Monday, October 13, 2008

The thirst for spirituality. Part I

I was born and raised in Eastern Europe at a time when the iron curtain was still separating the globe in two different ideological worlds. I remember as a kid going to church with my grand parents. What a drag! (they had to drag me there) The church was dark and scary, with paintings of hell and all those weird looking saints with big piercing eyes starring at me. The smoke from the candles and incents was so thick it was giving me a headake each time. The sermons were long and boring and I hated dressing up in my Sunday clothes and those insufferable shoes. When I left my grandparents farm I vowed never to go to church again. It was in high school at that age when you start asking questions about the world around you and the meaning of it all, when I went to a local church everybody was talking about. I went because I was searching for God or at least some answers about him. At the pulpit there was a young priest all fired up, talking about the coming of a revolution of the spirit. The people were mesmerized. Somebody from behind approached me and whispered in my ears. “You look like a smart kid, you shouldn’t be here, go home!” There was something ominous in his voice. I turned around and he gave me this intense look, then turned around and left. I went home and told my folks the story. They forbade me to go back. The punishment for going to church was expulsion from school. That for you, my fellow Americans is what separation of church and state meant in a communist country, and I see the push for that kind of separation going on right here right now. Of course you have a choice they said, you can choose between public education and church. I never went back. The young priest got “transferred” and I forgot about him. But those questions have remained and that thirst for spirituality never quenched, no matter how hard they try to turn me away from God.


YogaforCynics said...

I might see a push for that kind of separation of church and state here if somebody could even seriously consider running for president without proclaiming his love for Jesus (and not Jesus as merely an important teacher, either--Jesus as the one and only son of God who died for our sins so that we might be saved). As it is, the issue is much more whether particular, conservative Christian churches are going to push their dogma in public schools. Then, I don't see churches as having much to do with "spirituality" in any positive sense. As William Blake wrote:

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen;
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut
And "Thou shalt not," writ over the door;
So I turned to the Garden of Love
That so many sweet flowers bore.

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tombstones where flowers should be;
And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars my joys and desires.

Buddha said...

How true! And the poem... just makes me want to go back to reading, which is not a bad idea since I stopped watching TV :)

footiam said...

Hope you have found God. I have stopped searching!

Buddha said...

That's a good way to find God

This Brazen Teacher said...

Wow. This was enlightening to read. I always like to think I know about the world around me. Psych.