DOES GOD EXIST? YES I DO! / BOGDAN PETROVIĆ
In the light of profound introspective contemplation on the nature of human freedom, nearing my forty-fifth birthday, I feel compelled and summoned to once again clarify its essence to people.
Freedom, as we experience it – physically and psychologically, is not an abstract concept; rather, it is a crucial dimension that shapes our everyday life and life itself. It is a state of mind and soul that arises from the courage to live authentically, without fear, without unnecessary attachments, open to life’s unpredictability, and ready to realize our own potential.
In short, freedom represents the pinnacle experience of life.
It is an essential element of human existence, pulsating through the fabric of our existence, seeking its expression and liberating us from the chains imposed by religion, society, tradition, and our own thoughts.
In other words, freedom is not merely the absence of physical bondage and liberation from external constraints, but a deeply rooted spiritual concept that shapes our perception through internal dialogues, freeing us from the shackles we have imposed upon ourselves. When we realize that we are the blacksmiths of that iron, we open the doors to true freedom.
At the heart of freedom lies autonomy – the ability to make our own decisions guided by internal impulses and moral principles, i.e., humanism. Achieving this requires liberation from external constraints, which is not easy for many and is actually the greatest challenge in acquiring individual freedoms, which are, in turn, a prerequisite for achieving collective freedom.
The whole world lives in psychic bondage.
Nationalism and religion are, in that sense, two of the most dangerous things. If we haven’t learned this from history, unfortunately, we have the opportunity to see it personally. Today you can count on the fingers of at least one hand the places in the world where innocent people are suffering at this very moment because of nation or religion. And a nation is just a word; the borders between states drawn on the map, for which people die, do not exist on the ground. These borders are part of a social game that reduces the number of people on the planet and fills the pockets of the wealthiest.
The same applies to religion. The idea that “if you die for Islam/Christianity/Judaism, you secure yourself a paradise with all the pleasures you have always desired” is wrong and nonsensical on many levels. The idea of sacrifice offered to a God, for whom no one has significant evidence of existence, is so passé and should belong to prehistory – a time when half man, half monkey roamed around with a wooden club.
If we truly want a free world, then we must draw a line and admit to ourselves how much evil has been committed in the name of religious collectives. We are all born free; it’s just that many have had their consciousness shackled by fears and religious constraints, and they have forgotten that.
One of the keys to freedom lies in overcoming fear, which is another confirmation that the concept of religion is not good because it is based on it. When we discard fear, we open the doors to the courage to face life as it is (without the need to control it) and the ability to experience a free life in its fullness. Control creates an illusion of security, while freedom is the ability to deal with uncertainty and the changes life brings.
Another important key to true freedom is authenticity because it involves living in accordance with our own values, unburdened by the pressures of the external world. When we stop judging and directing ourselves according to others’ standards, we free ourselves from the burden of self-criticism and allow our authenticity to flourish.
In this regard, my conscious decision as a product of forty-five years of experience is that no saint, no Father God, will dictate to me what to do and when. My desire is to live freely, and that is impossible if you are a victim of religious ideology. I am grateful to the mother who gave birth to me and the grandmother who raised me for not molding my mind into religious molds but instead teaching me humanism.
I am grateful to them for mental freedom because they did not fill my head with nonsense that science cannot explain but gave me the opportunity to develop my intellect. I am especially grateful to my grandmother for often telling me that I should not go to church or mosque because they will ask me to kneel, and in life, I should not kneel before anyone. I am most grateful to my mother for not locking my mind with artificial answers that are not based on personal experience.
I vividly remember, even though I was still very young, when I asked her about God and his existence, she told me that if God exists, then he is within me, and I must not allow other people to talk to me about him or about heaven and hell because they themselves know nothing about their existence. She repeatedly told me LEARN, SON, and directed me solely towards science. She constantly emphasized that I must sharpen my intelligence and clarity of mind to find answers for myself and reach the truth because no one will give me the real one, no matter how much they love me or tell me they love me. Through that path, I came to psychic freedom, which is much more important than physical freedom.
My mother did not conceive me immaculately, but she was not a liar who would present my birth as such, and she could have, as I was born in a conservative environment on Epiphany and am named Bogdan (*”God’s gift”). She did not think I should be God to everyone, but with all her might – her words, actions, and her entire life, and above all, her sacrifice, she tried to make me God to myself. And I am endlessly thankful to her for that.
The rest of you believe in whichever God you want, and I will respect your faith as long as you spread goodness and respect differences. But personally, I believe only in myself, my intellect, and knowledge based on facts and scientific research.
And freedom is, above all, the courage to be who you are!
I love to philosophize.
Doroteo is my philosophy.
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