Mom to the Left

I'm a mom who tends to live just to the "left" of most of the people around me here in Indiana.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Life Goal : Knowledge

Big J has some books that combine spiritual ideas from Eastern religions and Native American beliefs. I can't remember the title of the book he was reading aloud from last weekend, but it sounded kind of like a horoscope page from the newspaper. If you are born on such and such date you are ...blah blah blah. That sort of thing. I don't usually put much stock into those kinds of things, but I was willing to listen. I do have to admit that as he read the description for who I am, certain things sounded eerily familiar. It could have been coincidence, but it was strangely accurate nonetheless.

According to this description, the primary life goal for me is Knowledge. Not Experience or even Wisdom (which are life goals for other categories of people according to this book). I have been mulling this over for days now. Ever since I can remember, I have been obsessed with figuring things out. I read voraciously, usually looking for answers. I want to figure things out. Until recently I didn't even trust my own experience to guide me to the answers. I've felt like The Answers are out there and my job is to find them.

I can't figure out how I got to be this way. It is just my way. Over time I have developed a secondary obsession with journaling. This started as my attempt to sort out what I took in from the outside. But gradually it led to me forming my own ideas based on not only my reading of other people's thoughts, but also of how my own experience and internal thoughts collide with what I've read.

I think the way I've approached religion mirrors that gradual shift in my life. I am just now realizing that. When I was young, my experience and what others told me was not really in conflict so I accepted what I was told. Then as I grew older, I began to see a huge clash between my own experience and what I was told about the world (and specifically religion). (As an adult I realize that what I was told about religion was completely limited and isolated and I didn't realize how much more there was out there.) Anyway, because of the clash with my experience, I rejected religion completely.

Then when I was 30 years old I was diagnosed with a chronic illness that threw my world into a tailspin. Although it took several years to percolate, I started on a different journey that eventually led me back to religion. But this time I realized there were other ideas out there than what I had grown up hearing. Something told me that I should look around more to find idealogies that more closely matched my experience. It is ironic that my search has led me back to Christianity. (Actually it showed me that Christ's message was sound all along, it is only the way human beings have handled it that has made it violent, oppressive, judgmental, etc.)

I wonder if I'm truly meant to "Know". Knowledge seems passive to me. I'd rather have Wisdom as a life goal. And shouldn't I get to choose for myself? ;-)

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Christianity in UUism

I am so excited because I just discovered a blog that rings so true to me. PeaceBang is a UU Christian and some of her recent posts (particularly about the use (or lack thereof) of God language among UU's) felt to me as if I could have written them myself. It is so rare that I find someone who says so accurately what I feel. I often feel caught between a rock and a hard place. I am "too Christian" for the UU's and "too liberal" for the Christians. I don't feel like I belong anywhere and it leaves me feeling a lot of spiritual pain a lot of the time. I've been in another one of my funks for most of the spring/summer so far.

My UU church often feels like I'm attending a lecture or seminar rather than a religious service. And then I recently attended a United Methodist church and I felt equally out of place there. I can't buy into much of the dogma that the church has created to define Christianity. Sigh. So I'm stuck.

I'm hopeful and maybe even a little excited that there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel. I spoke to my DRE about how I've been feeling. I think she's had similar feelings. She is one of the few UU Christians (besides myself) in our congregation. She has collected a group of about 5 of us who need more of a spiritual outlet than our (largely Humanist) congregation has been providing lately. So we are forming a group that is supposed to start meeting in September. I cannot wait!

In the meantime, I am excited to have discovered PeaceBang's blog and recommend it to those who are curious about these religious views.