Apparently my first words were the Latin names of various British trees whereas today my first words tend to be “argh fuck, where’s the coffee.” Either way, in the beginning, there was always the word. But my query rests with the speaker.
When people say “believe in yourself” what do they mean? My consciousness is mounted in the tired, failing evidence that I exist: to my dismay I have a body. No leap of faith is required on my part. For better or worse I am proven to exist, unlike for example God, about whose existence adherents are so insecure that they kill, torture, persecute, gaslight and intimidate others. If faith did not perpetually foster its own crisis then these cultists could simply vibrate beatifically in smiling enclaves, indifferent to heretics walking in their midst.
I don’t fall into the camp of either the faithed or the faithless, which will likely irritate either party - a wasted vote, a fallen comrade, like the asexual at the Saturday meat market: no use to anyone. I’m indifferent to God’s existence. Or at least its (it seems needlessly convoluted to assign it a gender) continued existence. If it does exist, then great. If not, it’s not as though I’ll experience transcendence any differently. The works of fresco, architecture, poetry, song and cinema it has inspired produce sufficient awe and ecstasy and prompt enough inner reflection that the question of their muse’s enduring existence can be rendered moot. I wonder - perhaps God did exist, and no longer does. That is fine. The Mona Lisa continues to beguile and spell-cast long after the model’s demise. We don’t cease listening to Nina Simone, Bach or Miles Davis just because they give up their body. These voices ricochet undiminished. Or perhaps some days God exists and sometimes it doesn’t. Or perhaps it only exists in the presence of disbelief, thereby trolling atheists the world over: to have one's belief punished by the absence of God would be the cruellest joke upon those compelled to proselytize. “Those who can't, preach.”
Must we accept God’s eternity in order to believe? Or conversely, must we anthropomorphise Infinity? In the beginning was the word, indeed. But most words have synonyms: it doesn't have to be that word.
Anyway, we all know John Cale’s rendition of Hallelujah is better than Leonard Cohen’s.