Sometimes it is very hard to believe.
I keep my beliefs to myself offline. My husband knows them, and I’m pretty sure my family is aware that I have “odd beliefs”. My friends are aware. My co-workers know I’m not Christian, but aren’t aware of my beliefs on a general or specific level.
I am lucky enough to have been able to travel to Tawy House for the 2005 Coronation Retreat, where I was able to participate in and watch some rituals. I have to say that before going there, I had a nagging little thought that saqu weren’t as real as I believed them to be, but in the moment when it happened, my only thought was this is real.
What I don’t know is: do the gods interact with us on the physical plane? If I pray to them for…say, a pony, can they make it so I get one? Or is it only important things, like “please god don’t let me die like this”? How would it be decided?
I believe that god/Netjer/Tem created the universe, and along with the universe created the laws of physics (as well as chemistry and biology, but shush), and that if Netjer operates within the physical world, it must follow the laws that it created.
I guess that I feel the trappings of my religion are…really weird sometimes. I wish sometimes that they were as easily accepted as Christian beliefs. I wish I felt comfortable enough to be “out” as Kemetic.
Alongside these thoughts, sometimes I wonder if Netjer is real. I do have serious doubts sometimes, my experiences in shrine and at the temple notwithstanding. Sometimes I feel like a real outsider everywhere: I don’t belong to the dominant religion, I don’t belong to the cult of atheism, and sometimes I feel like I don’t belong in my own temple.
I think a lot of this disconnect has to do with my lack of time to do senut and interact with my temple. If I’m not paying attention to the gods and spirits, why should I expect any in return?
Why should I expect the answers to…anything, really?
(My one great hope – well, second greatest hope: my first would be that my ideas and beliefs about the afterlife are true – would be that after I die, I finally get the chance to Have It All Explained.)
Maybe religion can be looked at as a journey, not necessarily the destination. So if it’s not true, and there is no Aset, no Beautiful West waiting for me, no Field of Reeds or Judgment Hall…nothing but the end of the chemical and electrical impulses keeping me alive…what of it?
Is my life enriched and expanded because of my religion? Do I live a better life, guided my beliefs? Is is a force for positivity and self-empowerment?
Then…would it still be “a waste” if it all wasn’t true?