I thought I would say a few words about where I am coming from, sort of put my posts into a context, to just fill in a few blanks. My last few posts were surrounding my trip out into nature to get an understanding or message regarding my upcoming years as a crone. Sometimes I referred to this as a vision quest but I tried to stay away from that terminology because vision quest is part of the Native American culture and religion. However, I feel vision quest can be a spiritual practice. The difference for me is spiritual practice as opposed to religion. I believe I am a spiritual person not a religious one.
If I were to be a religious person I would follow a particular religious doctrine such as Catholicism, Christianity, Jewish, Hinduism, Buddhism, Native American or even Wicca. All of these constitute religions to me because they all have a set of beliefs, doctrines, customs and rituals that one must believe in and follow specifically. On the other hand believing in a higher power and universal creator where love is the core characteristic is my definition of spirituality. Following a religion requires adhering to the doctrines and dogma established but being spiritual means following your heart and listening to or feeling the divine within, understanding love is the way. That seems rather vague. And it’s the vagueness I think that make being “just” spiritual not for everyone. I can see the value of following a religion. I believe it works for many people. It does not work for me.
While I am following my heart, I look to many different traditions and incorporate them into a spiritual practice which for me isn’t exactly a worship. Sometimes a spiritual practice can almost become a religion. For me its being conscious of my life, my spirit, my light, while remembering the lives, spirits and lights of others. Sometimes I can get knocked off course and then I may turn to prayer or meditation or nature to bring myself back in balance. However, I still use prayer and nature on a regular basis as a way of expressing gratitude. So although I refer to a spiritual practice which could become a religion, my spiritual practice is being conscious of my spirit on a daily basis not doing anything per se.
How I got to this place is a long and winding road. It all started with Phil Donahue back in the 80’s. He interviewed Ruth Montgomery about her book A World Beyond. That was my first introduction to something different. The something different being reincarnation. Of course, I had to be open to receive something different and I believe my earlier life paved the way. This new idea was the start. Later I read Gary Zukav’s book Dancing Wu Li Masters which explained scientifically the unseen world and how laws of physics applies to the understanding of reality. Since then I have read many books and articles but these were the start for me. It was during this time that my “spirituality” developed.
I was introduced to Carl Jung’s psychology while attending Alverno College in the late 80’s and 90’s. I added the collective unconscious, archetype and synchronicity to the understanding of my new spirituality. These three thoughts helped me grasp the connection humans on earth have to everything else and all of humanity since the start.
Later, as a result of my coming out of one of my darkest bouts of depression, when I made my decision to live rather than wish I were not here, I read the book Soul Retrieval by Sandra Ingermam. Now I am looking at the invisible universe through the perspective of shamanism. This is just a sampling of my path.
There is a whole movement out there that is considered the New Age Movement and many of what I feel is also true of New Age however, I am not strictly New Age. So when I am going out into nature and making a circle with stones I am tapping into all that I have come to believe about myself and the universe, that we are all connected to each other and everything else, like the term we are the stuff stars are made of. Physics says this when we understand that all matter is made of the same properties, atoms, or the term the butterfly effect where a butterfly flapping its wings creates a hurricane across the seas. I am making use of synchronicity, archetypes and the collective unconscious when I describe the owl and its message. The owl is an archetype carrying the message of owl appearing at the right moment creating a meaningful coincidence.
I don’t know if this makes sense to anyone, or if it just seems like a bunch of gobble speak. The concepts I briefly mentioned are complex and would require volumes to explain. If anyone is unsure what I am speaking of, I invite you to follow a link to a page on that topic. Or go ahead and ask me a question and I will do my best to answer it.
I would like to end this post with a link to a poem No Mistakes, Only Love, from the blog Notes Along the Path which does an excellent job expressing what is in my heart poetically. Thank you Pam from Notes Along the Path.