Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Spiritual Meme Question Twenty-Seven

27--spirituality and my daily life and goals:

   1) how do you hope to grow as a spiritual being?

    2 what direction(s) do you wish to go for the future?

   3) how has (and does) your spirituality shaped your day-to-day existence?

   4) how does it intersect with your own concepts of identity?

   5) how much or little has this fluctuated over the course of your life?

   6 & 7) how do you benefit from your beliefs? on the other hand, are you disadvantaged in any way by them?

  8) what, if any, challenges has religion/spirituality posed to you over the course of your life?

   9) is there any aspect of your life that spirituality doesn't enter into?

  10) have you ever compartmentalized your spirituality (at any point in your life) for the sake of others, or to otherwise protect yourself?

1) how i hope to grow: like a flower? Make a  list of all the characteristics that the wise have called virtuous, and put the word "more" in front of each one.  Espeially, more compassionate, more non-judgmental, more Joyful, and (simultaneously) more detached and more caring.  How i  accomplish that feat, i have no idea, but i've seen people who were both detached and caring so i keep trying.

2) what direction in the future?   words like direction and future get fuzzier all the time.  The author of the cloud of unknowing says direction is irrelevant and the wise say we live in a moment without a future.  It  is always now.  That raises hell with my ideas about goals.  So,i don't know.  More in tune with nature, i guess, more sensitive, maybe.  More accepting of the impermanence of things which is more apparant as i age.

3) how has spirituality affected my daily life?  Not nearly enough!  I pray more.  I am more  inclined toward silence.  I use more spiritual language which hopefully will rearrange my brain synapses so that the more caring, selfless response will  become paramount in my actions.

4)  Identity is a big problem for the spiritually inclined.  Emily Dickinson wrote that she was "nobody" thereby echoing one of the great Sufi poets.  I don't want this ego, this fabricated identity which allows me to fill slots in an illusory system  My Buddha nature is nothing like  how i appear to you and to myself.

5) fluctuation?  In 83 years?  Like a yo-yo.  Spirituality was dormant for 40 years.  Oh, i was religious as a kid.(If there is such a thing as "spirituality without religion," then  maybe there is "religion without spirituality."  Now it has been slowly emerging for 40 years.  But day by day, its a yo-yo.

6&7  I can't answer these questions.  I'm certain there have been benefits.  I feel better,  Whether there have been loses, i couldn't tell.

8)  My wife follows a spiritual path far different from my own.  Oh, they touch at many points.  But if i were to seek out a community that encouraged the fullest expression of my spirituality i  would feel that  would be a betrayal of her and her spirituality.  "I'm sorry, i just can't find what i'm looking for where you want me to look for it."  Live Journal's greatest gift to me is  to express the staggering i call "my path" in a diverse environment of agnostics, Sufis, Catholics. pagans, other Christians, Buddhists, and lonely seekers.

9) No.

10) Of course, hasn't everybody who is at all "modern."  My ideal strategy is not to bring spirituality into all areas of my life, but to bring all areas of my life into spiritual awareness.

Writing prompts: only ones that would be hard for you to answer please! {FULL!} - the eclectic ecstasy of an ecphorizing eccentric


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 3rd, 2016 06:01 pm (UTC)
I have really enjoyed all your answers to these memes, didn't comment on the others because I've just been full of thoughts about them and exploring new perspectives of my own based on YOUR personal perspectives. Today's #4 is the one that I am most wrestling with myself these days; since my son's death and the loss of my teaching job, both of which comprised a large portion of my 'identity,' I've been ruminating on exactly who I am and pondering the question as to whether each of us basically retains the same core 'personality' all through life, an identity by which other people seem to know and recognize us over time, versus what I myself see as 'me'; lately a couple of people have told me I am 'different' now, hastening to explain that they know I am dealing with grief and transition in my work life as well, etc. but that-- even taking those events into consideration-- I just don't seem like the same 'me' they've known for however many years. So then, who AM I now if not really 'me' anymore? I think in part I have not WANTED to be 'me' any longer since I lost my son; it's very painful being 'me' right now, and so many of the things that I used to feel defined 'me' now just seem frivolous and trite and empty. I no longer feel any attachment to them or use for them, and in some ways that is a relief while in others part of the old 'me' mourns their loss. For instance, just on a frivolous level I used to LOVE my fave tv shows and read fanfics and loved looking up news and gossip about these shows online and talking about them with fellow fans; now I watch the same things but they are only mildly interesting to me, and I haven't read any fanfics or discussed episodes online or anything of that nature as I used to do. My fandoms were a huge part of my daily routine, so that has left a big vacancy in my interests. I also used to love music, loved listening to my mp4 player and cds and the local radio stations, loved Pandora and Spotify, etc. But now I rarely listen to music; part of that is that so much of the emotional resonance music gives me has become entangled with my grief over my son and memories of how much fun we had sharing our love of hunting down old vinyl albums and listening to them together for hours. Yesterday I posted some vids that really got to me because I was having a grief 'meltdown' all day, sigh; but the 'me' that used to feel totally incomplete if she didn't have SOME form of music at hand 24/7 now feels the arid loss of that close connection. I do miss that, even more than the fandom activities, I think, but nowadays music is simultaneously solace and torture in a sense. I don't feel the same sentimental attachment to all the silly knick-knacks all over the house, little gifts former prek students gave me and all the various objects relatives and friends have given me; part of me wants to just throw everything out but I told myself to wait at least one full year after my son's death to see if my feelings change, in case someday I DO want the physical connection of all these objects to remind me of my mental/emotional connection to those who gave them to me. But even if someday I do realize it was best to keep these things, I know I will never have the same affection for them that I used to. I just don't feel like I'm that person anymore. And in a way it's a relief to drop a lot of what I thought I WAS as a person and an ego, etc; in a way I do want to 'pare down' all the detritus of 'me' into something more 'conscious' or 'aware' or 'awake', as the Buddha might say. That too carries its own fears and areas of denial and not WANTING to be fully cognizant of 'me', if that makes any sense; but I just feel that I am NOT who I (and apparently almost everyone else I know) thought I WAS, and I know I can never BE that 'me' again. It's like I'm teetering on a high wire balancing between regrets and loss and apprehension and confusion and yet also anticipation; and one thing I do want to embrace more fully/deeply is not being ATTACHED so much to some illusory sense of identity. Maybe the only way to really know who or what we TRULY are is to relinquish all notions of what we seem to be.
Mar. 4th, 2016 03:59 am (UTC)
Thank you for this insightful and difficult comment.

"I know that i am me
because my little dog knows me.
But who am I
when my little dog dies." -- Gertrude Stein.

As painful as it is, the loss of important relationships and rules calls attention to the fleeting nature of the things we try to build our identity out of. I recently lost my last sibling, so now "somebody's brother" is no longer an answer i can give to the question: "who are you?"

But i am coming to realize the the basis for my material identity is so flawed by delusions and egocentricity that my attention should be drawn to its impermanence. Loss focuses my attention.

The emptiness left by great losses may be gifts, giving us opportunities to ask who and what we really are.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 10th, 2016 09:22 pm (UTC)
I will look for your post.

Incidentally, i wondered if you can remember what you thought and felt just prior to that experience with the deer. I think that the "veil" might be inside ourselves rather than something external.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 11th, 2016 08:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you,
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



Latest Month

August 2019


Page Summary

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow