Identify what is most important )0( Eliminate everything else
The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world. Dr. Paul Farmer
The suffering of others is not alleviated when no one knows about it.
There is no one right way to live. Daniel Quinn Ishmael
The only thing that you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right sort of people.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. Kurt Vonnegut

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

faith revisitation

Tomorrow morning is my second visit with the spiritual adviser.  My spiritual adviser, I guess.

Right now I am sitting at my desk, trying to catch up on work stuff and through the open window, as I begin to write about this, I can hear the bells of one of the nearby churches.  Within walking distance, which for me is not much more than six blocks, are five churches and one synagogue.

With all of this wealth surrounding me, I would have thought that visiting at least a few of them might be helpful in regaining some sense of faith or divinity.  But, when the thought comes to do that, those Sunday mornings when I am up, ready for the day and have no excuses for not doing what I believe would be, if not immediately helpful to this particular process, a nice way to spend the morning, amongst the company of other people who have some connection to the greater-than-self, I stay home. 

But, even though the attraction to attend, the pull to be among other like-minded people is strong, I stay home.

It is worth remarking that since our first visit, my attention is being drawn to all kinds of spiritual reports.  Some on the news, but nearly of of them in fiction that I am reading.  In one book, the catalyst character, a small child is saved by a nun, who does so in opposition and a tiny bit of obfuscation with her fellow sisters.  In another, the main character in a long serious of books is motivated by all things spiritual, including residing with monks as part of his journey.  I have always noticed this aspect of the novels, and I am guessing that being proactive about this in my own life is making that resonate for me a bit more strongly.

Those are more positive in nature, but I am also reading things that do not make sense to me.  One character, in an entirely different book, states that we are never alone, that God is always holding us in His awareness, and that even when we are suffering greatly, that He suffers along with us.  That it is our lack of patience, understanding and acceptance that increases our suffering and distress.  That even if our suffering never abates, that we should find comfort in simply knowing that we are not alone.


There were a couple more things that caught my attention, that were similar to that.  I think that this is where I am now diverging from what seemed like a natural part of my life, that belief and the feelings that I was always connected to something greater than myself.  I have always believed that it was impossible to look at the face of another person, look into their eyes and not be able to believe that there was a creator.

I still believe in a creator, but my personal connection to anything else is gone.  There is not a hole where those beliefs used to be, just, oh, an awareness that they are gone.

I know when this began.  It was when I was living in the shelter.  Living there was the beginning of every good part of my new life.  I truly cannot express how essential that experience was in the next step in saving my life.  I am still involved there.  But, listening to so many of the women share that their strength was with God and that only He was the catalyst for their breaking free from their abusers or whatever circumstances led them to be homeless.

If you believe, good things will happen.
If you pray and trust, God will take care of you and all your needs.
Live in the Lord and everything will be fine.
All you have to do is accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and all things will be possible.
Trust in God and everything will work out.
If God can do this for me, He can do it for you; all you need to have is faith.
We do not have to know what God's plans are for us, all we have to do is believe.
Even if your prayers are not answered, you can rest in his grace because he always knows what is happening to you.
God can deliver you from everything.

I do not have any problem with any of those statements or beliefs.  Each one is useful to someone, lots of someones.  There is nothing dangerous or damaging in any of them.  I mean, if your life works out better, then they can be a comforting and supporting part of that recover.  If things do not get better, or even get worse, one's belief in any of them could be helpful in simple getting through, surviving.

Really, they cannot fail, if you have faith in them.  I suppose that they are equally helpful to those who do not hold strong or strict beliefs.  So much of life, especially the crappy parts, can seem random if one is not paying attention, which is the level of awareness of practically everyone.  I know this because I am a member of the practically everyone community.

Even if one is paying attention, they still can be helpful, supportive, comforting and hold some bit of resonance.  One of the many beliefs I still hold is that nothing is wasted.  Not any experience, thought, practice or event, no effort or heart or struggle is wasted.  Everything is valuable.

I believe in the inherent goodness of people.  I am not so sure that I believe that some people can be evil in and of themselves, but it is my firm belief that even ordinary, well-meaning folk can do evil things, and that really crappy people can do lots of really crappy evil stuff.

I believe in a kind and loving Universe, which should seem to naturally translate or move into belief in a God of some kind, but for me it does not.  My Universe is more scientific in nature, and whilst good people and good deeds, behaviors and practices can properly exist in a scientific theory, having a God fits nicely, but it is not essential.

So, off I go to meet with Sister tomorrow morning.  I am open, eager even to talk to her and learn whatever she has to teach me or share with me.  I want this.  I need it.  I am not yet desperate for it, but I see the potential for getting to that state.

Then, therapy, followed by group and the laundry really, really needs to be done, and some health stuff needs purchasing and my Internet provider bill needs paying, and if I am not exhausted I will do a bit of grocery shopping and come home to collapse.  If I am exhausted, I can already hear the siren call of the drive-through or other fast food options being a viable option.  I totally have faith in that. 

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