Since I am what has become popularly known as a “recovering Evangelical,” who now describes herself as “spiritual, but not religious,” Easter can get complicated. Particularly since my family is very much still in the fold. Uncomfortable moments and memories arise, along with incredulity that I ever believed the party line concerning God’s story.
I had planned a post on my favorite bits of things I’ve read in my pre-Easter (to extend into post-Easter) quest to make peace with Christianity, to find a middle way, but Magpie Girl’s post today has inspired me. Instead, I offer you this:
My Wandering (and Wondering) Seeker’s Creed
I believe in a Higher Power that no box or label can contain, which I, and many more, call by many names…God, Goddess, That Which Is Bigger Than Me, the Divine, the Holy Spirit, Great Spirit, just to name a few. In conversation with others, I usually use ”God” or “the Divine” as they are more easily understood across cultures and belief systems.
I believe that God permeates all that exists, that a little piece of God lies in all of us, and in everything, but also that there is a part of the Divine that transcends everything, that created everything, that set it in motion, and hears prayers, even if the answer to those prayers is sometimes “no.” (That makes me a panentheist, for those who like labels.)
I believe that the truest picture of God is painted by the places where the brushstrokes of many religions and spiritual traditions converge and overlap.
I believe in many paths to God, and that no one tradition has an exclusive claim on the Truth about God. God is big enough to hold many Truths, since no box or label can contain God.
I believe that each different religious and spiritual tradition’s view of God is influenced by the time, place, and culture in which it was born and by the beliefs and prejudices of the people who recorded its tenets and teaching stories.
I believe there have been many great spiritual teachers in the world, whose teachings each hold one or more pieces of the puzzle that is Ultimate Truth.
I believe that God is Love, not Vengeance or Violence.
I believe that what you give is what you get returned. Call it karma, call it the Threefold Rule, or cast it as the Biblical “that which you sew, shall you also reap.”
I believe in Providence.
I believe in the Muse.
I believe each of us is here for a reason, and that part of our soul’s journey is to figure out what that reason is.
I believe in a brand of Divine, intuitive wisdom that resides inside us all, though we must listen to hear it. I believe in checking with this Divine, intuitive wisdom when examining beliefs and practices to see what fits for each of us.
I believe the Divine still speaks in the oft-cited still small voices, in intuitive pulls, in dreams that each of us experience.
I believe miracles can happen.
I believe in Possibility.
I believe all of us are inherently spiritual, though we may not recognize our spiritual nature for what it is.
I believe there is sacredness in the mundane.
I believe that I could study, meditate, pray, listen to sermons, dharma talks, read all the world’s sacred texts in their original languages, and take part in various rituals for the rest of my life and still be unable to pinpoint with precision every quality of the Divine or spiritual experience, and that this is perfectly okay. In other words, I believe there is a lot that I don’t know about the Divine. I also believe it is the same for humanity at large: that there’s a lot we don’t know about the Divine. I believe it is a good thing to not feel I have all the answers, and to leave room for more answers to come.