delhi, india + losing my faith


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…