Sunday, 1 December 2013

A cry in the night

Since I'm thinking about children and religion, I want to record this insight that occurred to me a long time ago.

One or another of my children was newly born, and like all new parents we had very little sleep as we tried to cope with their nappy (diaper) changes and feeds. I remember waking up to the sound of my child crying in the night for his or her mother.

It occurred to me, fast out of my head on too little sleep, that the sound I head was the authentic and pure voice of religion. That the religious impulse was just that - crying in the night for your parent.

It's said that young men dying on battlefields almost always call for their mothers at the last. As I say in my last post, the feeling is reciprocal, and mothers and fathers will turn to religion like no others when bereaved.

I've modified my attitude to religion a little since then. Despite being a scientist, there are internal phenomena that keep nudging me to view our universe as containing more than what we can observe as cause and effect; but more of that another day.

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