Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spring and Renewal

Okay, sure, this ain't a new thing. Folks have talked about and celebrated Spring under various names for very many years now. I suppose I'm not immune to the lure of the season, whether due to conditioning or some other energetic influence. I don't really know that it matters - Spring brings me joy, end of story.

There are some "stories", though, that are worth deeper investigation. Nearly every spiritual text I've ever encountered in some way makes note of the falsities or at least the narrowness of our individual perspectives. More and more lately I've been trying to see some of my "perspectives" from the outside. Why, I ask myself, do I accept some things as truth and believe other things are not truth when other people believe otherwise? Why, for example, do I watch televised church sermons? Heh - I should stop there... I don't know why I get sucked in sometimes, but I do. I think it's a bit horrifying to me, truth be told, because I don't believe what they are preaching. But that's my real question: Why don't I believe it?

I wasn't really brought up in a religion of any sort. My upbringing was influenced by Catholicism and Seventh Day Adventism but I attended no churches as a child save a couple uncomfortable trips with friends and some pretty fun weddings. My father took me to the woods a lot and I was conscious of the belief that I considered Nature my "church" from at least as early as third grade (about 8 years old). Churches, for the most part, have felt like oppressive, stilted, menacing places.

Until I found Frost Chapel on Berry College's Mountain campus... It was the first church of any sort I'd ever entered that felt alive, vital, living and compassionate. Yet... I've never attended a service there. You can just feel the power in the old stones, the love extant in and radiating from the smooth old wooden pews.

So churches still aren't my favorite place to be, particularly the so-called Mega Churches - all glitz-and-glam and untouchable. But I heard a piece on NPR about architect Toyo Ito whose designs are about the people who inhabit his buildings and, as I understand it, that's what the "church" is supposed to be - the sum total of the gifts of its members, not the building in which the services happen to take place. I'm sure my perspective is limited, but I just don't see many people approaching it from that viewpoint when I think it could have powerful healing effects if they did.

Oh well... My two cents in a stream-of-consciousness flow seems to have replaced an sort of traditional narrative flow but Imma call this "good enough" and go with it because I've been composing it for over a day.

What do you hold that seem to clash significantly with people around you?

What beliefs have you changed after you took the time to examine them? Which ones have you consciously kept?