Friday, March 12, 2010

Seek and You Shall Find

The other day I was taking a break from my somewhat unscheduled day. I had grabbed a bite to eat for breakfast and usually at this time I click the TV on for a short time while I eat. There really is not much on TV in the mornings. At least there is nothing which I would deem watchable. Usually this time is spent channel surfing which is exactly what I did that morning. I stopped on a HBO channel. A show entitled Letting Go of God was on. I am not really sure why it caught my attention yet it did.

I sat there and watched while a long time Catholic woman explained her journey through the Catholic Church. She brought up questions and doubts she had formed while attempting to find her God. She talked about how she finally fell out of the church and continued to search in other realms for what she kept calling her God. I did not watch the entire show and sort of wish that I had. When I did check the info on it I found that in the end she comes to the conclusion that there is no God. In other words she goes from a devoted Catholic to an Atheist.

As I said I did not watch the show in its entirety. However I did watch a good portion of it and some of the areas in which she described her “search” sort of made me think. I think all of us have questions in regards to what our beliefs are and why. It is hard to believe that there would be one with no inquisitiveness inside of them. Yet I have seen them or so they appeared to be that way.

The individuals who are raised in a church atmosphere and find no issue with believing all the stories and such that are told to them from the time they are small until present. They do not question the doctrines they are told are correct. They do not question the situations that come into their lives that contradict such laws. They just continue to deal with life and all its adventures based on how they have been told they are to act. I sort of feel sorry for these people. Yes it is easy to sit in a room where everything is told to you. There is no need to make any decisions for yourself in regards to what you believe as you already have the blueprint in front of you. And if by chance you do start to feel yourself falter there are always the elders/deacons/whatever one can lean on. You know the ones who are suppose to know everything. I know that such a life is comforting. There is no need to step out into the real world and experience for yourself the darkness that is there. Who would want to? The stories that can be told are enough to scare anyone from even considering such a thing.

Then there are the individuals that have an issue with the rules and restrictions that church can bring so they are just not going to believe anything. That makes it easy… We are born then we die… that is all there is. The wonders of the world around us, what are they? Merely a coincidence they say. It all “just happened” to come to be. Religion is just a crutch for those who are emotionally unstable. They need to believe in something beyond because they just can’t deal with the life now. I have heard all these lines from “atheist”. I have to say I do not understand them very well. I try and keep myself clear of them as I usually end up in an argument.

Then there are the ones who seek. They search and look for answers to the many questions that fill their minds on a daily basis. They accept the fact that they do not know all the answers. They accept the fact that more than likely they will never find them. Their minds are open to all possibilities that seem to flow by them. They take each one and carefully examine it keeping what they feel is pertinent to them and letting go of what is not of any use. They build and form in time their own religion inside of themselves. Yes, many of these people attend a multitude of churches made up of a multitude of denominations and beliefs. Yet they are not the usual cookie cutter attendee. Their beliefs are much deeper, more real. They do not follow because they are told that is what they are supposed to do. They follow because it is what they feel in their heart is best for them at this time on their never ending journey to find “it”.

Although I would not consider myself a person who is forceful and aggressive in most areas of my life, I feel that when it comes to this area I am. I seek, because I do not know all the answers yet. I seek, because I want to know all I can. I have learned that there are areas that no matter how hard man tries he may never fully understand. It is not an insult to accept such a fact. It is merely being honest with oneself. I guess that in its own way atheism is a manner of seeking. I have known those who have grown tired of the church or any form of spiritualism and just said forget it all. They still ask the questions that even though they will not admit it are geared towards spiritualism. Even if the God they worship is themselves. I have to remind myself to allow them their own journey.

One of my favorite movies is Stigmata. A story of an ordinary woman (Frankie) with no ties to the church through a series of events begins to acquire the wounds that Jesus was said to have endured during the crucifixion. A controversial priest (Father Andrew) is sent to investigate the validity of the story. There are many quotes throughout this movie that echo my beliefs. From when the Cardinal is attempting to kill Frankie because he cannot explain her condition and cries out “I will not let you destroy MY church.” To when Frankie tells Father Andrew. “You know what’s scarier than not believing? Believing, really believing. It’s fucking terrifying. Yet my favorite of all is the quote that Frankie and others say several times throughout the movie. “The kingdom of god is inside you and all around you…not in mansions of wood and stone. Split a piece of wood and I am there, lift a stone…. And you will find me.”

