Temple Renovation (30 May 2020)
The Temple has undergone renovations. Please see here for more details:
I think I'll have a chat with my friend tonight. I'll explain the situation and that my goal was religious discourse/give-and-take of spiritual wisdom, which would include divulging my own beliefs, even when they contradict her own. But if there's no place in her group for discourse, then I'll gracefully decline to attend any further. Same goes if her purpose is to evangelize me and usher me back into the Church.
I will be strong and proud (though not forceful) in my Jedi beliefs. There's no place for me in a group that can't or won't recognize them as a valid. Pretending doesn't help anybody.
I really appreciate you all helping me to remember that.
If it's not too late though, I wanted to chime in and say that I can relate- I am a Jedi, but I work at a Christian nursery school. (Unfortunately, there are no Jedi nursery school ;0) At my school, Jesus Christ and God are discussed during Bible Time and (sort of) throughout the day (like praying a poem-like prayer before eating). Like you, I too grew up in the Christian church and left when I began to realise that my beliefs, faith, and Path didn't lie there; so, it does sometimes feel like I'm being deceitful when I tell my students that Jesus died and was resurrected to save them from their sins because I don't believe that. But, when I feel this, I think 'Who am I to tell them that it's wrong? It's right for them, so where's the harm?' Joseph Campbell said in 'The Power of Myth' that 'all religions are true, but none are literal.' And if I think about it this way, I don't find it wrong to relay to them what they already believe.
(I think of it kind of like this- if I were to go work in a shop where the only colour is blue and all other colours are considered gross, who am I to tell them that that's incorrect? In their view, blue IS the only colour that's 'good.' I may not believe it myself, but if blue doesn't bother me, why not work there? I like blue.)
Now, at the same time, I won't actively say that I believe along lines that I don't- I won't say that I personally believe Jesus' death and resurrection is the only way to heaven (or that the blue is the only good colour)- because THEN I would be lying; but as the people around me believe X, Y, and Z, I won't presume to say they're wrong either. They believe it. So as long as your friend is made aware of your beliefs, there is no more harm in going to church with her and supporting her than there would be selling blue things to blue people.
If you go back, don't worry about having deceiving them. If their ministry speaks to you and eventually gets you to be a Christian alongside them, then they have accomplished the goal which God set them out to accomplish. Thus, your deception means very little. But be honest with them "I'm not Christian, the reason I'm here is _______". If they are truly Christian, then they will hold out hope that one day you might find what they say to be the truth.
below is a quote i like
“Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions. To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life. Only then will you know that any path is only a path and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. I warn you. Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary.
This question is one that only a very old man asks. Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long long paths, but I am not anywhere. Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you.
Before you embark on any path ask the question: Does this path have a heart? If the answer is no, you will know it, and then you must choose another path. The trouble is nobody asks the question; and when a man finally realizes that he has taken a path without a heart, the path is ready to kill him. At that point very few men can stop to deliberate, and leave the path. A path without a heart is never enjoyable. You have to work hard even to take it. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy; it does not make you work at liking it.”
Carlos Castaneda, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge
he talks quite a lot about the idea of the path with heart in his books
to clarify some of the above, that isnt to say that a path with heart is easy, in the sense that it wont require effort
it is easy in the sense that when you ask if its "right" for you to be there, its easy to say "yes" this is the right, or A right place for me to be
for me, i can use martial arts as one of my examples of a path with heart, particularly and most recently jiu jitsu
it is not easy at all
there have been times when i felt deep reluctance to show up for class, i mean there was like a primal sense of dread for a while, which i even dubbed "the black pit of despair" lol
because every class i was getting smashed by everyone
its a difficult and humbling experience to basically be wrestled into submission over and over and over lol
which is what happen, especially in the first few months of a submission grappling style
so i doubted that i was capable of doing well maybe
i wondered if i would ever be good at it, and even now i know that i may be hurt doing it
but there was never a time when i doubted that it was good for me, or that it was what i wanted to do
i want to do it even if im not good at it, because its just where i want to be, and i feel a real sense of reward for sticking with it
for me, thats one way i can describe the idea of the path with heart
and i echo the sentiment that there are a million paths we can choose, we have more paths to choose from than we have time to walk them, it is no insult to say "this one is not for me"
its an insult to ourselves to walk any other path than the one with heart, which we usually do because we are afraid or we are "after something"
None of us can breath, now.
Discretion is one thing. I don't share every aspect of myself in any given environment. Time & Place, and all that. Still and all, I don't like being places where sharing more about myself will lead to rejection. I don't mean because of the setting. Yes, I will get in trouble at work if I share inappropriately about my sex life, but that has less to do about my sexlife than about decorum.
If, in a discussion of one's spiritual life, you don't feel welcome to speak in your own language, without making them wrong, that's another matter.
It really falls to you and how you want to feel. No judgement. But after reading the original post, I immediately thought of this:
She seemed mildly disturbed about my lack of Christianity (more of a "how can you possibly be happy without accepting Christ as your saviour?" kind of way), nevertheless tolerant.
She told me that God had spoken directly to her about me and that He'd told her that I had wounds and pain to heal in my life and only God could heal them.
But she did invite me to continue to attend (I promised to give the group a "30 day trial" ha ha ha). I'm 95% sure she's still going to try to evangelize me, but I'm feeling better about the whole thing because she knows now that my Path is not the same as hers. Although I think she may have some challenges with accepting that my Path is the best way for me, at least I have my integrity.
I wish I had a dollar for every soul god talked directly to someone about!
When you're writing, you're conjuring. It's a ritual, and you need to be brave and respectful and sometimes get out of the way of whatever it is that you're inviting into the room. - Tom Waits
In The Snow - A Poetry Podcast
Miss_Leah wrote: I will be strong and proud (though not forceful) in my Jedi beliefs. There's no place for me in a group that can't or won't recognize them as a valid. Pretending doesn't help anybody.
"And you both have an opportunity to learn, grow, and practice. At least you do, at the worst, but I hope you both benefit from this. We often learn the most from adversity because we are challenged. I'm proud of you for not taking the easy way"-Senan ( I couldn't have said this better myself )
Everyday we encounter absolutes, life is full of variables and we should try to learn from each other in every instance.
But with that said not everyone recognizes that a two way interchange is possible - their viewpoint is the only viewpoint.
Good luck in your "trial period". Be tolerant and open but also be true to yourself.