Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ever Onward

Enough, already! All computers - all software has glitches. Click on things, search, and MOST OF ALL do not be afraid to punch buttons. Enough said about that.

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I'm just going to ramble awhile about what's going on with me in a spiritual sense...

One thing I discovered about my angst over the identity of god came to light the other night when we were watching a broadcast of the Gaither Gospel Hour. (yes, I know...hehehe, don't tell)
The Gaither Vocal Band was singing a song I just could not get my mind around, so I started wandering off and watching faces.

  • 1st, the music - the harmonies are just spectacular. It can transport you, and clearly does transport many.
  • 2nd, there is a comfort and a passion in turning oneself over so completely to the music, and to the object of the music.
  • 3rd, you become a member of a special community when the music is pounding and your brothers & sisters are all carried along with you.
  • 4th, ALL of these things (are probably others, as well), especially 'congregation' are exactly what I miss about traditional Christian religion.

Wisely, those Christian music ministers are adding tons of new music, too. There are now love songs, rock songs, even Rap songs and more in the Christian genre.
(So far, I haven't found a foot-tapping Buddhist chant in 4-part harmony. got a link?)
And they're putting the music out there without the preaching (on TV & in CDs and such) so that one just gets caught up and swept away...mindlessly swept away, in my opinion, so that messages stick without the process of thought ever being attached to it. Granted, most listeners (I suppose) are already convinced.

What I'm actually saying here is this: The 'trappings' of my past religious experience, and the 'naming' that happens in virtually all religions I've studied or looked at, are what I was missing so terribly that I felt a HUGE need to fill that void. And I called the void God/Goddess/god/Nature/Cosmic Mind/Whatever....

In spite of the fact that Christianity (especially the fundamental variety) does not and cannot work for me any longer, I was still trying to shove my new spiritual experiences into the same mold. When those experiences left gaps or hung over the edges of the mold, I assumed that it was the fault of the experiences AND NOT THE FAULT OF AN OUTDATED MOLD.

In actual fact there is No Fault at all...just a poor fit. for me. I'm only talking about ME.

I condemn no particular religion. I talk the most about the Christian religion because that is where my experience lies. But my spiritual experience rests completely in love and compassion. I'm reading mostly these days about Buddhist (& Taoist & Zen) practices and practitioners. They resonate more completely with me than anything at which I've looked so far.

If I were to contemplate doing battle over this subject (and I don't), it would be a contest between religion & spirituality.
I believe that spiritual matters take on a different personality when they become religions. And I believe they become religions when they need to rent a hall, or pay a light bill, etc. and almost never before that moment.
Jesus taught love, compassion, giving, gratitude, inclusion, and 'all that I am, you are'. The book of rules came much later.

What religions seem to be teaching now (among other things) is division, judgment, exclusion, and 'we are not worthy'. Well, IF there is a god, and IF s/he made us, I very certain that we are not junk, not broken, not worthless sinners.

What's cool for me in this discussion now, is that I don't have to know the answer anymore.
I don't have to know the name of god, or even if there is one. (name or god, take your pick)
I don't have to convince anyone - no proselytizing required.
I don't have to form opinions about your lifestyle (or your clothes, your color, or your religion).

The only things that my spiritual yearnings require of me are these:

  • that I hold myself to very high standards of personal integrity,
  • that I practice love & compassion - first with myself and then to all others, and
  • that I take small steps & do as little harm as possible while I strive for perfection.

I breathe much easier these days, and interestingly, I even choose to get on the treadmill more often. :)


Peace to you.

4 Comments:

At 11:39 AM, Blogger janet said...

Kate,

I found you. I read in your profile Ishmael is one of your favorite books. I read quite a bit when not blogging and Ishmael is hands down my favorite. If fact I think it should be required reading for high school students. Have you seen the movie Instinct? I enjoyed it as well.

 
At 12:02 PM, Blogger Kate Winner said...

Haven't seen Instinct, but will look for it. Have you read others of Daniel Quinn? I've only done a couple of them, but I like the way he thinks.

 
At 12:03 PM, Blogger Kristie said...

Speaking of music, I read this today, "You are the note that makes the chord complete."

You are a treasure and recognized as such. You are completely unique in all the universe. Your gifts are unique, your presence, all that you are is unique and is calibrated to be the exact note that is required to make the chord complete. You are what completes this moment, just as you are. So sing out and let us hear you. Shine out and let us see you. The universe awaits the beauty of your song, embraces the beauty of your song, even if it is at time sung haltingly, even if there are periods of long silence. No matter what, you are deeply loved and deeply treasured.
Author - Carrie Hart

What I have enjoyed so much from you blogger and sister friends, is your openness to share with me your book of life. The chapters from one to the next, keep me riveted to the computer chair as I await your next transformation that displays before me.

Your song is music to my ears and adds joy to my heart. I am witness to personal mastery unfolding and the notes of your being performed in harmony.

Enjoy the day....glitches and all!
Love Kristie

 
At 12:20 PM, Blogger Kate Winner said...

Kristie, thanks so much for your comments and for that beautiful quote.

I feel the same way about reading blogs and comments. It all just really adds to the richness of life.

Thanks again for stopping by.

 

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