Religion (one holy book, one building with required attendance and one appointee who will speak to the divine on your behalf) has never worked for me. Spirituality (many books, all locations and easy personal access to the divine) has been a much better fit for my angst ridden soul. I had hoped that taking personal responsibility for this choice would result in a warm and fuzzy faith. I have friends who float a few inches off the ground when they walk because the white light and goodness is so bright in their beliefs. Theirs is an angel populated, karmically justified universe. My universe – not so clear.
I doubt my spiritual path more often than I feel certain about it. I am a Pagan (but not a Witch), Priestess of the Western Mystery Tradition ( without a Temple), and champion of the Divine Feminine (who does not believe that the Divine has a gender). Finally, I am an existential psychologist, and firmly believe that the “givens of existence” (Death, Isolation, Freedom and Meaninglessness) drive many an angst ridden seeker to lock down a belief system simply to secure an afterlife, companionship, boundaries and a mission statement.
Only recently am I becoming comfortable this, as I recognize that my doubt is what informs my faith.
Faith requires a lack of certainty, also known as doubt, and I have a plethora of doubt! Doubt keeps my mind open and my ego in check. It fuels my humility and my willingness to engage in inter-faith dialogues.
I often envy those whose commitment to their spiritual path appears effortless. To be a sheep in a well tended flock, whether mainstream or alternative, sounds comforting and empowering. Yet always I return to the fore-court of Apollo’s temple at Delphi, where the inscription “Gnothi Seauton” (Know Thyself) captures the only path I can unequivocally swear allegiance to. And since true self-knowledge can only be apprehended in relationships with others, my commitment to Serve the Light – in it’s myriad of forms – is the only spiritual discipline I have.
If my suspicion that doubt is a prerequisite for faith is valid, then I am one faithful Pagan (but not a Witch), Priestess of the Western Mystery Tradition ( without a Temple), and champion of the Divine Feminine (who does not believe that the Divine has a gender). But I doubt it’s that simple.