Apologies for not posting sooner…
So when I was younger, around 5 or 6 or whatever age it is that one usually learns how to tie one’s shoe, I not too surprisingly often had trouble getting my shoe laces to do what I wanted them to do. It was only during this time of concerted effort at such a young age that I ever believed in a god. Given the circumstances, I understood god to be the “being” held solely responsible for all that happens to us on Earth; I believe that was all that qualified such a being for me at the time. I can’t remember exactly what all qualities I ascribed to that god… but I do remember the specific event around which this post is centered.
I was attempting to tie my shoe. I was having a difficult time. I had heard from multiple sources (enough for me to consider it as a valid possibility) that “god” controlled all things in the world. So, running out of my childish patience, I resorted to the last viable option: I prayed… or at least I called it praying. It was more like ranting. I addressed some nameless, imageless, presenceless being that I deduced might be in the general direction of the ceiling. I think I actually screamed out loud, and may have even shaken my finger at it. I remember being quite upset… possibly crying (I can get intense when I’m frustrated). I said something to the effect of, “Goddamnit, you fucking asshole, why the fuck won’t you let me tie my goddamned shoe?! What the fuck did I ever do to you? If you have all the control in this god for- fucking -saken world, what good does it do for you to keep me from tying my shoe?!”
I don’t know if I knew how to use profanity in such an elaborate way at that point, but that’s the way I remember it right now. As soon as I got all the rage out of my system, calmed down, and focused on my shoe lace, I was able to get it within a minute or so. After that, I regained my confidence and happiness, and left any notion of god or universal control over the universe in the past. Essentially, I went back to being the atheist I usually was.
I find this episode interesting, and it actually reminds me of a quote from a song by the band Voltaire called “God Thinks”. The quote goes, “I hate people who blame the Devil for their own shortcomings, and I hate people who thank God when things go right.” I think this quote communicates a curious message about how and why most people actually incorporate a god into their life. Do they devote evening to prayer or worship into their daily lives, or attend church regularly the way most Biblical interpretations claim they should, or do they resort to prayer or gratitude to a god only when immense good or tragedy occurs in their life? The only difference with me was that the immense happiness I experienced for myself was not met with gratitude aimed at a god, but was rather met with blissful oblivion, and the corresponding unconscious desire to not meta-analyze my enjoyment but rather revel in its pleasure for all that it was worth.
I’m slightly inebriated at the moment, so if parts of this posting seem reminiscent of continental (as opposed to analytic) philosophical contemplations, that is why. I hope it does the world some good.