are friends electric?

So I seem to have this problem with belief. The definition I am using here, courtesy of my Mac's dashboard, states that belief is "an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists, i.e. a belief in god". Or something.

For years I've been this way. I don't know who to blame, really; my father, amateur astronomer and practicing heathen, had a habit of leaving his books all over the house. Books on cosmology, physics, evolution - at night I dreamt of colonizing Pluto and imagined living amongst Pterodactyls. But I digress..

Or could I blame my mother? She tried so hard, after forcing my brother through catholic school in Chicago, to send my sister and I down the same path - only to find that suburban churches just didn't have the same magic. (or same ruler-wielding nuns, maybe?)

Either way, I grew up knowing that I needed proof before I believed blindly in anything. I needed facts and figures. Not false worship. And for a while, I really thought I didn't believe in anything.

But on the same token, I'm superstitious as hell, and my family has had notorious run-ins with what we believe are family members from beyond (trust me, you had to be there).

So what am I? Atheist? Agnostic? Lapsed Catholic?

What I really believe, and what I almost cringe to admit, is that we are all just a part of the universe. Not to sound like a hippie or anything. But if there's one thing we know for sure, is that we are all just recycled atoms.

The most beautiful way I've ever heard it described is this: "As we look around, our spectographs and telescopes reveal, in the dust of exploded suns, that the iron running through our veins, the oxygen in our lungs, and the silicon upon which we stand came about, as it were, from fusion-based waste products in the hearts of dying stars." Ah, thank you, Charles Pellegrino.

What does that mean to me? That means a million times more than any sermon or psalm. It means that we are all the same, that we came from the same quarks and gluons. The same miniscule forces. That yes, maybe some higher power put it all into motion, but then again, maybe not, and maybe it's just some wonderful cosmic quirk. Either way, we are all one and the same.

It seems to me that if people thought about it that way more often, we wouldn't have the problems we're currently facing.

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