Thursday, 12 June 2014

God and the Bicycle

This is the sign at the entrance of the next village along from ours.  It marks the top of a pigging great hill on my hour long bike riding circuit.  Being a lightweight, who's after all recently had knee surgery, I don't pedal all the way up.   I do the cycling equivalent of Scout's pace and hop off and walk some of the way popping bits of litter into my handlebar bag as I go as penance for my wimpishness.   Each time though I try to reach a tree or marker that's further and further away before my first rest.

I've been describing myself as agnostic when  filling in forms recently, someone who really isn't sure about the existence or not of a God.  When I explained the term to Louis he felt that spiritual hedge sitting was the way forward for him too. So I've completed the forms for his new school describing this as his religious persuasion.  Ha! That will make a change from all of those doubting Thomases who put 'Cof E' in the appropriate box.   As someone who had strong links to evangelical branches of the church in younger years I quite like Tony Benn's assumption that he was a Christian agnostic with a belief 'in Jesus the prophet not Christ the King'. I was never comfortable with the idea of eternal damnation unless  you were saved.  After all I'm a grey girl who doesn't deal in absolutes.

As heathens go I've build myself quite a strong faith system that now influences the way that I lead my life.  I was telling Christian friends the other day how comfortable I am with it.  It's well conceived whereas I was always uneasy with a faith that preached eternal damnation unless you'd been saved.  Much of the  biblical teaching that formed the values that I've had since childhood. underpin it.  But I also have incorporated ideas from  Buddhism,  Toltec Wisdom, and anything else that takes my fancy.   There's some loose stuff developed from quantum mechanics too that would no doubt make  proper scientists shudder. Working in Totnes, that centre of alternative culture, has also rubbed off.  Little bits of hocus pocus come into the mix.  I must tell you about my dowsing pendulum at some time.

Recently I was told that a sceptic is a cynic with hope and I'm quite taken by that. There's a part of me that  really would like to believe that there is a compassionate supreme being looking down on us but I just don't have enough firm evidence to embrace this.   If there is a God though I'm sure he consciously thought about how much pleasure he could give humans from the experience of cycling downhill.   It makes that strenuous trek up impossible gradients so worthwhile.   I laughed out loud as I whizzed down effortlessly to the second village on my circuit yesterday.  The pleasure that I get from this seems transcendent.

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