Happy Thor’s Day
The Wayfarer’s Spiritual Side. This post and those titled like it to follow in the future are largely just me looking through the Eye, so to speak at my own spirituality. To gaze into my own spiritual journey and come up with some observations I hope will be helpful to me as I continue to walk my life.
I would say that the two great struggles I have had since leaving my religion and my ministry have firstly been to adapt to the change and secondly try to find some way to achieve balance spiritually speaking.
I suppose part of the problem is defining my spirituality:
- I want my spirituality to be my own journey of discovery. That is why religion and I have a problem. That is, I see all of them as being someone else’s journey of discovery that other people follow.
- I want my spirituality to embrace all that I am in balance. Reason, Emotion, Relationships, Health (Both mental and physical) and that aspect we call Spirit must all be involved equally. Most of my spirituality is about achieving balance between all these things.
Back to the two struggles, adaptation is a struggle because I am very conscious of the fact that I was engaged in a lot of spiritual activities as a Christian that I would consider irrational now.
- I went to church, but I now understand what that was. It was the reinforcement of belief by repetition, not necessarily by coming to understanding the truth, but group think and emotional experience are powerful ways to teach you how to deny what is true.
- I prayed, but I have realized that I was probably talking to myself most of the time. Even if there is a god, the way I was conceiving him as I prayed him took on the aspects of my earthly father. it was my concept of god I was praying to, not necessarily the divine power that actually exists.
- I worshiped, but that conception of god was my own creation, so I was worshiping my own ability to conceive god. I don’t do a lot of this anymore. I honestly can’t say I miss it much.
- I studied the Bible. But this was about repeating something over and over again and when you do that you are just training your mind to think a certain way. Doesn’t mean that way is true or right.
In my adaptation, I don’t want spiritual practices that don’t also leave me open to see possibilities I may not have considered or get me to be dogmatically telling others what “The Truth” is at the expense of their own freedom to figure it out themselves. it leaves very little other than practicing meditation on the virtues I want evident in my life and living life with a spiritual eye.
The other struggle is balance. Keeping one thing from dominating so much that the others are neglected.
Time to Look Through the Eye:
I have faith in myself. Like it or not it is all I really have. People say that might be a poor thing to have faith in and they may be right. However, my self is all I really know I must have faith in, because it is the best thing I have to place my faith in that I know is real. Other things I will list that I have faith in I know based on my experience and reason that this is so, but I still must say I have a little less faith in these things than myself for obvious reasons. My wife, my small circle of friends, humanity all are worthy of various measures of my faith because they are real and proven through their actions. That said at the end of the day the only one who can keep my spiritual life in balance is me. The only one I can ultimately trust is me.
I really try to avoid being religious, the problem is religion is very prevalent in spirituality, and eliminating it can be quite a challenge. The issue religion brings to the table is how much of other people’s spiritual experiences can be used to help my own and which ones are just controlling or fear mongering. I find that if a spiritual notion leads me to being afraid or is trying to ‘force’ me to certain activities then it is a religious element to be rejected. I just have time for notions that basically without proof try to tell me what ‘the truth’ is. I think there may be many truths, but one single monolithic truth? No. I don’t think the universe is that small. If there is any force that can take me off my notion of balance it is religion.
The most elementary shift in my thinking theologically speaking it is realizing that sin is a made up concept. The writers of the Bible or any other holy book that talk about sin, just straight up called what behaviors they didn’t like ‘sin’. Therefore, they took it upon themselves to speak for the divine as to what offends the divine. They offer no direct proof for this. They claim it, but never prove it
Theologically speaking then, is humanity then inherently evil because they have picked up a sinful nature then? No. I have not proof one way or the other about that either. It is just asserted. So when it comes to my spirituality it is not so much avoiding or overcoming sin anymore. My spirituality has shifted more to the notion of making myself better by strengthening what is positive or turning something negative into a positive. I don’t believe that part of my humanity needs to be destroyed or redeemed anymore. I just think all elements of my humanity (needs, wants, reasoning, wisdom, etc.) need to be focused and work together to help me grow with balance.
All of life then becomes just as much spiritual as it is anything else. From taking a shower, to going to work, to making love to even me sitting right now and writing on this blog. All of it has the potential to strengthen me spiritually. I simply have to find the element of each activity that helps me become a better person. What is it that leads to long life, prosperity and balance.
The issue I find is still the issue of balance and adapting to being an X=Christian. Sometimes I find myself thinking about an issue and asking “Is that the former Christian talking or is it the real me?” It is the current state of my Spirituality as I walk the path of life. It is a question that comes up often.
Continuing to Walk the Path,
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.