I remember the time that I really thought about whether or not I believed in God and discovered, much to my surprise, that I didn't, or at least not blindly. I am not sure how old I was, perhaps 7 or 8. I have never fully made up my mind - it used to be almost a game for me to ask myself if I believed or not, because the answer could never be predicted.

I am not precicly an atheist or an agnostic (someone who doesn't believe in God or someone who has no opinion - doesn't know). Of all the gods and goddesses that I've ever read about, I'd have to say I like Krishna (Hindu) the best, and Lakshmi (Hindu) and Athena (Greek) are pretty great too. But I certainly do not worship them. I can't say I'm very fond of any religion, and I don't like the idea of worshiping a god that's outside of myself, somehow seperate and better then me.

Probably my favourite belief is the one that goes like this: Everything is God/God is everything (Pantheism). This involves respect for others, for animals, for the earth, and for ourselves. God is not something seperate from us. We are God. Therefore we treat ourselves with as much respect as we would God. We treat others with the respect that is due to God. They are God. We treat animals, plants, the oceans, and the planet as God. God and the universe are one and the same. For me this isn't so much a belief as a philosophy, an attitude that I want to live by.

It makes me angry how people use religion as an excuse for self-hatred, intolerance, racism, sexism, and all sorts of abuse - not to mention torturing and killing. There are of course people who are the opposite, they believe in their religion and are truely selfless, helping others, and honestly happy. I admire people who act this way. I would like to live like that, and yet I think it's quite possible to get there on your own. I don't need a God other then the God that is inside myself - is myself - is my higher self. And I do not need another person to interpret the words of God or tell me how to act. This is not to say that I think I am above advice or do not wish to learn from the wisdom or experience of others - I do. I am just not terribly fond of organised religion, particularly when it is trying to tell me that I am a bad person or that the person over there who follows a different religion than me is going to go to hell.

Am I being too arrogant? Too judgemental? I don't know. I believe that I have felt many times what may be described as a religious experience. Times when I feel incredibly happy, so happy that I want to cry... I am filled with creativity, beauty, love and I want to share my feelings so that everyone can feel this good. This does not make me any more likely to believe in God.

I am open to discussing my thoughts and opinions with others if anyone is interested. However, if all you are going to do is try and "save" me or tell me outright that I am wrong, I am unlikely to respond.