delhi, india + losing my faith

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It’s dark when I write this because I can’t sleep. Yesterday, I visited two holy places, the Jama Masjid mosque and the Qutab Minar, and both only served as a reminder that I’ve lost my faith; I no longer believe in a god that once brought my comfort. At the mosques, I watch the devout pray, and I want to be believe, but it’s a cold want, an ache for something that I know in my heart will never be there.

In college I took a trip to Mexico, and on this trip my friends and I had an accident in the water and the realization of a death by drowning was palpable. I remembered crying out for a mother whom I no longer loved, and when I returned to the hotel that day, shaking and hysterical, but very much alive, I gave in to the notion that there was something other, an extraordinary power that saved me. My best friend was jubilant that I became Christian, bathing in the blood of the lamb as it were, and this love for a patient, forgiving and omnipotent God removed this burden of sadness I carried. I convinced myself of an afterlife, that our bodies wouldn’t turn into dust and we would return to the darkness and nothingness from which we’ve come.

Yet over the years a sort of dissonance took over between my rational and spiritual self. I started to witness how man so easily perverted the word of god to justify hate and war. I’ve read stories about men who rape children and call it the will of Allah, and how Christians made gays feel lesser than, and viewed them as second-class citizens who should not hold rights created for all. Was this not a god who loved all? Were we not taught that we are all His fallible children? Interesting then to see groups of people self-select, calling themselves ardent believers to then only maim, hurt, shame, and kill others around them.

Man has ruined god for me, took away any notion that a pure goodness, connecting back to someone I can name, exists. I will call you by your name. I will not call you by your name. You no longer hear me.

Know that this transgression {or self-discovery} didn’t occur overnight. I’ve been quiet about what I believe, and only recently have I spoken to friends about how this god and I need to say our goodbyes and part ways. I do believe in a spiritual life. I do believe in karma and goodness and love — I just no longer believe that that love has its roots in the pages of a book. This faith resides in my heart, and yesterday I was reminded of this.

And now to move on…

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6 thoughts on “delhi, india + losing my faith

  1. If you haven’t already done so, read “Transplant” by Kodi Scheer. I’m not recommending it as a great read but it’s an interesting story nonetheless.

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  2. I am sorry that your faith has been rocked by men. But men are in fact phallable. God is not. God is steadfast, faithful and true. He will never leave you or forsake you…I, too am disappointed in the way fellow ‘Christians’ behave, but I’m not blaming their behavior on God. That’s not where the blame falls. The blame falls on satan. And when he has all of us turned away from our faith, well…then he has won. Hugs and prayers.

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  3. Felicia, I think I may feel similarly to you. Over time I’ve come to believe that I am a spiritual personal, but not a religious one.
    Loving catching up on your India trip. Your photos and thoughts are something I look forward to on my quiet sunday mornings at home.

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  4. These photos are phenomenal! I could look at temples, churches, mosques, etc. all day. I truly enjoy the thought and care that goes into their designs, and appreciate the historical aspects. While I’m not religious myself, I admire and respect those who carry that with them and find solace in their religion. For many reasons, some of which you stated, I too have lost what sliver of ‘faith’ I had, but other aspects (being kind, treating others as you’d like to be treated, karma) are definitely things I believe in.
    This was my favorite set of photos so far Felicia! Also, I’m typically quiet about how I feel too, but I enjoyed hearing your words on the topic.

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    1. That means so much to me, lady! It’s interesting how this trip is a bit different than the ones I usually plan. I always plant myself in the local food markets and explore art and food and local culture. It’s rare that I’ve been to some many architectural sites, but I’m starting to see the poetry in shape, shadows and lines, and much of it has been really inspiring.

      I hear you about faith. It’s an interesting and a tricky conversation to have. I think what’s most important for everyone is to be present enough to see what really works for them. What really makes them happy and focused and loved.

      On Sun, May 11, 2014 at 10:50 AM, love.life.eat wrote:

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