.

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  19. Done.

    I think I'll do the same thing on my blog. Great idea.

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  20. I don't pray, either, and at these moments I always feel that lack. I tend to say that I will send healing thoughts . . . and certainly Braja has never been far out of my mind since I heard about the accident on Friday.

    What cheers me is to see the evidence of all of this positive energy for Braja coming from all over the world. She has a wide and diverse community of friends, for sure.

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  21. I just saw this, so I missed the noon prayer, but I'll pray now.

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  22. I haven't been online much today, so I am just now seeing your request, but I will pray for Braja and her husband.

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  23. Well, it's not noon now, but.......

    OK, I've had a word with the man upstairs. :) May Braja and her husband recover quickly.

    As you can tell, I do believe in God, and can feel his/her presence. But I can see why many people doubt it...and the atheists/agnostics that I do know are some of the nicest people you can ever meet. :)

    So those who believe that you have to believe in God to be a good person and to go to heaven can kiss my ass. :)

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  24. Lisa: There's an old Hindu saying: "Prayer is perfect when those who pray know not that they are praying."

    I remember seeing Leonard Cohen being interviewed on tv decades ago. The woman doing the interview was a former traffic reporter who reported from a helicopter for radio. She asked Cohen if he prayed and Leonard said that he did. "That's just talking to yourself, isn't it?" asked the helicopter gal. "No," replied Leonard, "that's a myth."

    my best to your friends...

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  25. Lisa - I've prayed for Braja too, and I don't have any concrete beliefs. I'm like you - can't find it. I don't think believers realise that you don't CHOOSE not to believe. You either do or you don't. It's not a choice

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  26. Late with my prayers, but here nonetheless.

    I love your outlook about faith. It is both filled with honesty and integrity and free of anger. All of which are the trinity - so to speak - of issues for those of faith and not of faith.

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  27. Late with my prayers, but here nonetheless.

    I love your outlook about faith. It is both filled with honesty and integrity and free of anger. All of which are the trinity - so to speak - of issues for those of faith and not of faith.

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  28. Bob singing "Hallelujah" came up on my music player as I was reading this post. I took the rest of the song to do my version of the thoughts/prayers thing.

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  29. I hope they are OK. I'll send belated positive thoughts.

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  30. You ask, "What's wrong with me that I can't have faith?" Lisa, it's not "what's WRONG" with you, it's what's RIGHT with you! In my opinion, people who believe in god, or gods, are not rational. They want to believe that they will live forever and be with their departed loved ones forever, if they pay homage to some all-knowing, all-powerful entity floating around in the sky somewhere. I can understand the desire to believe, but I cannot understand the ability to believe. I discarded all such thoughts when I was about 12 or 13 years old, about six years after I gave up on Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

    Nevertheless, I do sincerely hope your friends enjoy a full recovery.

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  31. I pray alot but have no belief in organized religion.

    Your friends will be in my daily prayers Lisa.

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  32. The thing is, the Higher Power or Universe or God doesn't really care if we believe or not.
    We send energy into the ethers and we receive back not always what we ask for, but what is needed.
    Praying is just about sending energy, it's not about being religious or pious, it's about aligning oneself with the Universal energies that abound.
    Praying for a good outcome is just reaching out to the Universe with one's intentions.
    Anyway, I too sent prayers for your friends' recovery and well-being.
    Please keep us updated on their condition, okay? It matters.

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  33. I will think good thoughts for your friends. I am a non-believer, but I respect those with a belief in some type of God. (esp. those naturalistic Earth-loving and humanistic-read: Native Am. Buddhist,etc) religions. I have a big big problem with "Born Againers."
    I do think that if a person believes in a God and prays because they feel so strongly that way, this might help them feel at ease or help them to heal with the positive energy.

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