I was watching an episode of The Story of God with Morgan Freeman recently, and he was talking with a religion scholar about good and evil. The scholar went on to say that we need the belief of the devil or hell as a deterrent to evil behavior. As if we need a threat to be a good person.
I have a different philosophy. I don’t follow religion. I don’t do church. I do believe we have a soul and this body is just our human form for this experience in the grand scheme of all things. I don’t know how it works or what happens before or after death. I simply don’t know. By the way, no one does. Having said that, I do believe in the concept of a soul.
Our soul is ours to care for, respect, manage, and grow throughout this universal journey and if I do bad things, that is a dent to my soul. This is the most valuable thing that is us. Our soul is us. If I treat it like a shit pick-up truck, driving it through mud, never cleaning it, broken windshield, not running on all cylinders, bent frame, and blowing out black exhaust, then it is what it is. Shit.
Nothing wrong with a pick-up truck and it’s quite normal to drive through some mud once in a while. It’s built for that and in this existence, mud is hard to avoid. We can’t, nor should we avoid it all. That would be exhausting, miserable, and quite boring. But, we must take care of our truck, eh … soul, if it’s going to continue to perform well for, I don’t know; maybe … eternity. Again, I don’t know.
Some souls are just broken or their connection with the human form was botched from the beginning. Back in that same episode, Mr. Freeman met with a man, a life-sentence prisoner, who murdered and raped people. This man said that he should never be freed from prison, because he knows he would do it again. He said that he has no sense of remorse or empathy like most normal humans do and he knows that. He knows he’s not right. His truck is a lemon.
But, for the greater majority of us, our soul, mind, body connection is in proper working form. However, there are some of us who do bad shit anyway. I guess they either don’t believe or don’t care about things like heaven and hell. Who knows?
For me, I don’t need a threat called hell. I don’t respond well to threats. Wrong approach with me. I think this is true for most humans. I also don’t need the excuse of a devil if I do something wrong. As a responsible human, my thoughts and actions are mine; demons be dammed.
I don’t need the promise of heaven either; like a carrot hung out in front of me. I don’t like carrots. They make my stomach hurt and taste like dirt.
No, I simply respect and love my soul; Atman, as we refer to it in yoga. I don’t know whomever/whatever created it, but it’s mine and I do my best to keep it clean and in good working order. So, at least when I say “Namaste”, I feel good about my soul being worthy of greeting yours.
Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia on Unsplash