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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Depends on the Day

Lately I've been pretty introspective, looking inside myself for the things that make me tick. What it all seems to come back to is what and how I believe.  Coincidentally, I've had several spiritually minded newsletters and conversations find their ways into my life, including an opportunity with a curious young lady who asked me what I believe. I told her it depends on the day. It got me thinking about things, and I had to ask myself more seriously what I really do believe.

I don't think we should confine ourselves to believing a religion. I wrote a blog a while ago about what I believed, using the word "belief" in a different context. My spiritual journey has taken me from my naturalist roots through brief stints in Evangelist Christianity, Buddhism, Agnosticism, Humanism, Jediism, Athiesm, and even a made-up religion my high school friend Donavan and I created called Schlingoism.  Where it deposited me, roughly, is a place that I sort of conveniently call myself a Universalist, or more specifically, Unitarian-Universalist. However, I think the specific label is a mis-nomer, for the Unitarianism within that church is all but dead. Far gone are the days where most of the church claimed to be Christians who rejected the idea of the Trinity. It seems that now everyone would fit into the Universalist category.

Basically, this means we believe whatever we want. God is a term used loosely and interchangably with words like "will", "universe" and "spirit". We understand that there is something that ties everything together, and however we decide we want to view that web, that's up to us.

So that puts me in a place to answer the question of what I believe. The answer: I don't exactly know. It's always growing, always changing. I do believe that there's a source (call it God if you want) that is like a silent guide that helps us find our own way if we're willing to let it. I do believe that death is but a way for us to pass on to the next level of conscious existence. I do believe that we should challenge what we hold as true constantly, knowing throughout that the idea of truth itself is only relative to our experiences. I do believe certain people throughout history have mastered their emotions and actions enough to become prophets and visionaries.

So, is this a religion? Maybe not, but putting this all together in my head, heart, and soul (my trinity, oddly enough), I feel like I've gotten a deeper understanding of life itself. Perhaps this IS a religion to some. It feels more personal than any faith I've ever been officially a part of. It feels like I've done all the work and will continue to do so, and every new thing I discover makes me fele that much more joyous and tuned in to the world in which I exist.

I suppose the moral of the story is this:  The next time someone asks you what you believe or what church you go to, really think about your answer. For me, I'm very content and satisfied to have the where-with-all to simply reply "depends on the day".