Sunday, April 7, 2013

One Tribe - Theory versus practice. Love is the Law.

When I am asked what my religion is, I simply tell people I am Spiritual. When asked to clarify what this means, I explain I have developed my beliefs from my observations and interactions with the world and the many belief systems that are out there. This includes a large dose of the belief systems I grew up around but removing those concepts my heart tells me aren't divine. Love is the Law.

That was probably the hardest step to take. To move beyond the fear of many systems of belief and think for myself. To dare to question anything that I knew in my heart wasn't true. Especially with texts that were very old, passed down orally, written and rewritten many times and in many languages. I realized that the divine nature of any text could easily have been changed, lost, or never have existed at all.

Interestingly, it was a great Aunt of mine who was very proud of her Christian standing that made me realize these religions weren't so perfect and gave me the courage to begin questioning things and finally find my own Spiritual path. Early on in a visit from her, she began preaching to me. I remember how important it was that I didn't say I considered myself "religious" but instead declared I was a "Christian".

To me, this seemed a very prideful thing to say and went against what I thought should be some of the qualities of a Christian, such as being humble and focusing on just being a good person. Of course, being part of the LGBT community, I was already beginning to see the incongruities just in the texts so these real-world examples of how each person put theory into practice were just strengthening my beliefs that I wasn't "Christian" material.

The problem was that after a while, seeing so many different interpretations of just this one faith, the knee-jerk response to so much confusion, negativity, and condemnation was to just give up and disconnect from having any beliefs whatsoever. For me though, this just couldn't work. The world spoke to me on a mystical level and I found myself most content with a belief in this Spiritual world.

So I began to study many types of beliefs. I especially enjoyed as a good reference to many different texts. Eventually, I created my own course of study and came to view the world as "One Tribe", focusing on the similarities and the belief that we are all truly connected.

The thing I have had to fight the most is remaining open to the experiences of others. Respectful of their beliefs and practices as well as their experiences. Still being buffeted by a vast majority of Christians in the area I live in, these are often the ones I want to judge unworthy and immediately dismiss instead of finding that "common ground" I spout about and remaining open.

This is of course, my blind spot. I am not practicing my beliefs and closing down because someone else has not practiced their beliefs as well I think they should have and I've become the prideful one. So I have to remain on guard, picking myself up when I stumble, relying on others to help me keep an open mind and heart in order to grow as a Spiritual being. And in doing so, respecting all faiths and hopefully learning from the best of each.

Namaste - The Divine within me recognizes the Divine within you, We are One.

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