The Church of You
...is founded on the premise that the only universe you can ever know is the one made of data scooped up by your sensory input devices and piped into your brain. Everything that allegedly exists does so solely within the confines of your cranium.
This concept is known as Non-Existentialism.
I don't have a picture of you, so I'll demonstrate this concept with a picture of me
The Church of You was founded one Tuesday morning around 10:30. I was doing the dishes when suddenly I had a religious awakening. Quickly I grabbed a pen and a scrap of paper and started writing. This sacred document, now enshrined on my refrigerator, has become the cornerstone of The Church of You.
The 3 Holy Tenets of The Church Of You
1. The congregation shall consist of every single living thing on the face of this planet that you can be absolutely certain exists. In other words, you are the only member.
2. The congregation shall go forth and witness to nonbelievers, and help them to see the truth: That outside their heads exists a roil of matter and energy, and inside their heads exists a universe of their own making.
3. The Church of You wholeheartedly supports the doctrine that any religion, no matter how minuscule its membership, no matter how brief its history, shall be exempt from all taxation.
Pilliard Dickle, founder and only member of The Church of You. Only he calls it The Church of Me. Meaning him.
What About Me?
Many people—particularly those who consider themselves to be existent—feel that Non-Existentialism excludes them, and even brings into question their very is-ness. And they are right. But what other conclusion can you, or anyone, possibly come to? Because all incoming information about the universe (or whatever it is that might exist out there) must filter through your senses and be processed by your brain.
Here's what The Church of You looks like to me:
This is not to imply that you do not exist. If you are reading this, I'm sure you probably do. Undoubtedly there is a chunk of matter and energy somewhere out there that corresponds to what you, your friends and the general public think of as "you."
But even if I see you standing right in front of me, plain as day, and hear your voice telling me how existent you are — even if I reach out and touch you, or feel myself getting pelted with rocks as you hurl them at me shouting "Now do you believe I exist?" — I can never directly perceive this "you." Nor can you me. All we can do is interpret the vibrational patterns that bombard our sensory input devices.
It's a convincing illusion, in glorious 3D, Dolby surround sound and even Smell-a-vision. But in the end the only thing you can ever have any direct knowledge of is your own cognition.
Stare at the center of this circle and count to ten, then look at a white wall and blink your eyes rapidly until holy deity appears.
The World's Only Religion?
Christianity. Catholicism. Islam. Judaism. Bagism. They all claim to be the one true religion. (Well, maybe not Bagism). But The Church of You is not the one true religion. It's the only religion. All those other isms are simply the noise of people outside my head chattering about things they've heard other people chattering about.
You've created all the world's religions from light and sound waves bouncing off robes and crosses and pointy hats and hitting your retinas and eardrums.
What about all the other stuff out there?
Do the tenets of The Church of You apply to the rest of the universe? The answer is, in the words of Ned Flanders, Yes-in-deedly-do! Everything that exists, from the surface of your cranium outward to infinity, you concoct. A bee, a pimento cheese sandwich, Penelope Cruz's philtrum, the Andromeda galaxy—these all are but neural impulses in your brain.
Isn't It All Just Stuff You Say?
The prophet George Costanza uttered the above words in reference to his impending wedding to Susan Ross (who later died from licking cheap wedding invitations). And he's right! It's stuff you say.
Ambrose Bierce, in The Devil's Dictionary, expressed a similar concept:
boundary (noun): an imaginary line dividing the imaginary rights of one set of people from the imaginary rights of another
How to Join the Church of You
Unfortunately, the membership quota is currently at its maximum capacity. As is the roster for The Church of Me. However, the one member who is preventing you from joining is you. In other words, you are already a member.
You are not only the only member of your church, you are the minister as well. Or rabbi or high priestess or whatever the hell you want to call yourself. After all, it's your church!