Monday, March 29, 2010

One Seed, Many Roots, One Tree

The older I get, the more I become convinced that the way that those of us who have religious or spiritual beliefs label ourselves and define our beliefs doesn't matter to the Divine as much as it matters to us. I've had many intense spiritual experiences over the years, starting in my time as a Catholic, continuing in my years as a Solitary Kinda-Wiccan Pagan and in the years since I realized that the path that worked best for me lay somewhere between the two. And you know what? Although my own consciousness has changed many times through the years, one thing has remained constant in these experiences.

Every time I'm gifted with one, I feel like I have come in contact with what can only be described as pure capital-L-Love, something so beautiful that it nearly brings me to tears—which is not at all a normal occurrence for me. (Most of the people I know have never seen me cry for any reason.)

We can give it all the names we like, tell all the stories about it that we want, make hundreds of rules about how to best know, love and serve it, but there it is. In the end, that's why the Christo-Pagan approach works for me. Although I'm no expert on world religions, every single one I've researched so far has come down to the same thing—it's inspired by love in one way or another, crafted to explain the mysteries of the world and used as a tool to comfort, guide and occasionally frustrate ourselves into a higher way of thinking than the strictly materialistic. The fact that so many people misuse and abuse faith (and believers) of various types in so many ways has nothing to do with the roots of it, the truth of it. Those people are predators and will generally use anything—not just spirituality or religion—to do what they want. Some systems make it easier to carry out these abuses than others (Vatican City, I'm looking at YOU), but that doesn't make those systems or all of their adherents into corrupt and immoral self-righteous judgemental douchebags—just the people who do these terrible things.

Despite our differences, we really do come from the same place. As the saying goes, though I doubt it was intended to be applied this broadly:

"One seed, many roots, one tree."

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