Friday, 4 January 2008

Some random musing about God

A friend of mine said the other day, something along the lines of "I know your not religious but..."
I think he got this idea from the fact that I said I wasn't a church goer, but he is wrong... well kind of. I nearly pulled him up on it, but changed my mind as I didn't want to get into a deep conversation at that point. However I have been thinking about it a lot, and thought I would jot down a few notes...

I would say I have had the most bizarre upbringing in terms of religion, which might explain some the ways I view the world.
As a child my parents were hippies (in a big way), they followed a Guru, and were part of the Divine Light Mission (
We travelled all over the world to hear this man speak, although as a child I rarely went to the actual talks. I do remember one of the ceremonial things however, as it was wonderful to do. We all (hundreds of us) dressed in white, and went down to a huge field. There the Guru would stand on a raised platform and fire huge water cannons (like super fireman's ones) filled with coloured water over everyone. It was like a huge party, and at the end, all the white had turned to rainbow colours, and we all went back, wet, colourful and happy to our tents. You can imagine how amazing this was to a 7 year old girl, and it has always stuck with me.
In stark contrast, my primary school in Scotland was a Christian one, and we stood every morning and said 'The Lords Prayer' before classes, had regular visits from the minister, and held weekly services at the school.
I was a little confused. At night when I went to bed, I didn't know whether to ask the angels to watch over me or the Guru . *chuckles*
I have to say that both brought me comfort though

As I grew up things changed, my parents split and my mother stopped following the Guru.
She became a Quaker, and this became a large part of her life, (if not mine). I did attend some silent Quaker meetings, and found them very beautiful in their own way, and I understood why my mother wanted to be part of this group. But by this time I was ready to leave home, and make my own way. Nowadays, my mother trains as a Church of England minister, and will be ordained in a few years!

I have met Buddhists, Pagans, Born Again Christians, Wiccans, Humanists, Jehovah's Witnesses and others, and one thing that has struck me over the years is that whatever you call yourself, and whatever church you go to, its whats inside you that counts.
Pagans believe that all Gods and Goddesses are one God, and that the icons we use simply enable us to identify, get close to, and understand our own inner spirituality.
People of all religions seek to understand themselves and the world around them better, to make sense of things which are beyond other more conventional explanations.
A person of good heart who seeks, not to glorify, but to understand, themselves better and to 'see that of God' in the world and the people around them, can, for me, be seen as spiritual no matter what religion (or not) they belong to.
I hope that my 'religion' leads me close to being this person everyday, however slowly that may be!


Wren said...

OK, I know that this blog is a hugely simplistic way of looking at it. But Hey, I'm a simple gal!

Alphonsus said...

I wouldn't call it "simplistic," Wren. I would call it "concise." I am always fascinated by anyone's religious experiences and yours is a lot more atypical and interesting than most. Too bad the guru isn't giving colorful showers anymore. It sounds like it would have been a blast.

I am always wrestling with religion and God, and I have more than once tried to write a book about my observations. No matter how much one thinks about it, I think what we come up with is going to be simplistic compared to the actual reality. In any event, I thouroughly enjoyed your post.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Wren - I would add that the belief in a god/goddess is not an important fact in ones spirituality either. I consider myself to be a very spiritual person at times, but I have no belief in a deity - I have a belief in the human heart that is much stronger than any god could be.

Anonymous said...

I hope that you don't mind Wren - but I put a link to your blog on mine. :)

Benjamin Undercroft said...

Hi Wren. Your "musings" are always fascinating and I feel privileged that you're willing to share what's going on in that little-bird head of yours :-)

As Alphonsus says, you're certainly not simple!

Your friend might have been referring to "religious" in the sense of "organised religion", i.e. a "church-goer". But you're right to say that this is a big statement that was maybe misplaced ;-)

What an interesting upbringing you've had! I'd never heard of Divine Light Mission.

As you know, although Ben is a cleric that role plays, in RL I'm a "committed Christian", to use one of your categories. I can't remember who said it, but someone commented that what's inside is really important. I couldn't agree more with that. I personally believe that God is "out there" too, so I see what's outside (i.e. God) as being equally important, as what's inside me has to relate to what's outside me. I'm confusing myself even as I type so there's no hope of this making any sense! Oops. What I believe (the Christian faith) is that when you become a follower of Jesus, you invite the Holy Spirit "into you" so then the outside comes inside again!! My brain is now very sore indeed.

Anyway, Ben is always happy to share his musings on God, but I don't like forcing myself on people . Hope it was okay commenting a bit here? :-)

Hobbit had a bit of an interesting experience in SL when someone came to speak with him. They were clearly reading his profile and saw that he belonged to a few Christian groups. Very quickly, they started baiting him with comments about "you lot" and "you christian types" and they really wanted to get into some kind of argument with him. I've heard of bible bashing, which I try not to do... but this was more a case of bashing-bible-believers, or whatever the term is! Hobbit just wanted to sit and have a beer and make friends with people...

Wren said...

Oh Ben.. comment away... I love to explore this and find everyones comments facinating. And tell Hobbit he has my sympathy for the 'bashing' he recieved. If he wants to drop by I am sure I have some herbal remedy that we could apply to any sore bits.
Love and hugs

Anonymous said...

Hi, Old Crone here. What you call gods and goddesses seem to me to all be facets of one God. I quote something I read today ' God is not a Being, God is Being'. As a Christian, and NOT an evangelical one, I am aware that very much damage has been done by different churches ( and by all institutionalised religions in fact. ) Nowadays we have forgotten to have awe and respect for that great power to whom/which we owe our lives. When Christians say you should 'fear God' this is what they mean - not fear God because God is bad and will hurt you. My personal experience is that although we fear (respect) this power it is also made entirely out of the most tremendous and wonderful love. We cannot think about it, but we could learn to surrender to it. Anything else is like the frog who lived in a puddle; he admired it and played in it and splashed in it with his little froggy mates - then he met a fish who lived in the ocean. When the fish said that the puddle was very small the frog got indignant and maintained that his puddle was the best of all natural environments. Its only when the fish took him to the ocean that he began to realise there was an area of water so vast that he could never know it in the way that he had known the puddle, nice though that was.
I don't think we can ever grasp who we are until we let go of who we are, into that great sea of love that created us. When I was a little girl of 5, many many many moons ago I got a glimpse of that sea as I sat under a tree in a wood. It revealed itself to me for a split second in eternity and I have spent my whole life longing for that again. (I imagine your rather wacky old mother was very similar.)One day I realised that that power took a human form - I can't understand this with my mind. But now my brain is overtaxed and I have to go home on the bus. Little wren, I send you a peck on your fluffy wee cheek. OC