(Ursprungligen, alldeles nyss postat på min blog – http://blog.panterdjuret.nu. På engelska. Enjoy.)

(Uppdaterat pga stavfix. Fick kanske inte alla, för jag är riktigt trött och vill sova nu.)


I used to believe in God when I was a child. I believed in Heaven. I actually believed that animals also went to heaven, and that there were a different Heaven for all the different animals. The rabbit Heaven had all this wonderful fresh grass, and softly rising hills, perfects for rabbits to live in. Small, green and edible bushes they could sleep beneath. The horse Heaven had these almost infinite plains and small forest patches and clean, fresh rivers. The eagle Heaven had forest-covered, snow-tipped mountains and deep, blue lakes. That there was the human Heaven (that place most people mean by referring to Heaven). Were people would be happy and grow food and live in a big, white city with a lot of libraries with the collected wisdom and history of all mankind.

I also believed that there were small bridges between the different Heavens, so that all the animals could visit each other. So that you would be able to go and visit dead pets who would now be happy in their own heaven. And meet them again.

I also used to believe in God. I don’t really know which God, if it was Jehovah or Allah or someone else. But no one told me about things like that when I was a child. It was just ”God” for me. God was a name, just like Mommy was a name and Daddy was a name. (It took several years for me to actually understand that not all grown women were called Mommy, and all grown men Daddy. My mother never came and said ”Hi there, I am (insert first name here).” She told me she was my Mommy. It made sense that her name was Mommy.

And in the same way, I never thought much about what God could be called. I thought God was this loving, sometimes kind of strange person who loved us all and wanted us to be happy because he had created us and we were all sort of his children. That in itself made him sort of our parent, and parents were there to do strange things. Of course, my father never fed me to a whale, not even if I had been really, really bad, but then again, my father wasn’t really omnipotent. If he had been, perhaps he would have fed people to whales.

And I really believed there was a God who looked after us and took care of us. That he would take care of our dead cats and rabbits and fish and keep them happy in their own Heavens until we could come up there and pat them again

I also believed that you could talk to God and get answers. I talked a lot to God, but he never talked back. Considering that by this time I already saw and talked to the Creatures, I began to doubt that God was real. If he was, he could at least say ”Hello there,” now and then? If he really were everywhere simultaneously and could really do everything, why did he never even say ”Hello” to me?

So somewhere when I was around ten, I stopped believing in God, and instead got really convinced that there was no God, just like there was no Gandalf. They just didn’t exist, either one. No one could help me, I was alone in the world. It was up to me to be happy or not, to stay out of harms way and love my animals while they lived, because I would never see them ever again when they died. If I got in trouble, there would be no God to rescue me, just as there would never be a Gandalf there to solve my problems. Those things just happened in books. The Bible was a book. Those little comic books and colouring books that we got in church, they were still just books, telling stories. Just as Lord of The Rings was a book, and told stories.

Perhaps it was good stories. Perhaps it was stories you could find advice on how to live your life in. (Like, don’t get eaten by a whale, or by dragons.) Perhaps you could save lives by giving them away to people. Perhaps you could save your own by reading them. But they were both still stories, in books.

Well, the last years I haven’t been that sure anymore. Because I have to admit that some form of at least Godlike thing might be out there. It’s not that much more far fetched than to believe that there might be Creatures out there that I just haven’t met yet. That I have started to believe that there might be a God out there doesn’t mean that I can believe in everything people claim God to be. I can’t believe that he spontaneously created the world. I cant believe he put all animals here, fully designed from the beginning. I can’t believe that he is omnipotent.
I can believe that there could be something out there that does care about us and love us and wants to help us.
I share my head with two such beings, and I have at least another one in my living room.
This at least opens up the possibility that there might be a God.
And I have been worried lately that if there is a God, and if God actually does create us, that he would somehow be sad about how I turned out. Think that I was evil. That I turned out in a way that disappointed him.
I think that it started when I started thinking about having my semi-sometimes meetings with a priest again. I like talking about differences in living and belief.

Yesterday I listened to a talk from TED, by a pastor called Rick Warren. He said that no person is an accident, and that God makes us the way we are for a reason. That God gets happy every time we are ourselves, because he made us to be just who we are. ”The bottom line is God gets pleasure of watching you be you. Why? He made you. And when you do what you were meant to do ’That’s my boy. That’s my girl. You are using the power and ability that I gave you.’ ”
And somehow that had a big impact on me. In part because he said it with such feeling, in part because I added it together with other things Christians have said.
Like ”God loves you, whether you believe in God or not.”
Like: ”God created you, and he wants you to be you.”
Like: ”God never makes a mistake.”

And if I put those things together, there is only one way I can see it; If there is a God, and he created me in some way, he loves me. Even if I can’t believe in him. And even if I sometimes want to do – and write about doing – really horrid things to people, I also help people. It doesn’t make sense for me that the good deeds you do only counts if you also believe in God. If God exists, the thought of someone helping people without doing it just to please him must make him really happy. ”She doesn’t even believe in me, she doesn’t believe that she will get to Heaven if she helps people, and she does it anyway!”
Someone helping people, someone trying to make the world a better place. Not out of fear of Hell or hope for Heaven, but because she wants to help.
If he made me this way, he also created my ”darker” sides. But are they really darker? Are they really evil or wrong? I can use those ”dark”  thoughts to write horror novels or ventilate my anger instead of letting it build up. I use them for hundreds of good things each day. If God created me, and God doesn’t make mistakes, then I guess he will just have to put up with me the way I am.
I have no idea why God if he existed would create someone like me. That’s a mystery. Perhaps it was an experiment, perhaps I have something to do, a secret mission. Perhaps I really am meant for something that have yet to happen. I have no idea.

But the next time Jehovah’s Witnesses or someone else shows up and tell me that I have to be in a special way for God to love and accept me, I will ask them those questions. ”Do you believe  that God loves you, whether you believe in him or not? Do you believe that God created you and wants you to be you? Do you believe that God never makes a mistake?”
If they say that I have to be someone else to be loved by God, he isn’t loving. If they say that God created me to be me and then that I must be someone else, why didn’t he make me that person?
Because I am Pao. And those who believe in God should leave judging right or wrong to him.

I actually don’t want to live in Heaven after my death. Not in any of the Heavens. Not cat Heaven. Not human Heaven. I want this life, my only life. I don’t want reincarnation, and I don’t want Hell. I don’t want to live forever. I don’t want to live in an Eternal Earth Paradise. I want to do the best I can of this life. I am going to love my friends while they live, I will kiss my male and my female while we still love each other, I will plant my peas and potatoes and flowers while there is time.
I will do my best to change the world to the better, I will smile at strangers, I will dance and sing, I will try to give hope and comfort to people. I can give them poems, I can give them words, I can give them paintings and music. That is what I can give them. I can give them pleasure in this world. Because I want this world to be better, for everyone.

And if God one day comes to me and say ”Hey, Pao, I actually exist, and Heaven is real and I do love you and care for you,” I will smile at him and say ”Fine. Please take care of my animals for me, give them a great time. I have important things to do here, if you don’t mind. Would you please pass me that brush and that bucket of paint?”
And if he created me, he will smile.

Because that is Pao.
And that is the only thing that I can truly offer the world.

That is the only thing I can and could ever be.

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  1. Amen.