I suppose I should start this with the old adage that anything written is entirely my own opinion and not written to cause offence. It’s merely my own ramblings in a public forum while I try and make sense of my own feelings.
So as one of my goals for next year is to be spiritually healthier I decided to watch (UK) Channel 5’s five part series The Bible. Faith doesn’t necessarily mean Christianity but it seemed as good a place as any to start. As a TV show in itself I’m not entirely sure about it (I have one episode left to watch). The Old Testament is covered in the first 2 and a half episodes with the rest concentrating on the story of Jesus. Maybe because the New Testament has been done to death in TV, film and schooling I’m finding this bit dull rather than spiritually enlightening. I would’ve have enjoyed more of the older stories especially as here they all seem so rushed. The 500 years before the birth of Jesus is passed off in 60 seconds with the paraphrased words “stuff happened, people suffered, it was all a bit rubbish really”.
But it has got me thinking and that should be classed as a positive result. I know there is a gap inside which could be filled with some kind of faith but what that faith should be is posing a more difficult task. I do believe faith finds you rather than you just picking one. I don’t believe you should follow a path just because you’re ancestors did and because it’s the “done thing”. I have always refused to Christen my son as it seemed hypocritical to do so when I’d barely stepped foot in a church. Now as an adult he is free to choose his own path but I never believed in foisting one on him.
A couple of years ago as part of one of my university modules I studied the reformation and the sacking of Catholic churches. Curious i decided to have my own mini tour to look at the differences between Catholic and Anglican churches. While the Catholic ceremonies go on too long for my liking I find the churches to be warmer, more inviting and more calming. The Anglican ones have sermons short enough for my attention span but the cold bare walls are too austere and uninviting. I have no idea of there is something in the middle.
So what do I believe? That’s a hard question to answer. I would love to know more on the mysticism side of Judaism. I believe in reincarnation, ghosts and spirits. I don’t think there’s a man sat up in the clouds looking down on us but I do think there’s a higher power around us something we can harness. I think I need to look into more “natural” faiths. Something that comes from the earth. That’s my gut instinct but a strange one seeing as I’m not a gardener or up to now been very good with plants. But I am a big believer in instinct and feelings and if that’s what my instinct tells me then that’s the place to start.
2014 should be an interesting year intellectually. I have several pamphlets of places to go and books to read. I’m hopefully going to a spiritual book club in January, maybe people will have some ideas for me to explore then. Somewhere out there is my answer but it may take time to find the exact thing. I’m looking forward to the challenge