I believe in a few things that are absolutely vital to me, several things that are fundamental to me, and a whole load of other stuff that is of interest to me and seems to make sense to me, but which in the grand scheme of things I know is pretty much inconsequential.
The absolutely vital things I believe in are the following:
Life after death.
Ultimate justice for us all.
A universe that ultimately cares for us all.
How we lead our lives on earth somehow affects our eternal journey beyond the grave
(This last is a subset of the second)
The things that are fundamental to me are:
Reincarnation; i.e. many lives on earth in which we hopefully learn our soul lessons.
Karma; the law of cause and effect of the soul; every act and thought in the end having to be balanced out in subsequent incarnations.
The load of other stuff that is of interest to me is huge but is not of great consequence. I hope it has not coloured, too much, the pages that follow.
I would now like to make the following point: If it could be shown to me without any shadow of doubt that reincarnation and karma do not exist, I would shrug and get on with my life and obviously would rethink much of that load of other stuff. However if it could be shown without a shadow of doubt that life after death, ultimate justice, a caring universe and the significance of our lives here for our journey beyond the grave were false, I would be distraught.
What follows is primarily informed by those ideas that are absolutely vital to me, and to some extent by those ideas that are fundamental to me.
And now let me explain something about religious belief and the title of this book:
The mansion of belief is huge and contains many rooms. Some are modest, whilst some are magnificent like baroque ballrooms. Some even have windows, though most do not. This mansion, which somewhere in some secret place contains the true heart of belief and truth, is a strange structure. Most of its rooms are windowless, and many of its rooms have no doors. And even those that do have doors give out only onto rooms that are very like their own. Sadly, most of us sit in one or other of those rooms, hardly ever venturing beyond our doors, and oh so often too scared of the wild weather to even glance out of a window.
But I am not sensible enough to crouch cowering in my room. I am foolish enough to like fresh air. So I enjoy being outside the mansion and seeing that all those closed off rooms are part of the same building, part of the same landscape. And nowadays, like many people, I have my own room. It is quite small, and definitely modest, but it boasts a window and it has more doors than it has walls, and it has great neighbours. I like talking to my neighbours, as I love wandering the endless corridors of the mansion, peeping, when I can, at other people in their other rooms. But most of all I like going to my window, my wild window that looks out onto the wild sky. Then I am no longer in any room at all. Then, and only then, am I Richard Dell: pilgrim, soul traveller, seeker. Seeker of wild and awakening thoughts.