Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Spirit Vs. Science- And The Winner Is...

Recently, I was flabbergasted by events that took place right here in my own study. First I was shocked, then incredulous, then I was down right sad. I was disrespected in the effort of doing a good deed. The story and all the details are too long to share here, but I'll give you a summary:

A friend of mine has a very young cousin who wanted to marry the guy she's been in love with since she sat next to him on the school bus. She was six at the time, he was eight. Over the years they went their own ways, but something continued to draw them back to each other. And so they fell in romantic love and then he went away to the be in the Army. She went off to college.

One day, a few months back, they both came to the conclusion that they didn't want to be separated from each other. And, although she is soon to be 20 and he 21, young yes, the heart wants what the heart wants.

Their parents who have known both since they were young, agreed. But, when they went to their churches, neither the Catholic priest who she knew, nor the fundamental Christian pastor that he knew would agree to officiate since he is away in the Army. Not being able to meet him and have them take the prep classes, the pastor offered the church as a site, but told the young girl she'd have to find an officiant.

Enter my friend who calls and asks for my help. She knows I am a licensed Minister with The Universal Life Church. I became a minister as part of my Reiki practice. Since we do not qualify for mal-practice insurance, many of us are licensed as ministers because, you can not be sued for putting your hands on an individual for purposes of prayer. I have officiated at another wedding and will help when called upon.

Yes, it may seem a loop hole, but the world has become so litigious, that anyone who does any sort of body work must do what they can to protect themselves, and for Reiki practitioners, this is an answer.

Back to the bride to be. I agreed that I would officiate only after I sat and met with her to determine her emotional state and maturity. I am morally obligated to refuse to officiate if I believe the individual is not of sound mind and emotionally ready. On the agreed upon day, the girl showed up with a woman in tow.

The woman turned out to be her soon to be mother-in-law. The girl asked if she could sit in on the meeting; I agreed.

Cutting to the chase, what happened is this: We sat in my study and talked for over an hour. I told her my qualifications. I listened to her story and believed her to be ready for marriage. When it came time for her to ask me questions, she had none. I asked her mother-in-law if she had questions. She had been looking fidgety through the entire interview and she finally erupted like a tea kettle left too long on the fire. Hot liquid thoughts spewed everywhere.

Crying, she said to the bride, "I'm sorry, but I can't agree to this." Looking back at me she continued, "You are all about light and airy fairy and I raised my son to be God fearing and a good Christian. You are all about kind and gentle, but I am about doing everything to be in communication with God as my savior and supreme commander. I give glory to God in all things and you do not talk about the importance of putting God as the head of your household or the need to get down into the muck and hardship that can be part of marriage and fighting to make it work at all costs! I'm sorry, but I raised my son to go to Sunday school and you have Buddhas everywhere in your home. I can't have my son married by you!!!!"

I sat there stunned. She bawled. The young girl looked embarrassed. Quietly I said, "Yes, there are Buddhas in my home. There is also a crucifix, a cross, a pagan star, Madonnas and saints. There are many reflections of Spirit in my home. I hear what you are saying about your beliefs and I respect your traditions. My relationship with "God" is not based on fear, suffering, brimstone, and sadness and ultimately this is about what this young woman wants as her wedding ceremony."

She bawled back, "My God expects all things from me, and my church is critically important to me!"

And I responded, "And yet, your church has turned away from you in this important life matter because your son is away serving his country and can't be here to sit and chat with them."

With that she stood up and as she was fleeing my house she wailed, "I know!!!! And that's what makes all of this even worse!!!!"

Clearly, I didn't officiate at the wedding. Because their are Buddhas in my house...

Sad. Very sad and unsettling...

The National Day of Prayer coming up soon has caused a major brouhaha...not unlike the feelings I had in the situation I just described. So many are opposed to it on the grounds of separation of religion and state. So many are equally strident that it is important and should be allowed. So many who believe in prayer and feel as though their right to be positively accepted in this country as Christians is being systematically stripped away. They believe that the United States of America was founded on Christian principles and that they should not be under fire by liberal view points as they seem to be currently.

Standing firmly on the other side of the aisle are the many who do not believe in God. Those who call themselves either atheist or agnostic who feel public rituals and prayer have no place in our society. Who believe with a great deal of historical events to back them up that formalized religions have caused such narrow trains of thought and intolerance that they should be outlawed all together.

Some believe that God and formal religions funded in dogma are becoming antiquated and unnecessary in the face of Science unveiling so many of life's mysteries. Science and facts are acceptable while faith in a Creator is not.

As vitriolic as that woman was sitting here in my own home, disrespecting me and what I believe, that's how strident many are now against formalized religions. They almost spit when they talk about "God" and those bovine enough to engage in formalized religions.

And, while I don't agree with most formal religions and their tendency to make us all want to be 'RIGHT' while it makes any who believe differently 'WRONG or even DAMNED'...I do believe that we still ALL must find the God thread that is in us and develop it. In whatever means seems best to you...alone or in a congregation, we must do our work in this regard.

I don't care what you believe. But I do care that you believe in something. I don't care how you express that belief, so long as you find a loving way to express it. Not in a condescending, self-righteous way...just express your belief in a kind and considered manner.

