“By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.” – Franz Kafka
A few weeks ago, my boyfriend, Myles- who also practices TM- and I got into a heated debate about…afterlife. I would like to say that we discussed such a topic while sipping wine and listening to Mozart. Instead, I will admit that this conversation took place over plastic plates of mac n cheese at the kitchen counter of my apartment. Nevertheless, we both became completely engulfed in the age-old question of whether seeing is believing or believing is seeing. He leans heavily towards the former. I relate more closely to the latter. Chaos ensued. Well, not chaos, exactly, unless one can argue that chaos can be constructive, which this conversation most definitely was. Although, to tell the truth, I don’t remember what exactly sparked the debate in the first place, but I do remember some of its overarching points.
Despite having gone to Catholic school for ten years, I am not a particularly religious person, though I am spiritual. I don’t claim to know- as, in my opinion, no one truly can claim to know- what happens when you die. However, I cannot surrender to the idea that one dissolves into nothingness once his heart stops beating. I believe in the power of belief. I believe that whatever you believe will happen to you, will, in fact, happen to you. I rest assured that believing is seeing.
Oppositely, Myles- who is much more pragmatic than I am, needs proof. He is never closed off to an idea, no matter how different it may be. He does, however, need a certain amount of evidence in order to be on board with the matter. I should mention that his practicality is truly something to be admired. Such sensibility is by no means “wrong” or narrow-minded, far from it. A realistic mind is able to think from all angles, without distraction. Such a mind most often reaches the best and most well thought out conclusions in matters of the world. In a debate about afterlife, however, practicality is somewhat limited; there is simply too much for which there is no tangible evidence.
The best way I can attempt to express the reasons for my believing is seeing attitude is by relating it to love. I asked Myles, “Why do you love me? Is it because I’m nice? Because I’m funny? Because I have brown hair or fair skin or…straight-ish teeth?”
“No,” he said. “I love you because I love you.”
“That is why I believe.”
I believe because I believe. Meditation, as I have mentioned before, has gifted me with trust. Trust that everything will work out. It is with this trust that I can have faith. And though Myles and I may agree to disagree on this specific matter, with meditation we are able to bring together a realistic mind and an idealistic heart.
Maddy Beauregard | Yoga Contributor