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What I Am Not

Posted by Bill


I’m not a Christian or a Jew,
not Islamic nor a Dru.
I’m not a Buddhist or Tendai,
Sikh or Hindu or Baha’i.

I’m not a person so naïve
that I would easily believe.
I am not inclined to follow
belief systems that ring hollow.

I’m not a one to join such things
with all the hassle that it brings.
I’m not about to sell my soul
so someone else can take control.

What I’m not about to do
is believe their point of view.
I am not likely to give way
to the things these people say.

I am not the type of guy
to ask of other’s questions why.
I don’t take answers off-the-shelf
when I can find them for myself.

What I’m not is gullible
even though I’m fallible.
I know full-well when things feel wrong
and then I will not string along.

I’m not blind to what I’ve seen
in the world’s religious scene.
Outrageously they’ve been used for
making and maintaining war.

So I am not at all inclined
to let religion rule my mind.
I won’t pretend I’ve got a lot
but I’ll defend what I am not.

B. Withers 2012

See all blogs by Bill
Jul 31, 2013
lonestarszq : I loved your poem! I guess one would call me spiritual, but not religious. I thoroughly understand where you are coming from, and how thoughtfully you expressed your feelings.
Jul 31, 2013
vanessavy : I am an Atheist there for I question everything. I like your words, they are yours. It is refreshing to read.
Jul 31, 2013
vanessavy : Also when you have cancer the religious nuts come out, especially nurses and 'other' caregivers.
Aug 01, 2013
Bill : Hello sweetdreams, Thank you for yur comments. I am pleased for you that you feel able to think for yourself and belong to an organisation that gives you a support system. The way I view religions is that if it works for you- then use it. In my younger days I studied many different religions and I concluded that there are a number that 'tell', 'preach' and expect people to 'follow'. There are others that encourage independent thinking, self-organised living and exploration of the universe by asking their own questions and finding their own answers.On a personal level I find the former somewhat patronising, so I prefer the latter.Best wishes Bill
Aug 01, 2013
Bill : Hello lonestarszq and vanessavy. Thank you both for your comments. I do believe that more and more people are looking for different ways of thinking about spiritual matters that are more in line with modern ways, thinking and aspirations. I tried to cxapture this in a short verse:KNOWING AND WANTING TO KNOW.Teachers ‘know' answers and therefore they teach.Preachers ‘believe' answers and therefore they preach.For policemen and lawyers, rules are made,cocooned and imprisoned in systems so staid.Researchers, explorers, inventors however,May know and believe but question forever. Freed from the prison and out of the frameThey question, and question, then question again. B. Withers (1994)
Aug 01, 2013
Bill : Hello vanessavy, Here we also get politicians and royalty visiting people in hospitals. My only hope is that they ask the patients for their permission before they appear at the bedside. Best wishes Bill
Aug 02, 2013
Bill : Hello sweetdreams. I do so agree with your stance on this issue.One problem with the patient having to take the assertive role is that they are often ill and vulnerable at that time and they may not have the mental stamina to stand up to people in this way. Also, people in positions of power often have an arrogance that leads them to think that they don't need 'permission' from anyone to do whatever they like. We had a case at our local hospital where a surgeon eventually had to be dismissed because, despite several warnings, he would not desist from perpetrating his evangelical views on his patients. This was a great pity as he was recognised as a very good surgeon.Best wishes Bill
Aug 03, 2013
Primeboy : Religious beliefs are instilled in us from childhood and reinforced every Sunday. Some folks take enormous pride in the faith that was handed down to them by their fathers, and they will cherish it faithfully in spite of all the hardships that may ensure. Here's a clip that captures that dedication and illustrates that there can be enormous joy in what may appear to others as misery. I am sure you will like it. PB
Aug 03, 2013
Bill : Hello Primeboy.You are quit right I did enjoy the video enormously. I am not sure what else I was doing when the Monty Python sketches were first broadcast but I missed all of them and am only recently catching up.Thanks and best wishes Bill
Aug 04, 2013
WOUNDED DOE : I love that proudly suggests the essence of a 'Free-Thinker' .... Poetic Thought and Inner Path Choice reflecting Individuality ....
Aug 05, 2013
Bill : Hello WOUNDED DOE. Thank you for your comment and I'm pleased that you liked the verse. You are of course absolutely correct in the sense that I wish to be a 'free-thinker'. This can sometimes be much harder in everyday life where we are bombarded by so many who wish to tell us what to do and think. However, it does become a bit easier in moments of contemplation when concentrating upon putting thoughts into rhyming verse. Best wishes Bill
Aug 07, 2013
hometown : Once again Bill you prove to be great at what you do best. Keep up the good work Joyce Hometown
Aug 07, 2013
hometown : Wonderful as usual Bill. You really know how to get a point across. Keep up the good work
Aug 07, 2013
Bill : Thanks hometown. sometimes it is difficult to keep up the motivation to work on this type of stuff. However, it is people such as yourself and others on this site that provide the stimulation to carry on. Best wishes Bill

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