When I was in college, I took senior year “elective” courses that I thought sounded fun. One of those was a philosophy course called “Metaphysics.” Now, I feel the need to preface this by saying I was raised by a woman who told me we could believe in God better if we didn’t go to church. So, I have only been to church services a couple times in my life, but was raised with a moral code based in Christian principles.
Meta, meaning beyond, and physics, meaning the physical science of what we can see, seemed like just the juice I needed to fuel my spiritual quest to discover just exactly what I believed in. Through my intellect and logic I arrived at the stunning conclusion that I did in fact believe in a god, an ultimate source of energy, some sort of cosmic intelligence that willed all life into existence starting with a creative burst a really long time ago.
The peace I felt at the end of this course and its accompanying insight let me know that I had found a truth. Yet, that wasn't the end. I was still hungry to find out more about this feeling inside. I had been circling a spiritual hole for my entire life, and now I was ready to fill it.
My quest became a voracious attempt to fill my heart and mind with meaning. I was drawn to Buddhist principles and went and stayed in a temple. I found Hinduism equally as interesting and read the Bhagavad Gita. I explored the teachings of Jesus Christ. My sister was Wiccan and I sat in on ceremonies. I was gorging on spiritual experiences, trying to find what tasted best. I went into all of this thinking I would simply wear one of these defining titles of faith. I thought I would wake up one day and would BE a Buddhist, or I would BE a Christian. What I discovered instead was that different aspects of all these religions appealed to me.
I loved the fact that Buddhists bow at the end of meditation, not to a deity, but to themselves, to the vastness of being. Yet, the practice of non-attachment seemed foreign to my romantic approach to life.
I found that I grew strength from acknowledging Hindu deities birthed from human desires, but I don't believe these gods do anything beyond inspiring within us the will to change our own reality. Having the presence of Ganesh in my home made the clearing of obstacles seem remarkably possible.
I burn sage before a meditation and smudge my home when the energy shifts and my Native American blood seems more at ease. Driving the burning herb with the intention of purification, of cleansing my self and my space of whatever may have corrupted it is a practice I will never cease.
Pagan rituals seem natural, why wouldn't I give thanks at the start of a new season? The elements of nature are a part of us and working with that energy seems like the basis of a solid cohabiting relationship. Of course there is both masculine and feminine energy at work in creating balance in the world - just look at us!
I found New Age symbolism resonated deeply with me whenever some sort of obvious sign from the universe presented itself. Theories about reincarnation and the afterlife emerged while I explored some new age practices, delivering me from the fear of death.
I am a hodgepodge of belief systems. What I used to crave in the way of identity with a larger population I no longer seek. I do not need approval from the world for my pieced together beliefs. What I believe in is my self as a being existing in this physical realm. I believe that I am part of a worldwide network of human beings and we are all a part of each other. Some people may choose to acknowledge it. Others may sleep through their entire lives while others will never move past the dividing factions of faith. We are all connected to one and another, to our planet, to the stars. We all came from one source of energy. I believe in the beauty of existence and all that there is.