What do I believe
Because I class myself as an ex-priest I am often asked ‘What happened’? What happened to make me lose my faith and after all that, what do I believe?
First of all, there was no one direct thing that turned me from my so-called Faith. It was a process that started very quickly during and after theological College.
Something I have always disliked is mankind on bended knee. The sight of grown men and women being subservient is in my eyes, distasteful and puzzling. Therefore, prayer in my eyes and experience has always bordered on what seems like constant whining and wanting.
To me, this has never been the way to build a relationship between Creator and Created. To be constantly ‘thankful’ makes no sense and is of no help in solving the Big Question of ‘Why are we here?’, (which is perhaps the only question that should ever be asked when in prayer). Spending too much time with head bowed and on your knees, stinks of serfdom, which I don’t think is the point especially if you believe you were created in God’s image.
So, there you have a reason for the loss of my ‘Faith’. I find it difficult, (actually impossible) to believe in a God that requires worship.
What I have now, is not Faith. What I have now is a strong feeling that somehow feels right. Which is more than I had when I was a member of the clergy. The ‘new stuff’ requires nothing from me except a desire to explore. The ‘old stuff’ required total acceptance, the less questioning the better. Blind obedience.
I do feel a presence. Not an entity. Not a mysterious being that plays a cruel game of hide and seek. But something all enveloping. A strong sense of being part of something important and perhaps more, within reach..
There’s a connection to be made. There is something in the air that touches and connects us all. Something worthy of exploration and understanding. A connecting force that is there waiting (for want of a better word) for us to understand. For us to Get It.
In my past life, I guess its discovery would mean, using the old language, that we had found ‘The Kingdom’. And like the ‘old religion’ I would compare the pursuit of ‘The Connection’ best compared to a journey. It is there to be discovered. And that is the Journey I am on. And there ends the comparison to the old ways.
A newer me.
I have lightened my load by tossing aside the attempts of men from a few thousand years ago (The Bible) to explain their own feeling of connection, allowing me to move much faster without the burden of Servant to Master.
To sum up… (I think).
I feel as though I have moved on. That I have left the old, cobweb covered church behind. The costume. The prayers. The hymns (Oh God the hymns). The treacle-thick tradition. The darkness. All (almost) gone.
I feel now what is best described as a vibration. Something moves in the space (Dark matter?) between us. Soft and barely detectable and yet to be discovered fully.
A vibration that does not require worship or sacrifice. Something that is more about my fellow human beings than it is about a distant God.
I think my journey has something to do with the level of understanding required to live in Harmony with my fellow man. (This is not about becoming ‘As One’. More about ‘acceptance’. Variety is indeed the spice of life).
Harmony and Understanding of my fellow men and women is I believe the goal.
And yes of course, Christianity would agree with me.
It’s just our methods that differ. One thing has become obvious to me. To achieve this deeper understanding (which I have to say sadly and personally is still in its early days), I need more than anything, to be able to think and discover for myself. Which, it is important to say, is not to deny, Community or Fellowship. In fact, quite opposite. The ability to engage in conversation and the free exchange of ideas is vital in the journey I speak of and something I crave.
Unfortunately so set in stone has the Church that the ability to talk and explore the God that they profess to believe in has become heretical. The kind of dialogue I would like to hear and partake in has become quite impossible.