Saturday, February 04, 2006
"Believe. Simply believe," says Chip, trying hard to convert those he believes to be heathen to the Southern Baptist doctrine.
As a transitive verb, it means "to accept as true and real." As an intransitive verb, it is defined "to have firm faith, especially religious faith."
Other modern uses of the word:
It was proclaimed in the trailer for the first Superman movie, "You will believe a man can fly!" He really couldn't, of course. He was simply an actor, not the savior of mankind. R.I.P., Christopher Reeve.
The audience was asked to clap if they believed in Peter Pan.
"I Believe" was the title of 15 different songs over the years that made the Top 40... but you probably can't remember a single one today.
In 1979 Steve Martin performed a hysterical monologue on Saturday Night Live, titled "I Believe."
When I became a Freemason, I was asked the following: "Do you believe in the existence of a Supreme Being, in some revelation of His will, and in the immortality of the soul?" I said "yes, I believe."
My point is this. Belief is relative. It is by nature a subjective experience, a subjective event. The reality of the thing or concept "believed in" is not the same as the belief itself. To believe something does not make it so — except to oneself.
The map is not the terrain. The menu is not the meal.
Those who believe in a literal Heaven, with streets paved of gold, will probably find it when they die. Those believing in a literal burning Hell, will probably find it, too. (Hmm... since those two beliefs usually tend to exist in the same person, wonder what they will find?)
What will those who don't believe in either find when they die? It depends on what they believe they'll find...
As none of the beliefs are literally true, eventually no matter what we find, those veils will be lifted, those illusions will fade, and we'll be face to face with the Ultimate Reality, whatever that is.
Heaven | Christopher Reeve | Steve Martin