I’m in a bit of a spiritual hiatus at the moment – or rather a break from organised spirituality.
“I have climbed the highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you”
I try, only to be disappointed – maybe my standards are too high – but imagine trying to explain that to one of God’s officials at the Pearly Gates. There you are, queuing up, a bit like an airport i imagine. Everything is going well – you have your Boarding Pass – well Death Certificate – you are travelling light, no luggage, no clothes, in fact no body. And you get to Passport Control and this infinitely kind and gentle spirit looks at you a bit sadly and says “Well, why did you give up on your quest for spirituality“, they might even say, “We had high hopes for you at one stage“, and you respond, “I kept being disappointed in my searches. i came to the conclusion that my standards were too high, so i gave up“. And the kindly spirit will shake their headshape gently and sigh and respond “You were searching for God and you gave up because your standards were too high, your standards”
“I have run I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you”
I might describe my attempts at a spiritual journey;
the catholic desert i emerged from in rural Ireland in the 1970’s;
my wholehearted embracement of atheism as i threw the baby out with the bathwater and the nightlong student discussions about God, spirituality, the afterlife and their non-existence;
my development into a wise and tolerant agnostic;
my later attempts to revisit catholicism as i became a father myself and my repeated failures to find belief;
my philosophical studies which, paradoxically, (how i love that concept), brought me back to theism;
my abandonment of philosophy as it didn’t include ‘enough god’;
my feeling of everything being right when i think about the brahman and atman and Vedanta hinduism;
the complication of feeling that Jesus keeps chasing me and that, for some unknown reason, i have always been determined to stay one step ahead;
my dalliance with Buddhism and my disappointment to find no god, too much, for me, ritual and ceremony plus the shock that some Buddhist don’t love the Dalai Lama – one of my heroes;
my struggles, repeatedly unsuccessful, to return to ‘my’ church;
my attempts to define what a church should be and my failure to find such an organisation;
my depression at times at my failure.
“This burning desire
I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone”
My stumbling from hiatus to hiatus;
My growing awareness that i am but a religious dilettante;
My growing awareness that i do not know what to do;
“I believe in the Kingdom come
Then all the colors will bleed into one
Bleed into one
But yes I’m still running”
My fear that time will run out and i won’t have found enlightenment;
“But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for”
And chances are this kindly spirit interviewing me at the Pearly Gates will shake its head again and gently stamp my certificate – and point me on my way.
And i will have failed to find God even at the Pearly Gates.
And so i keep searching –
for God, for wisdom, for enlightenment
But i’d settle for sanctuary.
With special thanks tonight to U2 who inspire me often and accompany me on this journey.
Keep dodging the hiatus my friends