For the next 360 days, I will be writing entries under the title, ‘I AM TROY DAVIS.’ Moved to pick up the pen not merely by Troy Anthony Davis‘ death/execution, but more so by his life/evolution, I hope that there are those out there who can relate. If so, we must connect. We are already connected. Axé.
Two Gods. They say you can only serve one, right? But, what about little-bitty-itsy-bitsy-socially-constructed gods – do they count too? I know what you’re thinking; there is only one God, and that is who I praise/pray to. Or, maybe you’re thinking there is no God at all? Are we made in God’s image, or do we create God’s that fit our needs as humans? It’s all pretty complex at times.
I had a conversation with myself the other day that was very interesting. See, I believe in God, but my overstanding has changed over the years. Largely through experiences, reading, and casual late-night conversations, the God that I have come to know can’t really be described. Language is definitely a limitation. But, we try, don’t we?
So, there I was, weaving in and out of traffic, on my way home from another 12-hour overnight security shift, having a little talk with myself. Our car radio died about four months ago (or more), so deep internal dialogues are regular; especially if there is no one else in the car. Monologues are rare, but they also go down if my spirit needs a serious pep talk.
My internal dialogue went something like this:
Jbro 1: Why are we always bringing God into the picture when things are going well?
Jbro 2: You ask too many questions.
Jbro 1: What?
Jbro 2: Exactly.
Jbro 1: This is a long ride home man. You see how crazy traffic is.
Jbro 2: You’ll be home in 20 minutes kid. Relax.
Jbro 1: Ok, fine. I won’t think then.
Jbro 2: Good idea. Highly recommended.
Jbro 1: But, what about God though?
Jbro 2: What was that? 15 seconds?
Jbro 1: So, you have questions too, I see.
Jbro 2: Whatever. Listen, people make God into their image. Or, they say God doesn’t exist because they lack a certain spirituality.
Jbro 1: But, they just replace it with something else, right?
Jbro 2: [A little annoyed] What?
Jbro 1: Instead of following a religion with a specific cosmology, they follow something else.
Jbro 2: True. I mean, everyone has a religion, whether they admit it, or not. They believe in something. They pray to/praise something.
Jbro 1: Like Satan.
Jbro 2: Not real.
Jbro 1: There is no Devil?
Jbro 2: Only God.
Jbro 1: So what is the devil then?
Jbro 2: Fear.
Jbro 1: So, people fear what they cannot comprehend. And, when they can’t comprehend it, they blame it on the devil.
Jbro 2: Something like that. When things are good, ‘God blessed me with a gift today.’ When they are bad, ‘the devil made me do it.’
Jbro 1: Word up. I feel that. But, what about God?
Jbro 2: God is everything.
Jbro 1: Everything?
Jbro 2: You want to believe in a God that controls everything from the ‘heavens?’
Jbro 1: I just want peace. Does God want that?
Jbro 2: God does not want. God is.
Jbro 1: God is what?
Jbro 2: Everything. God is a force, running through all things. There are no sides, no separations, no titles; everything is an extension of a larger, unlimited energy. God does not define. Humans define. God is.
Jbro 1: Interesting. It’s still funny to me though.
Jbro 2: What’s that?
Jbro 1: Everything, really. God doesn’t care who wins the Super Bowl. God doesn’t care about politics. God doesn’t have a specific religion. Yet and still, we hear God’s name when it’s time to vote, go to war, or hand over a trophy.
Jbro 2: The idea of God is powerful. This idea has obviously been used for whatever human beings want to use it for. Far too often, folks justify some of their worst actions in the name of God. You can’t really do anything in God’s name. God is. God doesn’t have to be named.
Jbro 1: God doesn’t need me to believe, then?
Jbro 2: You need to believe. But, God doesn’t need you to believe. Belief is what dictates your journey. People used the Bible, and other pseudo-scientific ideas to justify the enslavement of Africans in this country. Once this idea was repeated enough, Whites believed it to be true. This belief led to the creation of the empire known as the United States. Belief is a powerful thing.
Jbro 1: Whatever you believe, ultimately becomes real?
Jbro 2: Exactly.
Jbro 1: If I believe snakes are evil, than that becomes my reality. But, that doesn’t make the snake evil. Snakes are just snakes.
Jbro 2: Snakes do what they were created to do.
Jbro 1: Were humans created to do what we are doing?
Jbro 2: Good question.
Jbro 1: And?
Jbro 2: Human beings, unlike other animals, were given the power to create their reality. That’s why belief is so important. Hell is here on earth, not below our feet. Heaven is always available to us, behind our veils. We don’t have to wait for death to reach its warmth. However, our belief-systems are based in fear, so we create a world where real trust, love, intimacy, and community are diminished greatly. The status quo becomes privacy, ‘security,’ fear, and war.
Jbro 1: So, I can change my reality by changing my belief-system?
Jbro 2: Exactly. It’s up to you.
Jbro 1: What about the world?
Jbro 2: Don’t worry about the world. Start with yourself. The answers are there.
Jbro 1: Word. Thanks self.
Jbro 2: You know how we do. Don’t think too hard homie. You already know.
My name is Jonathan ‘Jbro’ Mahone, and I am one-half of (RAS) Riders Against the Storm. I AM TROY DAVIS.