Although this is said in a sense that many would consider “churchy”, it can relate to anyone who believes that there is something and/or someone bigger than them. That it is not what others necessarily tell us to believe or tell us to do, but what we ourselves seek out and eventually find that satisfies that need inside of us. Yes the answers are inside of each of us and they are all around us, we need only look for them.


Lynelle said...


SpiritPhoenix said...

Great post!!!! I was just talking about Socrates and his quote that you posted the other day. How funny.

I loved Stigmata too. And that last line you quoted got me thinking as well. In fact, it was one of the bees in my head to get me thinking more about my spiritual path. Up until Spring 2005 I called myself agnostic.

Thanks for sharing! I'm going to have to watch that movie now.

(Oh and just an aside, want to have a really trippy movie experience? Watch Stigmata and follow it with End of Days. In the first Gabriel Byrne plays a priest, in the second Satan. I made this mistake a few years ago. Really threw me for a loop. But a good loop, since Gabirel Byrne is great eye candy!)

TMCPhoto said...

I love it when someone puts things I've been thinking about into words so well that when I read them I'm shouting "Yes yes yes!" in my head or out loud.

This is something that i think about all the time although I don't discuss it much. Spirituality is such a touch subject, those who follow it blindly are impossible to dialogue with, how can you argue with blind faith?

I so agree that being part of the flock is easy, follow the rules, believe without question, in extreme cases condemn those who you are told to condemn.

To take the path less traveled, and search for spiritual truth on your own terms is daunting and scary. I applaud those who go that route, I'd like to think that I am one of them.

Willow said...

This is a great post. I'll have to see if that HBO special is available on my on demand from Verizon. I'd be really interested in seeing it.

Stigmata is a fascinating film. Part of my problem with the Catholic church was their insistence that I needed an intermediary between me and "god." It's one of the best parts of finding Wicca. I am the "priest" and finding meaning within my faith is up to me, not some guy in a big hat.

Bella Foxglove said...

Wonderful post, and I love that movie as well.

There seems to be a pattern in blog land about defining who we are as Pagans, and while this is not quite along the same lines, it does tie into it on some levels..

It seems to be a time where people are reflection on just who and what they are...

Beautiful pictures in this post as well!

Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I am a seeker. I went to several churches in my lifetime, because my Mother wanted me to choose what I believe in and not her choosing for me. For that I am always Thankful for.


Ryan Sutton said...

Lovely post. =)

Anonymous said...

That was a lovely post. I have never seen Stigmata, but I have seen Dogma and loved it. I have never had any desire to go o any church or church related activities. I feel that bieng Pagan affords me to find my own path, and make my own choices, and not have hem forced upon me, just as I dont force my beliefs on other people; which I find that many (not all) church going people do.

Mother's Moon's Message said...

um... I am wondering if some are thinking that I was putting a Christian twist on this post... Was never my intent... just happened to be what was the subject at the moment.... Hope I didn't offend anyone... as I also do not believe in forcing my thoughts or beliefs on anyone... only sharing... I truly to believe that we each have our own journey and the path it takes is our own choice...

The Stag Warrior said...

That was a great post, very spot on, I think people should choose to seek, rather than choose to accept what they are told, or to not choose anything out of fear of the unknown. Your ideas are refreshingly NOT Christian, if I do say so myself.

ONe PiNK FiSH said...

Loved your post.

Bogaman said...

I have spent time in all facet's of the belief cycle. Back during the time when I was a full blown atheist, I was reading a book and stumbled on this statement, " Who am I to say ther is no God". For some reason that thought took root in my mind and I started seeking again. X.

Rue said...

Just a fabulous post! I may have mentioned this a time or ten, but it was my Baptist pastor who told me that the church may not be the place for me to find God. Changed my life.

I love that I have found Divinity everywhere - especially in a blade of grass or piece of wood!

Bridgett said...

I'm a seeker. Always will be. Everybody here calls me the research queen...and there's a reason! LOL

Wonderful entry, J.