Personal statement for the common application.
A year and a day’s journey lay ahead of every fabled knight in search of the ever elusive Holy Grail, and if said knight was deemed worthy to find it, exhaustion would cause him to sleep at the feet of the Grail without ever truly seeing it. And while medieval grail legends are fiction, to this day people argue about the grail’s true nature. Most recently, Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code put the limelight back on the ‘alternative’ history as portrayed by Gnostic Gospels and guess work. In retaliation, the orthodoxy condemned the book, and sparked an interest in the matter that consumed an entire summer of private research. From my late nights of reading, I just became entirely lost in what was fiction and what wasn’t; but I did tend to side with the less spoken for side of the story. Part of the reason why I like the controversy of alternative history is that I don’t approve of the organized manifestation of religion, churches. It is clear to me that the root of the problem is that in order to keep multitudes of people believing the same thing, the powers that be have to be strict about conformity to the message. But something gets in the way of that, it’s commonly called personal faith. When enough people’s personals faiths are very similar they like to start their own churches, and if it happens a lot, it gets coined a Reformation. But it is here faith can get lost. A wise friend once told me, “no two people can really worship exactly the same God” Likewise, two people cannot see Jesus in exactly the same way. That is why monotheistic religions took longer to develop than polytheistic religions did. In the ancient civilizations, there were gods and goddesses for almost everything. People prayed to what was important to them. With the rise of the one true God, problems arose. First, if both sides of a conflict believe in the one true God, how can either side be the worthy cause? Also, if something in one’s personal life has gone awry, how will the one God have time for small issues? This is why there are patron saints for just about everything now. Still, churches eliminate the need for any kind of substantial personal faith. If you need a group of people or a book to tell you how to feel, or what to believe than you lack faith. My faith is basic. I believe that things happen for a reason, and if I do something wrong I will get punished for it, and if I do something right I’ll get rewarded for it. I believe that I am not in control of everything and must to my best to respect those things that I cannot control that are greater than me, Nature, or whatever else that power may be. Because I have trust in what I believe, alternative histories don’t shake the religious ground on which I walk.