There are probably very few topics, that raise as much controversy, as talking about any religion. It pains me personally to talk about religious feelings. I can’t say, I am a religious person, though my true belief is true ‘religion’, is more related to personal relationship to something that surrounds us, yet feels bigger and at the same time untouchable.
We have learned to categorise and to classify these internal, deep feelings through ceremonies. I call them ceremonies, as deep down I segregate ceremonies from rituals. Ceremonies have a prescribed scenario and always end the same. Rituals are more of an open-ended process, where a person goes through a transformation and end results are not certain. Most of mainstream religions try to tell us how, what and the expected result.
This lack of openness to unknown, is what creates my internal conflict against mainstream religions.
The mainstream religions all have something in common. They tell you how to lead your life and try to imply, there is a scoring system you are susceptible to. If you score right, you are safe. I rebel against any scoring system. Now some may say this can easily create a moral ambiguity. Something that is a huge threat to an organised life. I would agree, if not for a fact, that these moral system ‘set in stone’ for major religions, already create moral ambiguity. One of the more major ones being, ‘if you are not with us, you are most likely doomed’. Not to mention the various religious wars.
My personal feelings for need of a ‘religion’, would be best quoted by: […]Whether they are raised in indigenous or modern culture, there are two things that people crave: the full realisation of their innate gifts, and to have these gifts approved, acknowledged, and confirmed. There are countless people in the West whose efforts are sadly wasted because they have no means of expressing their unique genius. In the psyches of such people there is an inner power and authority that fails to shine because the world around them is blind to it. by Malidoma Some, an African shaman.
Now this establishes a different question. What is my gift?
This perspective opened a new way of looking at my life’s journey. One of them being, that you need to remain open on both what you want and what the world (or the unknown, or God, or Universe) need of you. You should also remain vigilant for any emotions or situations life brings you.
Through that, I stopped believing that the only goal of a human should be the pursuit for happiness. Any emotion, relation, situation in my life, can be read openly, no matter, if it’s a signal from outside or a result of my own actions. If you tune deep into yourself, they will help you to find, what can be called ‘the great pain’.
I am circling around God, around the ancient tower, and I have been circling for a thousand years, and I still don’t know if I am a falcon, or a storm, or a great song. By Rilke, would be the best expression of this never-ending journey.
A lot of these ‘personal religious developments’ are centred around finding the weakness, the dark spot, the place, where it really hurts. Why do I need to look for the internal pain? Because in the places, you are afraid to go the most, where you are the weakest, in these very dark places, most likely, your unique gifts to the world hide.
If you link, the pain, the gift and the fact in the religious world, there is only space for known, you can probably appreciate my internal conflict. This is where the heroes journey becomes handy.
The Heroes Journey through all that world wants, you want, miserable failures and excessive successes. This is all, what matters, not just the happy moments. All moments matter. All want to tell you something. All give you an opportunity to grow and heal.
Living is a process of developing oneself. Without experiencing pain from disconcerting periods of our lives, we would be different person, perhaps a lesser person. by Kilroy J. Oldster.
Now if somebody tries to tell you how to survive and understand your experiences. Run!
On the other hand, if you have found somebody, who wants to be with you on this journey. I am not talking about a soul mate, but a person that remains next to you everyday. Routine days and non-routine days. There can be years, where there is nothing happening between the two of you. Though there is one thing in common, you feel that the other person brings you closer to the ancient tower. That you believe you are meant for each other, no matter what you personally want. And this person also knows how to open your dark places and make you feel comfortable with them. These are the people you want to be with. These are the people, that will help you to find and approve your weakness and your gift. Rather than being religious, embrace your journey and go looking for them.