Sunday, November 19th, 2017
Even Explorers Need a Home Base
It turns out I am a spiritual pioneer or religious explorer. I just know there are new spiritual and religious frontiers to discover and I am exited by it and continurally interested in that idea even when I want to give up, relax and settle into the familiar. It can get irritating. Confusing. Embarrassing. Who cares? I do.
We are in need of transcending the baser human needs. They don’t work or us as a planet nor as individuals. Greed, decisions made by power only, scarcity for many over abundance for the few, lack of reverence for anything, anxious scramble for stuff for comfort us, drugs to help us tune out to the point of dying? Not working people. Not working.
Old forms fall away, they do, they do and they are. We live in a time of dis-integrtion that comes in many forms–polarities (like political parties) that people eventually walk away from, sexual identities redefining, cultural confusion as we travel, mix, fall in love, and migrate whether by choice or by force. Mingling or separating but not yet integrating.
We need a new commonly held global moral structure for our survival and evolution to a new stage of humans living together. A new mythos that pulls out and celebrates the best in us. It will need form and structure. I have no idea what it will look like but there are experiments of all kinds going on. I won’t be alive to see the resolution and frankly, that drives me nuts. I happen to believe that there is an equal and opposite reaction to the hate based scare that exists now. Love is getting loud and exaggerated and awkward and unformed for action and will transform–meaning a dramatic change in form and substance and character. Good luck love. Good luck as you journey.
In the meantime, many of us flounder. What to do with our spiritual yearning that we ignore or treat with worldly anwers that don’t cut it? What to do with our ambivalence, doubts, irritations with formal religion’s present disappointment? Do what any cast adrift, homeless, orphaned, embittered, doubt filled person does. Find a home base. Find a home base that rings true, that gives comfort, that helps you see a good future, that guides your behavior to what you want it to be, that gives you glimpses of the sacred, the transcendent, perhaps even God.
My homebase is The AME Zion Green Memorial Church in Portland, Maine. I speak Christian. It is my native religious language. I am not so busy learning something new that I can’t forget the rituals and join in easily to the substance of worship. I like how Jesus lived and what he taught. I want to live like that. That’s what I care about. So I am not ‘real’ Christian. I’ll worry about the after life later. I am focused on the now life. Sometimes I feel like a fraud, a pretender, a parasite on other’s faith. But I have a pastor that chooses love for me and my spiritual maturing over any of my ambivalence. Thank you Pastor Kenneth Lewis.
I have another home base for my religious and spiritual exploring. My cup of hope. My red cup of coffee. I don’t say this to be glib or irreverent. Before I wrote I PRAY ANYWAY, I began an irregular but powerful ritual. I read from devotional books across all traditions. I would peruse across many, often picking randomly until a phrase or idea struck me. I would sit with it and jot down a reflection that came to me, some silly, some wise. This would transform (sometimes) into what I call prayer. I would find peace and joy and deep gratitude for being alive and a sense of purpose and guidance. Sometimes. It was not an empty peace. There was/is a sense of connection and communication for goodness. Maybe Godness.
I am a religious explorer. Where will the sacred be honored? What will be our global common agreement for connection with sharp differences that lifts us up for inspiration? What will science bring to religion that will end the foolish religion/science battle for prominence? What will we learn about the invisible forces we live in and generate–energy, heart intelligence, co-creation of our physical reality. Where will the force for good come from? How will we make it strong enough to dilute the bad? How will we take this gift of life and this magnificent planet and honor and sustain it to a new level of evolution?
The possibilities are dizzying. Find people, groups, ritual, church, principles, intuition ,friends that you can trust to ground you during this global time of change that help you hang on to a fundamental posture of hope. We are all explores now, where we choose to be or not and even explorers need a home base.