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Featured Spiritual but not religious

Discussion in 'Seekers Circle' started by Karolina, Nov 30, 2019.

  1. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Karolina, abandon rules, obligations, and limitations. If religion is an obstacle in that process, abandon religion as well. Then you will have just God to yourself. Is that not what you want. You said you wanted freedom. How is it possible to have freedom as also rules, obligations and limitations while following a particular religion. For meditation, contemplation and reflection, you dont need a religion. But that is my opinion.
     
    #21 Aupmanyav, Dec 3, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
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  2. Karolina

    Karolina Member

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    I know it sounds counter intuitive, but boundaries bring freedom to move within them, they bring a sense of safety, of knowing what is right and what is wrong. It's not freedom to just do whatever I want, that'll end badly. It's more freedom to act than freedom from limitations that I seek.
     
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  3. dybmh

    dybmh Kosher-Style Clown
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    In another thread I spoke about this a little. Pendulum. I really like the pendulum model.

    While approaching worship/ritual... do it from an Orthodox perspective. When contemplating, and living, and interacting, allow yourself to slide into a more liberal, loving, and inclusive mindset.

    That's what I do. I feel like you can have both. It's just a matter of finding a venue for your Orthodox approach to worship. Based on the very little I know about you, it seems like you have the other parts figured out.
     
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  4. Karolina

    Karolina Member

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    Thanks. In an ideal world, I'd like to be able to talk to people who are familiar with Catholic practices and traditions but allow individuals to have their own interpretations without shaming them. As it stands now, if I raise an unorthodox opinion, I'm told that it's "not Catholic" and pretty much dismissed. There's no exchange of ideas bc they've all been predetermined by the magisterium of the church. I've found two exceptions to this: Franciscans and Jesuits. But I'm not sure where to find them near me. Still, I'll keep looking.
    I Heard from a Quaker at a worship meeting who pretty much broke down my entire Catholic heritage to "lighting candles", which was also dismissive.

    I once met with a Baha'i to discuss their faith, and while I liked it on the surface, I don't really resonate well with any kind of revelations that are not either universal or unique to the individual. I don't want to trade one set of practices and interpretations of the Divine for another. I'm already comfortable with what I'm used to. I don't expect to find "Truth" in any religion bc I don't think God can be contained in a human institution or set of traditions and beliefs. I just need to rid myself of the toxic guilt I feel for not believing as they think I should.
     
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  5. Rakhel

    Rakhel Well-Known Member

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    This is going to be the hardest part of your journey.
     
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  6. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    From that, it looks to me like you’ve found what you’re looking for online, but you’d like to find it offline too.

    I have a similar problem of not having people to talk to about some my ideas and interests that mean the most to me, inside or outside of my religious community.

    I agree. I think that for our spiritual health and growth we need to be part of some faith community, without imagining that its institutions, beliefs or practices are perfect. We won’t find everything we need in any community. As I understand it you aren’t looking for a better community. You’re just looking for some things you need for your spiritual health and progress, that you aren’t finding in your community, It looks like you’ve found some of that online, but you’d like to have it offline too, or you’d like to have more of it.

    Does talking to Franciscans and Jesuits help you with that? Is “guilt” the right word? Do you actually feel like there’s something wrong with you or with the way you’re thinking? Do you have doubts or worries that your way of thinking might actually be wrong? Are you feeling stigmatized or marginalized in your community, or by some people in it?

    When everyone around me in my community thinks that I’m wrong, it’s hard not to feel like I actually am wrong. It helps me to simply say to myself that maybe I really am wrong, but then again, maybe I’m not. I do my best to find out if I’m wrong, but meanwhile I continue as if I’m right, because I might actually be right. At the same time, I try to do it in ways that will do the least harm if I’m wrong.
     
  7. Karolina

    Karolina Member

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    Jim, yes in my experience with Franciscans and Jesuits, I've had major aha moments. For instance, in my old Franciscan church I asked an older priest if the Old Testament figures were literally historical. He said that Abraham "probably was", but not before. Then recently I had my (now) former spiritual director (a lay woman at my current church) argue with a Jesuit author's point about the symbolism of Adam and Eve. She went out of her way trying to "prove" that they were historical people by quoting the Catechism. On retreat once with Jesuit spiritual directors running it, a priest shared with me that he prays to God as "Father-Mother". I literally cried. These are not "official" teachings of the church, and I'm so literally-minded and by-the-book that it's hard for me to accept not being "in line with" whatever they're trying to spoon-feed me. I now see that this is a problem, whereas before I sort of knew it but thought it was worth the feeling of fitting in. Might I be wrong? Of course! But so might they. And if I need to base my life on somebody's inner experience, it really needs to be my own, not someone else's.

    One thing I'm trying to work out is the role of worship in my spiritual practice. I feel strongly about a personal Creator-God to Whom I am much obliged, and I realize I'm used to the Catholic flavor of worship, but that in essence, the various things we do as Catholics are to highten our awareness of the Divine, not to magically put us in the Divine's presence. So I'm used to things like candles, incense, bells and chimes, certain postures, certain phrases and formulas recited or chanted, etc etc. And I've associated these with worship and am looking for their equivalents elsewhere. But really, what I'm seeing now is that the real worship happens when I have my full attention on God, be that in private, or at church, at home or in nature. Making God a priority in my life by spending dedicated time with God, meditating, praying, singing, chanting, prostrating, lifting hands, what have you. Those are just outward expressions of the inner worship due to God. I've completely been blindsided by the outwardness of Catholic expression, and it'll take some time to shake it off.

    Thank you all for engaging in this dialogue with me to help me think through where it is I need to "go" next on my journey.
     
  8. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    Seeing that as a problem looks like a wonderful breakthrough to me,
    You seem to be well on your way. I hope you’ll continue to post sometimes about your journey. I like this story a lot.
     
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