Looking Back ...
I've been writing this blog for over two years now. This is number 110. At first, I wasn't sure what I wanted to write about. I wasn't sure what you wanted to read. It took a year or so, but we worked that out. We want to reflect together on aspects of the spiritual journey, with or without reference to the church or to organized religion. And we want to do it, each time, in something less than two minutes.
One of the themes I've recognized in my writing is the importance of valuing our own experience, our own stories, our own ideas. Organized religion (it doesn't matter which one ... they all do it) wants to codify human experience according to its categories and creeds. It wants us to give ourselves up to its teachings. But sometimes, official beliefs reveal themselves to be fossilized truths, right perhaps for another age but absolutely wrong for our own. Jesus died on the cross to appease an angry God. Really? And we're supposed to be thankful? God made them, male and female. We still believe that?
Whenever this theme arises, of our independence, I have the same misgivings. Am I suggesting that we become perpetual teenagers, reacting to any hint of parental oversight? "You can't tell me what to do!" is a sentiment that has never quite left me. But the antidote to being "forever young" in the worst, most regressive sense of that phrase, is growing up and assuming responsibility for our own beliefs and actions. And I honestly believe that is our calling.
I've had the opportunity to tell the story of my own spiritual journey, both here and on my podcast, where I've been reading from my memoir, Lost Rites. That's been enormously therapeutic, and I appreciate people's indulgence. I was making peace with my story even as I was sharing it. But it turns out, I was touching other people's stories as well. They wrote to me, some with great pain, about ways the church had hurt or disappointed them; but also, with great pride, about ways their lives had opened up.
Next week, I'll post one more blog for this present season, to wrap things up, about the spirituality of the road. Then, over the summer months, I'll post, instead of my own thoughts, those of some of my mentors. Come September, I'll be curious to discover where we want to go from here. And for that, I will value any thoughts you may have. How can our time together in this blog be useful to you on your own spiritual journey?
I'll leave you with three invitations:
write to me with your suggestions for the blog, or with tales from your own journey (firstname.lastname@example.org);
give a listen to the podcast, The Mystic Cave, which now assumes an interview format, with Tara Livingston as my first guest ((https://www.buzzsprout.com/1577227);
visit the Face Book group of the same name, The Mystic Cave, a gathering place for seekers (https://www.facebook.com/groups/910312086444065)
Finally, and most sincerely, thank you for joining me on this journey of discovery! It continues ...
Next Week: A Spirituality of the Road