I've spent my entire life studying different spiritual traditions. I've taken something of a bouncing tour of faiths, and I've done it with an open mind, a skeptical eye, and an abiding hunger for something ambiguous and enormous.
I've been both teacher and student. I have experienced spiritual ecstasy and endured crisis of faith. I've been, at different times, both a proponent and a critic of organized religion, and I've seen it succeed, I've seen it work magic and I've seen it orchestrate tragic and epic failure.
Organized religion is not the monster it is often portrayed as, but it certainly can be in the right, or wrong, hands.
So why am I here again, at the beginning of (what might be considered) a new religious endeavor? It's a relatively long story, but I can sum it up rather quickly.
You see, I recently took a hiatus from my long-term spiritual path (non-traditional) and dipped back into the faith of my childhood. (Much to the chagrin of my rebellious fellows) In that old, familiar church, I found something quite unexpected. Magick. I know magick, trust me, and there it was vibrating through that church's walls, but in my youth, I hadn't had the vision or the experience to feel it.
I learned something in that church, as I knew I would. When the universe suggests an unusual approach, it usually has something big in mind. I've learned to listen. So in that little divergence back to my roots, I found not only magic, but an experience that showed me some of the good things that can come from religion. I saw what the support of a close community can do. I experienced the stability of knowing church will be there doing its thing whether or not you show up. I saw the good works that can be accomplished by a group with a unified goal. I felt the revitalization and renewal of one day spent in the presence of divine energy. I felt recharged.
In a sense, coming back with the knowledge and experience I had garnered while away managed to repair my relationship with organized religion....mostly.
So here I am, at the beginning again and full of questions. (as usual) How do you harness all the good religion can do and still avoid all the pitfalls?
This morning, a friend of mine shared something with me that she'd seen on TV. The gist of it was: religion without science is as bad as science without religion. Hmm. I suspect they keep each other in line. I'd already written up the base work for the Union of Spiritual Sciences, but I took this as a little synchronous okay from the universe.
If we can incorporate the good: community, sharing, energy, study and spiritual growth, and omit the negative: titles, subjugation, intermediaries, degrees and separation, the things that consistently go awry, maybe we'd have a chance at something bigger. Something different.
The next step. An evolution. Transcendence.
It’s worth a shot. Happy travels,