My photo
Welcome to The Secular Gospel According to Jess! In this blog you’ll find everything from cartoons that make me laugh, to quotes that inspire me, to stories of my own personal experience when it comes to dealing with religion and pretty much everything in between. The title of my blog is intended to be ironic, as one doesn’t often hear the word, “gospel”, associated with secularism, but my intent is to preach, for lack of a better word, what I think gospel should really be about: love, rationalism, fairness, equality, human rights, science and truth. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The man's a genius.

This reminds me of people who are agnostic because they "don't want to get involved" in the fight between atheists and religious people. Too many people are content to "fence sit" because they just don't care to learn enough about either side to make a decision.

I have also seen this relevant too many times when it comes to falling outs between friends. Mutual friends who are not directly involved prefer to stay uninvolved and retain the friendship of both people involved in said altercation, regardless of whether one of them is clearly the victim and the other, the oppressor. But honestly, the truth is that nobody should strive to be "Switzerland." The country takes no side in matters of war and politics and therefore has no enemies, but it doesn't have many friends either. Standing up for what's right no matter who or what you might lose in the process is an ideal we should all strive for. What you gain in the end will be of much more value than what you lose.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Change is the only constant.

I've been contemplating some of the Anais Nin quotes I posted last week, particularly the one about people wanting to elect certain states and remain in them, and I've realized that at age 27 I would have been perfectly happen to remain in the state I was in, with few, if any changes, for the majority of my adult life.

I was settled. I had my life, I had my group of friends, a group that I thought was so tight-knit that I imagined us in 15-20 years, with or without children, fabulous as ever, brunching at the newest NYC hot spot like in Sex and The City. But, something dawned on me today. I'm 27. Most of the people who are currently important in my life I have met in the past 5 years. Others I've known for 10, and the oldest friends I have been in my life for almost 15 years (I chalk this partially up to moving around a lot during my childhood and early adolescence). Of everyone I knew from 15 years ago, I have kept 6 of them close. Of everyone I knew from 10 years ago, I have kept 2 close. Of everyone I met 5 years ago, I consider most of them to be aquaintances more than anything else, yet I'm quite certain that in another few years, some of them will have become obsolete in my life and others will play much more important roles.

What I came to realize is that in every stage of life, we have friends that speak to our wants and our needs at that given time. To find that you have graduated from a stage in your life and retained a friendship that was initially formed in the previous stage is a stroke of luck. This has been the case for me as I graduated high school and college, changed jobs, and when I moved from the suburbs to the city, and I know that it will continue to happen this way in the future.

From this day forward, I'm going to stop being so hung up on the fact that my life is changing in terms of the friendships I have with people. This is an inescapable part of life, and I am lucky to have even retained the number of friends I have.

"We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person."
-W. Somerset Maugham

‎"It happens as you grow up; you find out who you are, and what you want, and then you find out that people you've known forever don't see things the way you do. And so you keep the wonderful memories, but find yourself moving on."

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Anais Nin

"If all of us acted in unison as I act individually there would be no wars and no poverty. I have made myself personally responsible for the fate of every human being who has come my way."

"I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman."

"Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death."

"There is not one big cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person."

"When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow."