Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Two Days Later..

[Oh goodness, it's 1am again. But this time, I'm about to go to bed (and believe it or not, 1am is an earlyish bedtime for me these days). For any who were concerned, I did get very little sleep Sunday night, but I finished drafting my paper, my tests went went well, and I slept a lot last night.]

I've been tender with myself these last two days [see my last post for better context]. When I think about my idea of God, I often challenge it and put it into all sorts of situations to test it - this goes with all the overthinking and rationalizing. After all, I'm not one to just have blind faith, right? I refuse to believe something "just because". However, in these last two days, I've been more patient, more gentle; my recent experience of God is not yet ready to be compared and rationalized into a compromise. I'm beginning to realize that it is not blind faith even if I don't do this thinking; my evidence is my experience of God. Experience is not "just because".

I also have a tendency to want to know everything now. My overthinking is not only testing my idea of God, but is also my way of determining explanations for things. I experience God, but I must be able to apply what this means to every possible situation right now.. right? But it is not so. I can take my time and keep listening. I don't need every explanation figured out immediately, it's ok. So every time I find myself venturing into thought processes that I usually do, I stop and remember that I need time. I need to listen, rather than trying to reason everything out on my own. I do not need to do thought experiments to test my experience of God right now, nor do I need to know everything right in this moment.

I still foster a small fear that this renewed focus will fade.

one day at a time, one day at a time
I will hold on to this love, one day at a time

Baby steps. No need to fear the long term; if I can pay attention to the short term, the long term will follow accordingly.

I've been taking care to focus on my recent spiritual experiences while walking from one place to another, or just sitting. Not just thinking, but focusing and feeling. I've been taking a little more time for myself, not doing homework or other important things from time to time. I've begun re-reading If God is Love, and though I read it a couple months ago shortly after FGC Gathering, I feel as though I'm reading it for the first time again. I'm reading it anew, refreshed, with new eyes from a new perspective. I'm in a different place now than I was before, and it's changed how I experience a lot of things.

This has been another turning point (of which I've had many in the last year). I feel that I may be in the midst of what could be called a spiritual transformation. I feel like I've taken a new turn in my spiritual journey, and am continuing with care and tenderness that I have not allowed myself previously. I'm learning how to trust even more, and not feel unreasonable or irrational.

[As a scientific thinker, I'm very wary of having unreasonable, irrational, out-of-line-with-what-we-know-to-be-true beliefs. This leads to my tendency to test any new spiritual idea or belief I encounter within myself in ways which I am now learning may be too rushed, or just down right inappropriate. This can sometimes be a frustrating roadblock with faith, eventhough I'm convinced that science and religion are not opposed to each other, and instead actually go along with one another.]

I find it fascinating (and a little sad) that no one around me (physically) really has any idea what I'm going through spiritually right now. My behavior has not changed radically or suddenly, and I don't often speak of my spirituality, especially not in casual conversation. I don't need the answer to this problem right now, though. In time, an answer will come. (Last year my response was to create this blog, which has been nothing but a positive experience so far.)

Do forgive me if this entry seems a little disorganized and unclear. I'm still fleshing all of this out. I just felt the need to write about the impact that my experience Sunday night (/Monday morning) has had on me so far. My spiritual focus is returning in a new and awesome way.

Love and Light,


Anonymous Andrew said...

Dear Claire, Since you are talking about being patient and tender with yourself, I will share this short prayer that has been on our bathroom mirror for several monthes. I have found it helpful.

Gentle me,
Holy One,
into an unclenched moment,
a deep breath,
a letting go
of heavy experiences,
of shriveling anxieties,
of dead certainties,
that, softened by the silence,
surrounded by the light,
and open to the mystery,
I may be found by wholeness,
upheld by the unfathomable,
entranced by the simple,
and filled with the joy
that is you.

--Ted Loder (from Life Prayers)

I hope that you will find someone near you with whom you can share more of this transformation.

Peace, Andrew

19/10/05 4:25 PM  
Blogger Contemplative Scholar said...

George Fox said sometimes about his spiritual insights, "this I know experimentally." He lived during the time of the rise of modern science, so knowing something "experimentally" counted for a lot. I find this fascinating and would like to look into it further -- perhaps my next research project! So I agree that science and religion are not at all opposed!

19/10/05 8:22 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

Andrew - thank you for sharing that poem. It strikes a deep chord in me each time I read it. mmm.

Contemplative - experimental experience is quite valuable. I'm still working out some balances and similarities between science and spirituality/religion - I'm a dedicated Quaker and simultaneously a complete lunatic about chemistry and biochemistry.

Love and Light,

20/10/05 9:59 PM  

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