Wednesday, February 23

Religious Examination

The path that people walk when it comes to religion is a complex one, involving many forks, branches, routes and possible pitfalls along the way. Not everyone walks the same path, and many avoid it entirely, wandering the forest lost or camping out and hoping a way will reveal itself to them. Although the analogy is imperfect, finding a genuinely legitimate map to the constantly shifting forest can be incredibly difficult, although many religions try to come up with approximate solutions.

Whatever path you are walking when it comes to religion, how closely are you examining it? How much do you question life, and how much do you question the map you're given in meetings, readings, or through other sources?


  1. I'm actually vocal when it comes to 'the gospel according to Tek.' I like using personal experiences on how and why I live my religion/faith and why it makes me happy. I try to make life worth while, a life I would want if I were someone else watching me live. I always learn, each new 'map' or reading gives me new insight, be it from my faith or that of another. Each new person I meet or conversation I have, my view of the world changes, and with that, how I live and think.

  2. When I have questions, one of three things usually happens. Sometimes I voice them to my husband who seems to instinctively know all the answers. Maybe he has just listened long enough to know, or maybe he is prompted by the Holy Ghost. He puts things in perspective often for me.

    Another thing is that I become aware of a question, and sooner or later, usually sooner, the Lord presents the answer through my reading, either of scriptures or other materials. As long as I keep my reading wholesome, I learn many truths through reading.

    A third element is writing. As I write in my journal, I record a "quote of the day" and my thoughts on it, and usually end with a verse from the Psalms. It amazes me how God often ties the two together. I don't look at the verse until after I have done the other writing and pondering.

    Sometimes I have to rely on the memory of past spiritual experiences while I get myself back around to a place of feeling spiritual again, but I don't let go.

  3. My religious path is more "I genuinely don't care" than most people are comfortable with. I got so fed up with looking at religion after religion, tenet and diety and commandment, that I just got fed up. I put a lot of thought into at some point, (shoot, I started learning Hebrew to get at the root of the mess lingusitically) but now I hardly let people discuss it around me.
    And I'm happier living by my conscience alone, with occasional buddhist inroads (LOVE the Tibetan stuff).
    And there is real beauty to the thought of all this being totally random, without some divine organizer.

  4. I have tried so many times to walk away from the religious question entirely, but in my heart of hearts, the importance of deity and religion is at the very core of my personal world-view. That means I can never leave the question alone for too long, and as I look back over my life and read my past journals, I find that the more deeply and significantly I ask myself what religion and God mean to me, the more functional, happy, and balanced my life is.

    That said, my own religious path has been very irregular, with all the forks, branches, lost in the forest, and camping you referred to, along with a few switchbacks here and there. Eventually I will settle into my own functional truth, which I believe will be one fixed religion as the main course, with many practices I've learned from other religions to season it and deepen my spiritual understanding and personal communion with God.
    I have avoided writing much about this in my own blog so far, because there are several people I want to have personal conversations with before publishing, but I have made many important personal discoveries during my self-imposed exile, which I have begun putting into practice insofar as I can.

    (And apparently, I've let Proust influence my idea of acceptable sentence complexity. Sorry about that.)