In regards to this blog, I’ve had a few more thoughts on the topic…
Ancient traditions offer a great deal of guidance and wisdom for spiritual development. As we talked about at the roundtable discussion last week, religions act as technologies, offering tools for connecting to the divine and making sense of the world. I won’t ever deny that. Yes, I rejected organized religion as a teen, but my life experience since then and my training as an interfaith/interspiritual minister has opened my eyes to the breathtaking amount of powerful wisdom in just about every religion I’ve encountered. I’ve reconnected with my birth religion of Christianity and its emphasis on love in action, justice. Judaism resonates with my ongoing wrestling with Spirit. Buddhism has shown me radical acceptance and lovingkindness. So on and so forth.
But – and this is one big BUT – there is a reason (many reasons, in fact) that I and so many people (not just people of my generation, mind you) have shied away from organized religion. Dangerous fundamentalism, religious leaders exploiting their power in order to exploit vulnerable followers, claiming that humans having dominion over Mother Earth means we get to exploit Her precious resources, war and terrorism in the name of God, and um, the freaking patriarchy and continued sexual, physical, mental, and emotional abuse of women.
Would you like me to continue?
Looking at the list above, why the hell would anyone want to engage in organized religion?
Don’t get me wrong. I would agree as much with my friends who urge us not to throw the baby out with the bathwater – or, holy water, as it were – as much as I so deeply relate to my friends, of all ages, who have rejected religious hierarchies and outdated traditions and beliefs that no longer serve our individual and collective humanity.
If I can’t pick a side, where does that leave me? As usual, smack dab in the middle, floating in the unknown, trying my best to live the questions and hold all sides of the paradox. I think that this is a time for all of us to really listen. There is pain and logic and love and wisdom no matter which way you slice as we are all trying to figure out this crazy thing called life.
I think it’s pretty hard to deny that something is happening, that the consciousness of the world is shifting dramatically. I think it’s time for all of us, whether we’re firmly rooted in a religious framework or we’re interspiritual pioneers, to relax our apprehension around the unknown future. Whether you believe in God or the collective unconscious or in a quantum intelligence or the universal power of love, trust that That Which is Greater is truly greater than any of us in our limited human understanding and that It is moving through each and all of us, expressing Itself through us, just as it should be.