Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Security of Answers

My journey these last 4 years began as a search for answers to questions which rocked the foundation of my spirituality. Ironically, this quest began in part as a search to stabilize my beliefs soon after my wife and I found out she was carrying our first born. Life changing news spawned a life changing journey. I did not choose to "lose my faith" as some have claimed, no more than I enjoy the arguments and shattered hearts of friends and family caused by the fallout. All I sought was what billions of people seek everyday: security of answers to a chaotic life.

[Stumbled upon this site which allows you to create your own church sign via RNS.]

Many would claim that the journey is noble but the information obtained along the way is flawed. Believers are accepting of open-minded seekers as long as they're open-minded about their specific beliefs (while rejecting all others). Any unorthodox questions are seen as unnecessary and at times dangerous. Why? Because some questions may cause us to doubt the very foundation of truth we stand upon as Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc. So apologetics buttress their religion with evidence which, with a pinch of reason and logic (not too much though), becomes their main pitching points to converting the curious spiritual traveler. Yet the traveler is not let off the hook that easily, it's not a matter of simply choosing one over the other based on evidence. Each religious vendor is secure that all the "Others" are selling you an inferior product. The vendor becomes bewildered, distraught, and at times explosive for brushing away their foundational truth.

People who claim to be spiritual but not religious, like myself, are not looking for a set of answers or a path to follow, but an experience. This experience can be found in religion but is not exclusive to religion, nor even one specific religion. Religious believers would argue otherwise, because, in my humble opinion, they are so rooted in their experience they can't imagine experiencing the Divine in any other language (i.e. religion) especially when spoken by the Other, the Enemy. Believers connect with each other through images, symbols, language which all point to That, the Unnameable. Yet many of us feel there is much more beyond our set of symbols which I believe is currently reflected in the recent PEW study on religion among the Millennials (us young kids born after 1980). Millennials crave connection, interaction, and experience which is greatly reflected in our culture, media, technology, and points of intersection (e.g. online social networks). This overwhelming desire to be connected with others break down all sorts of walls carefully constructed by mankind's darkest fears. There is no longer any need to fear the outsider because there is NO OUTSIDER, there is no They. There is no longer any need to fight over resources because we have enough to go around (although our fears keep us from sharing). This amazing embrace of the outsider, the Other, the "enemy" decimates our need to cling desperately to the answers we absorbed in our culture, society, and Sunday school.

Homosexuals aren't out to destroy marriage.
Muslims aren't out to conquer Christianity.
Atheists aren't out to kill God.

They're people too! They bleed, cry, breathe, walk, and talk like us. When we liberate ourselves from the need to feel secure by our bag of answers we are free to comfort one another. By admitting we don't have all the answers we can lean on one another through this chaotic life. I don't put my security in answers I put my security in questions, because when we wrestle with the questions our collective consciousness evolves. When we stop asking questions, we stop learning, we stop growing, we stop loving.


Don said...

It is still amazing to me how many began a journey around 4-6 years ago. I know so many that did, including myself (six years ago). Something was happening, IMO, in that period. Can't put my finger on it. Each person has a different story as to why the journey started. Good post, my friend.

Sherry said...

I enjoyed your post (and had fun playing with the church sign maker.) I've been on a spiritual journey for about twenty years. I never did have a religion that I followed, but knew that there was some consciousness that I shared with others. I eventually ended up in a Unity church, not for the religious experience, but for their non traditional views. There is no right or wrong path, but many paths. In fact that is one of their beliefs that I appreciate: One God, many paths. I practice daily meditation and have my own relationship with my divine source. I've been sharing some of the tools I've learned on my blog, Daily Spiritual Tools, and would love your feedback. Blessings, Sherry

Eruesso said...

I practice daily meditation and have my own relationship with my divine source.

Meditation is something I've only delved into recently and I'm sure there is plenty I can learn from more experienced spiritual travelers. I skimmed through your blog and will be reading through your archives throughout the week. Thanks Sherry, for visiting. Peace and Blessings.

captron52 said...

I loved your post as usual! Thankfully I began my spiritual quest as a very young man( early 20's) and it continues even today. I am still learning and at tiems still"unlearning" othere people's "truths". I do follow Science of Mind because like Sherry said about Unity they teach without strict rules or the audacity to say thier belief is the only one that is right. Keep up the great post and much successs on your own personal journal!

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