The actualized self, the best version of yourself, is there urging yourself to grow. There are methods and practices, some more intuitive than others, that bring you closer to your potential. It sounds so new-agy, all sorts of “two-thousand-oh-nine” but I believe it is closer to truth than the thirty previous years of my religious experience.
I’ve been discussing. I discuss atheism with my husband, Christianity with one group of friends and eastern religion with others. I watch the intuitive nature of my children, how they are both full of love and utterly selfish, clashing in to tempers and fits. Their struggle is visible, palpable. I watch their emotions unfold outwardly. My job, according to our culture, is to teach them to suppress, handle, resolve, and come to an appropriate action. They are to work it out internally, sometimes suppressing their own desires for the sake of the other. It’s a process that takes years to figure out, nuances of society as complex as the laws of English where sometimes it’s ‘e before i’ and sometime ‘y is a vowel.’ So much of what I teach them is subjective, coming from my own 33 years of experience. Sometimes I have no reason other than “I told you so” which runs as acceptable in our culture as Mary was a Virgin at the time of Jesus’ Birth.
It doesn’t always make logical sense.
I am here at this precipice. I often come to edges as I walk along life’s path wandering through trails with people or alone. I’ve taken beaten paths with congregations of christians, trails with buddhist, large fields with atheists. I’ve walked with them asking questions, learning and wondering. The paths are symbolic but just as real as any pilgrimage. And now I am here, glancing over the edge not knowing what is below but understanding I do not want to go back to where I came from.
The mind is magnificent, forming segments for complex issues. Taking large truths and chewing them in to smaller more manageable bites. Was Jesus saying he was the son of God or that he is the son of man, a human with an amazing message, to love, to let go of the past, to make your heaven on earth? Is the war for religion necessary? Is one group going to a hell while the other rises up? Do we really not know which is which?
Or are we so used to rolling with our historic cultural preferences that we fail to seek the reason and truth behind a larger picture?
It is this place I stand with my children and my husband, watching the world and the future. I see a trail back down to one way, a softer path to another. I want to stretch each of us, to find truth and peace and harmony. To teach my children that love is innate, it is inside us, but it is bigger than us.
I do not think I need religion to do so.
So we will sing to our own tune until someone sings along with us. You’re welcome to join and harmonize. We wouldn’t turn you away.
We will sing our own song but we’re not alone. We’re joined by an inner, greater Love.
lovely post. lovely pictures of your children. =) (same Liz, different email.)
By Liz on 2009 08 23
And when all else fails, we can hum until we figure it out. Melodic, friend.
By amanda on 2009 08 23
I love how eloquently you wrote this. I’m glad that you are talking about this. It’s important for you and for everyone else, too.
By Ewokmama on 2009 08 23
Love the pictures ... and the theme. I’ve often wondered if the war over religion is necessary. Maybe it is? Or maybe it is a LITERAL example of how badly humans mess things up. ??
By E on 2009 08 24
What a lovely post! We discuss religion infrequently in our house as my husband and I have decided not to decide and just let it be. We try to answer our kids questions to the best of our ability and knowledge and let them know when we don’t know the answers.
My biggest problem is the family members who talk to our children about their beliefs with certainty; they know all of the answers. It doesn’t allow our children to explore the world without bias and make their own decisions.
By Kelsi on 2009 08 24
What a beautiful post!
By Chantal on 2009 08 24
By Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah on 2009 08 27