(Originally posted to www.katethoughts.blogspot.com on 7.24.06) I'd call this one The State of the Union, but I can't see much unity at the moment.
I was talking to a friend last night about news & emails & stuff and commented to her that I am SO tired of having to struggle the find the truth of any issue. Do you feel that way, too? We see the 'news' on TV, then I go check out some blogs on related subjects and find that there is a new & different opinion for EVERY site I check. And the varieties of 'slant' that can be attached to a single item is just astounding.
If you're not doing any of that kind of checking, I suggest you try it some time. Just pick a subject - say, New Orleans & Katrina recovery. Read some news, read a few blogs, then talk to someone who's been there. I swear you'll end up believing that everyone is talking about totally different subjects. And if you think the Katrina debacle is over, or is being handled, think again.
Then consider the war in Iraq thru the eyes (?) of the national media, then thru the eyes of someone who has been there... like this one.
Then I go to Tai Chi for some meditative exercise and this is the day Jim wants to show us the 'application' for some of the moves. Tai Chi is a martial art, don't you know... so I can (meditatively) consider ripping out someone's liver at the end of that punch that 'looks' like I might be serving canapes to someone.
I believe in the power and energy of our words and our thoughts. So, usually, I don't spend a lot of time listening to war stories, or political corruption, or the latest celebrity scandal. It seems that my job must be to teach peace, model love, and meddle not at all. Is that the right choice? I don't know.
I grew up in a fundamental Christian environment and have studied metaphysics and looked for a place to be part of a spiritual family. I've gone back to the fundamentalists a couple of times, and have burned tons of incense over my Tarot cards in the past. I even thought I could be very comfortable and happy in a convent. I like the uniform and the quiet, and I'd be just great stuck in the kitchen making bread or something.
I want there to be God. or Goddess. I want to know the name of that thing/spirit/entity we call god. I want to know the truth. I want there to BE truth, somewhere. I want to come back as someone's favorite house cat...or as a tall, active multi-racial woman with dark curly hair and green eyes. I want this trip around the planet to be absolutely the last one - ever.
Laura is making a lot of sense to me, though, when she talks about nature as the abiding spiritual law. (My words - read a few paragraphs into her blog here.) I can hardly wait for further comments from her on this subject.
If she's right, where do I go to church? Well, the forest, of course - unless it's closed...
So perhaps I'll study mediation. or Ethics. or art appreciation. or drumming.
One thing I know for sure(thanks for the phrase, Oprah) is that we (ALL of us) need to love more, learn more, share more, understand & accept the consequences of our actions, and above all strive to be the highest and best that we can be. We as humans have set our sights way too low.
If you think you don't know how to do that, then look around you at the best people you currently know, and emulate them. Ask them what they believe and what makes them strong enough to be gentle.
If you go to church, examine you faith and your practice of it. Why do you go there? What does that church really teach? Do they practice love even to the nonbelievers? How much judging of others happens there? How do you feel when you come out of there. How many times in one sermon does s/he pound the pulpit? Does s/he preach against, or for...?
Belief and faith are (or should be) decisions we make after careful thought and soul searching.
I still struggle with 'am I good enough'. I still yearn for the convent in some ways. I still wonder if there might be some 'right' church for me that I just haven't found, yet. But so far, I've found only crumbling foundations or exclusion. Just the fact of being a lesbian puts me outside of the loving arms of most religions, and absolutely on the 'hit lists' of others.
Ever read a sf story called The Nine Billion Names of God by Arthur Clark? Interesting. very. So is Ishmael by Daniel Quinn and The Fifth Sacred Thingby Starhawk.
It may be that the real truth of god is how much of that Principle lives within each of us. What are my values? Do I really stand beside my friends and stand up for my beliefs? What would I die for? What will I live for? What am I teaching?
ooooh...THAT may be a key question. What are we teaching to the people around us? Do you know? And if you think you're not teaching...think about how you learned all that you know...and then think again.