On July 14, 1789, the French stormed the Bastille in Paris, freeing its prisoners, thereby declaring their Independence from monarchy. It was far from the end of their troubles, but it was an important day in the history of humankind, nonetheless.
For some reason, I feel compelled to share this now.
I do not believe that anyone died for my sins, or in a God that would engage in such guilt-tripping manipulation. I do not believe that I am bad and have to somehow make up for my faults in order to deserve love or happiness or approval. I do not believe in hell as a place we go if we don’t follow the rules. I think we can make our own and others’ lives hellish enough as it is. The Spanish Inquisition and Auschwitz come to mind. I believe that the power of women and the divine feminine have been maligned, neglected, and brutalized for millennia out of fear and the desire for control. And I do not believe that I need to douse my son’s head with water in order to protect him from eternal damnation.
I do pray, every day, to a creative and beneficent force that is not separate from me. When I ask for help, I receive it, every time, though it may take more time or a different form than I expect. I give thanks for the amazing life I have that is so rich and full of blessings and goodness. I know for a fact that our true essence, our soul, for lack of a better word, goes on to something else after it leaves the body, though I don’t pretend to know where it goes or why. I do know that we can communicate after death, if we’re paying attention, and if the people we’re addressing are available to “talk.” I believe a higher level or version of my Self has a wider perspective than my ego personality. And I know that my own breath can and will pull me back from the brink of panic and insanity if I let it.
I don’t believe these things because of a book compiled centuries ago by a committee with political motives. I believe them because I have firsthand experience, which needs no external validation or corroboration. I would like to teach my son these things, if I can. I would like to show him the wonder of a new leaf opening, sunsets, Mozart, the sound of the ocean, the smell of a magnolia blossom. But we don’t have to go to an arbitrary building every Sunday for me to teach him these things.
The Bastille was a prison. It was a token act, really, the storming of July 14. Only two or three people were in there. But it sure made a difference to them.