I didn’t get religion through my life changing experience. But I did gain something akin to it.
I’m not big on organized religions—too many atrocities have been committed in their name. I do practice some Jewish customs and celebrate several Jewish holidays, but that is mostly about my Jewish identity—being a part of the Jewish people is important to me, as is my Jewish heritage and culture.
In my past life, I didn’t understand how anyone with some modicum of intelligence could believe in a God of any sort. I was completely baffled when I met a scientist who had become religious later in life—in my mind, logic and reason contradicted the notion religious beliefs. It didn’t make sense. And no one seemed able to explain it to me in a satisfactory manner, including the scientist. They always reached a point where they ran out of words.
Now, I am convinced that there are many things in the universe that cannot be explained through scientific reasoning, and there is much that cannot be expressed through words. Perhaps my conversion is in part due to my growth as a writer in the wake of the surgeries. In the process of learning the craft of word-smithing, I’ve learnt that words can actually hinder intangible issues. And I am no longer uncomfortable with those aspects of the world that cannot be expressed verbally.
But I know there is more to it than my discovery of value of words and their limitations. Something else has morphed inside me, something intangible that I have no words for.
I balked when a friend referred to my new realization as spirituality. I dislike the word “spiritual.” I feel that many people use the term “spirituality” as an alternate word to religion, often in the context of a pagan-like religion. I prefer the word “faith." (Not in the sense of superstition.) Faith so me, is a much broader term than spirituality.
Perhaps I am partial to the word because it brings to mind the phrase “leap of faith.” I like the idea that there is a gap between reason and faith (or spirituality), a gap that I was unable to bridge before the bleeds, a gap that I am now able to leap over.