I am all for Science uncloaking and unlocking mysteries of life even if, for some, it does take the miracle and magick out of life. I am in awe of how exponentially fast we are learning and discovering because of our advancements in Science. Sometimes it seems that Science has become Miraculous! I believe in facts and theories that can be proved or disproved. I believe that drilling down to the most fundamental of elements is important in terms of getting us to the next level of life and living.

But, in my opinion and this is strictly my opinion, many of us act as though we are petulant five years olds when it comes to discussion about Spirit. We're mad at the concept of God like a five year old can get mad at a parent having control over us.

Some use Science as a bludgeon to beat the ignoramuses who are stupid enough to believe in their religion. We see it as a case of Science Vs. God instead of seeing the inextricable bond between these two concepts.

These concepts are not mutually exclusive. Science and your belief in it is NOT a free pass out of faith; out of considering that there is a Spirit, a Universal Life Force, a God or Goddess if you will. No. On the contrary, a belief in Science and all that it continues to unfold is, in fact, a clarion call for all of us to awaken to the FACT that we are God/Goddess. As Human Beings, we are not something separate from a benevolent dictator God. We are not something small and inconsequential. We are not subservient to God. No! We are partners with Spirit. We are the physical embodiment of Spirit. We are created in the Image & Likeness of God. WE are GOD!

As such, while on this Earth plain we have an obligation to continue to build our God energy in order to lift all of Humanity to the next level of being and in directions we cannot even begin to imagine! Science is here to help us to stop looking outside of ourselves to the heavens and screeching at each other about faith and belief. Science is here to make us all begin to look inward, just as we look inward through a microscope at things so small they can't be seen with the naked eye and marvel at them.

Things that can't be seen with the naked eye, yet we know they are there...hmm, sounds a great deal like Faith to me.... how curious...

At the end of it all, Science is likely to take us all back to the space where we started. It's likely to take us back to the beginning and make us finally understand that we are the Creator. All of us. What form we choose to reflect our beliefs is unimportant. None of us is more right; more correct; more enlightened. We are all of us GOD.

When we begin to accept this responsibility and begin to carry it with love, the rest will be at peace and harmonious. We will no longer care about the various paths that lead us to the same destination.

I don't care what you believe. Just start believing in something and be willing to express that belief with love and not as shield and buckler. Stop worrying so much about what everyone else believes and if they believe as you do. Let each walk their own path. Spirit believes in us even when we don't believe in Spirit. Can't we follow that example?

Faith: The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Science and God...I believe. Where love and hope exist, the Light always shines.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Believes


clairedulalune said...

Hello Holly, my word, how horrible for you. That woman was so ignorant and disrespectful it is unreal. I feel sorry for her actually. I have been reading into the Big bang thoery and all things about the universe. Amazing and mindblowing to think about.So much to think about! I wish you have better days ahead Holly!

Sarah said...

Hi hon...I remember you talking about this..close minded woman. I am sorry this happened to you hon!!
AS for everything else in this post.. I agree with you..wholeheartedly.
I do not care what a person believes as long as the respect the fact that we all have our own path to follow and be respectful of that.
As a science always puzzles me the whole - seperate science and spirit issue...they seem clearly the same to me..just that one is the proccess of discoving the other..maybe it is me.
Wonderful thought provoking post hon!! Love ya, Sarah

Diva Kreszl said...

I do believe that God (whoever we believe Him/Her to be) sheds tears at moments like this. Our faith and our awareness of God as something greater and all encompassing is something that should unite us, not divide us. I am a Christian, raised Catholic, a member of a Presbyterian church, and I practice Reiki. While my Christain upbringing is the foundation of who I am I in no way discount or disrespect others for their beliefs. Do I believe that because someone was raised in a different religion that they are doomed, no. The God I know and love is kind, loving and would not eclude or punish His children for the circumstance of their birth or heritage. I believe that God reaches His people in many ways. It is sad when a church of any denomination alienates God's people by holding fast to some archaic, man made law. I believ that each church is different in it's practices depending on it's leadership. I know my own pastors would not reject this couple for these reasons. The Priest and the Pastor involved should hang their heads in shame, this is not what God would want. I'm sorry that you were in the middle of this ugliness but you certainly conducted yourself with honor and grace. Blessings to you!

Not So Glamorous Housewife said...

My belief is that God is knowing his goodness and kindness and all that we are because of the spirit we are given. How rotten of her to spread her oppressed views without embracing what is good and makes us human in our belief in something sacred. It embarrasses me as I call myself Christian to be associated with people who cannot see past the formality of it all. Energy is the source of everything. Who better to officiate the beginning of a new life together than one who understands it and makes it her practice? I honestly know very little about Rikki but I had a great experience with a Rikki master who approached me at a store one day when I was in a very dark place a few years ago. I felt like I could breath again. Holli, it's all so confusing but I'm grateful for people who can see the bigger picture.

Eileen said...

