what is god for you?
mig. in the video you were asked what god is for you. is there something you wish to add?
tg. there is such a taboo around it, and personally i have dealt with the idea of god in such an angry way. however, in these past days, having thought more about it, i realised it was more religion than god; growing up in belgium, in a very catholic way, there is always this sense of guilt that i had, but at the same time my family is not religious at all, i would be the one going to church; so i guess that there is also this idea of community or this attraction to the symbolism and objects associated with god. then later, when i was 16, i was so troubled by it that i wouldn't even dare to think that god didn't exist, for fear of him knowing; which i think is silly. as a 16 year old you are nearly an adult and this idea is indoctrinated in you, even though my parents were not religious, i mean my grandmother would laugh at it, it was just me, when you've heard such things about god from such a young age you don't really question it. i remember having a moment when my thoughts developed and changed and once i thought this i couldn't go back to my prior thoughts. my anger, however, still exists though it is mostly based on the religion-affiliated idea of god. having recently travelled to asia and brazil, where i met muslims, for example, who are so in touch with what it really stands for, i see that in america religion is used as a power trip; so what god is for me today is passion, altruism and is seen in the face of the other.
mig. is the word god controversial for you? if yes why?
tg. yes it feels taboo for me, because it stems from this anger from the past.
mig. do you think of religion when you hear the word god? if yes, why?
tg. yes, i think it is historically embedded in my brain; living in america, for example, i feel it is so weird that they have 'in god we trust' on their dollar bills, as well as hearing the president say 'god bless the united states of america'. belgium is, i think, the first country that separated religion and state, and the pope would not recognise belgium as a country as a result in 1830; so even though a lot of religion comes into the politics, i am proud that we were the first to instigate that. i was recently in bangladesh where there was a mosque inside the parliament, which for me was weird, because church and state in the constitution are divided, and i felt angry about that; but then in talking to people i understood that it was more a matter of convenience and saving time, so there doesn't always have to be a negative connotation to it.
mig. do you believe everything happens for a reason, or are we the reason why things happen?
tg. i don't like when people say things happen for a reason; i would hope this is not true. i would hope that there is some part of you that learns from your bad actions and questions your bad behaviour and grows from it.
mig. define love. what does love mean for you?
tg. the idea of the face of the other with a capital o.
mig. do you think love is something all life forms share?
mig. what in your opinion can make a relationship last a whole lifetime?
tg. mutual respect and leaving the other person freedom for themselves, and dealing with your fear of being abandoned that might stem from your childhood.
mig. what have you learned about life so far?
tg. i like to live by the idea that i would rather jump in a pool and land on my face, than wake up one day and wish that i should have done things.
mig. how would you describe us/humanity today?
tg. complex. even though we have so much knowledge it is getting more and more complex when it could be quite simple.
thank you tim goossens for your participation in the 'mig' project.
videography by mig. all rights reserved 2014.
photography by mig. all rights reserved 2014.
to participate in the mig project please write to firstname.lastname@example.org