Wow Holly ... that was a challenging time for you, but certainly my heart goes out for the bride-to-be. Yipes, I think the couple's future happiness will be greatly dependent upon the TWO of them choosing THEIR path and setting THEIR boundaries ... if they begin under the pressures of this emotional tug of war, it'll be a rougher road than it should be. I'd have felt better about this scenario if it was the woman's son expressing the conflict, but she seems to be saying she expects to be able to make the rules for THEM. Yipes again!

You know my background and my thoughts on spirit & man's religions, so I get where the conflict comes from ... it's the human dramas I see coming for them that scare me.

Big Pissy said...

Oh, my! I'm so sorry you had to endure such disrespect in your own home. :(

You certainly wrote a great, thought-provoking post after your experience. :)


kazari said...

I feel so sorry for that woman who can not believe in a loving god without the fear and brimstone.
As a scientist and a believer in God, I see no contradiction - why would God create a static universe when he could create an evolving changing one, as each of us evolves and changes?
Thanks for such a thought-provoking post.

Jules - Big Girl Bombshell said...

Beautiful post Holly! My belief has always been that the organization comes from humans, but the spirit, GOD/Goddess is so HUGE and FULL that it can transform into what ever picture we need to see just to have faith.....As long as we get there, IT doesn't care what "organization" form it falls into...

The Rocky Creek Scotties said...

My dear Holly, I have read a lot of your post over the past year and you are a fantastic, entertaining wordsmith with an opinion. And I love and admire that - to me, people who don't have an opinion are spineless and will go along with anything that comes down the pike. Our opinion is probably the most personal thing we have that is under our control.

But on to today's post - this is absolutely the best post you have ever written - it is stellar and should be read by people of all religions/beliefs. I commend you for having the courage to put yourself on the line and speak your mind. I agree with you 100% and then some.


PS - and I will never forget how you led me to healing by your emails one night - it was remarkable and I will always remember you fondly for helping me out when I needed some really positive energy and healing.

SeeThroughGreen said...

you have such a beautiful spirit. You seem to be accepting af everyone no matter what they choose in life. You dont want to dominate, you want to live in harmony. I think that is the most important thing in a person... their ability to live in harmony with others, their strength and passion for what they believe, but also their passion for what others may believe. You have it all! You truly do live what I would imagine is the way of the god/dess.
anyway. Keep doing what you do despite the negatives that you have recieved... because your life seems to be working for you rather better then theirs are for them.

JustJenn said...

Well said. I am sorry that you treated that way in your own home. It's a shame, to say the least...

Desert Mermaid said...

I don't think Bride Mama was disrespecting you, actually, so much as feeling something of her own beliefs being cleaved, and that began with her church's withdrawal from participation. All her comfie platforms are being challenged, beginning with her baby about to be a married woman! I think maybe your calm and returned respect to her could be a catalyst for something opening in her. A start. Good job, Holly. I'm quite stunned that anyone would be threatened by a Buddha, a symbol of peace -- I guess there's more 'baggage' attached to that by way of stereotype than I'd ever thought about. Yes. Indeed. BELIEVE IN SOMETHING. or shit, go to the kitchen and peel potatoes forever -- without belief, might as well remove yourself from the Unique Human roster.

Life With Dogs said...

"Stop worrying so much about what everyone else believes and if they believe as you do. Let each walk their own path. Spirit believes in us even when we don't believe in Spirit. Can't we follow that example?"

Not as long as we take our cues from organized religions. Faith is where it's at. Church - unfortunately, is not. As your guest illustrated for you.

Alison said...

Wow! An amazing and thought-provoking post. It troubles me to read about people such as that woman. So often it is those who see themselves as the most religious, or Christian, or whatever, who are the least tolerant and understanding. I recall speaking to a 'friend' a while ago, and religion came up. I said something along the lines of, "Well, who knows who is right? It doesn't matter. It's just good to have something to believe in." "Oh no," replied my friend. "I KNOW that I am right." Hmmm..... For what it's worth, and it may sound corny, but I believe in respect, consideration and love. When our 21 year old daughter died tragically in a house fire on the other side of the world, the support and love that emanated from our smallish city was almost tangible. I felt like I was being wrapped in a tinsel skirt of love. I could feel it. So yes, despite all the problems in the world, I still believe in the goodness of people. Thanks for being you, Holly.

Heather said...

As usual, your beautiful spirit shines through. Thank you for sharing with us.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh Holly- You are a far better than I. BridzillaMama would have been escorted out of my home faster than you can say-- Eell... I won't go there.

You know my religious beliefs and the sorrow my family has suffered because others thought them "different" so I won't go there either.

But I will take my hat off to you for this fabulous post. You said so very well what many, many of us believe in our hearts and wish others could get their heads around. I agree with everything you said.

I bow to you!

Robyn said...

Very well expressed Holly.
Lovley to see you here again at your blog.

I believe that there is always room to learn and therefore what I believe today may change tomorrow.

love to you
Robyn xxx

Robyn said...

it sounds to me like the woman/mother inlaw was afraid.

there is often chaos before a gret learning.
she went into overdrive ;)

Jeanne Klaver said...

May God/Goddess/Universe bless your Buddhas, Crucifix, Pagan Star, Madonnas, Saints, and YOU!

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