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Where Do I Go From Here?


Colleen
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I am new to Progressive Christianity. I don't really know where to go or what to read to "solidify" my faith. I use solidify loosely because I don't ever want to put God or my beliefs in a box. I believe it limits who God is and who I am. Does anyone have any suggestions for readings or websites or whatever that I can get my hands on to learn more.

 

By the way, I live in Sacramento, California and would love to connect with any other Progressives in the area.

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Hi Colleen,

 

 

 

Welcome to our community. Perhaps this link listing 31 progressive churches in CA might help. HERE.

There are some in the San Francisco area that shouldn't be too far away.

 

It seems to me also to be good not to put your beliefs in a box unless it is to cast them aside so that the truth can surface of its own accord.

 

Hope you find what you are looking for here.

 

Love in Christ,

Joseph

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I am new to Progressive Christianity. I don't really know where to go or what to read to "solidify" my faith. I use solidify loosely because I don't ever want to put God or my beliefs in a box. I believe it limits who God is and who I am. Does anyone have any suggestions for readings or websites or whatever that I can get my hands on to learn more.

 

By the way, I live in Sacramento, California and would love to connect with any other Progressives in the area.

 

I know what you mean by "solidify loosely" :)

 

I prefer thinking in terms of travel and starting points than boxes. Everyone has to start somewhere, but the entire point of starting somewhere is you don't stay there.

 

So what's your starting place? What's the concern or curiosity or desire? Knowing that would help with figuring out what to read or who to talk to.

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Where am I starting from? :)

 

I'm not really sure where I'm at actually. I came from a very legalistic denomination. After going through some transformational growth workshops I began to realize that the way I had been viewing the world and God was in a tight little box and being right about God and my view of the world was only pushing God away and other people away too.

 

Personally I have a hard time believing in the Bible. I am sort of drawn to it, but haven't read it much in the last 4 years. I don't believe the Bible is meant to be a book of things to do and not to do. I believe it was written for a few groups of people centuries ago and some of it's principles apply today, but not all of them. I am still drawn toward Christ, but don't know how to reconcile my lack of belief in the Bible with knowing his place in my life.

 

My mom died last month. Before that I believed in soul sleep, now the best way to describe what I believe about what happens when people die is from a scene in the Chronicles of Narnia. The one when the family died and they were going deeper in and higher up. It's like they weren't even in the same realm as those who were still alive were. I do not believe in an eternal hell. I just don't believe it fits into the way God is.

 

I really think that we can bring peace on this earth. It will take us humans choosing to live life out of love and not fear.

 

That's a general idea of what I believe at this point. Other things don't matter much to me anymore. Unlearning all the legalism is something I am doing now. I get to catch myself when I realize I am doing it and choose a different way of being.

 

I'm glad I found this forum. I am a member of a forum for people who were former members of the denomination I had belonged to, but they still have such a concrete in a box view of how people are supposed to believe. I don't think it's going to be a place for me to learn new things...except maybe to be able to know for sure what I don't believe.

 

I look forward to getting to know some of you and also growing more through my time here.

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There are some in the San Francisco area that shouldn't be too far away.

 

 

 

San Francisco is much too far away for me. I don't have a car and even if I did it wouldn't be prudent to drive that far with gas prices inching their way to $5 a gallon.

 

Maybe I can find a group of people who want to meet for fellowship or something. There is a UU church in town that I want to visit eventually. It's about an hour away on foot, but maybe that will be a good time to meditate before the service. :)

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Where am I starting from? :)

 

I'm not really sure where I'm at actually. I came from a very legalistic denomination. After going through some transformational growth workshops I began to realize that the way I had been viewing the world and God was in a tight little box and being right about God and my view of the world was only pushing God away and other people away too.

 

Personally I have a hard time believing in the Bible. I am sort of drawn to it, but haven't read it much in the last 4 years. I don't believe the Bible is meant to be a book of things to do and not to do. I believe it was written for a few groups of people centuries ago and some of it's principles apply today, but not all of them. I am still drawn toward Christ, but don't know how to reconcile my lack of belief in the Bible with knowing his place in my life.

 

My mom died last month. Before that I believed in soul sleep, now the best way to describe what I believe about what happens when people die is from a scene in the Chronicles of Narnia. The one when the family died and they were going deeper in and higher up. It's like they weren't even in the same realm as those who were still alive were. I do not believe in an eternal hell. I just don't believe it fits into the way God is.

 

I really think that we can bring peace on this earth. It will take us humans choosing to live life out of love and not fear.

 

That's a general idea of what I believe at this point. Other things don't matter much to me anymore. Unlearning all the legalism is something I am doing now. I get to catch myself when I realize I am doing it and choose a different way of being.

 

I'm glad I found this forum. I am a member of a forum for people who were former members of the denomination I had belonged to, but they still have such a concrete in a box view of how people are supposed to believe. I don't think it's going to be a place for me to learn new things...except maybe to be able to know for sure what I don't believe.

 

I look forward to getting to know some of you and also growing more through my time here.

 

First, condolences about your mother.

 

 

That said, unlearning legalism is something this forum specializes in, so you are definitely in the right place. :)

 

So, just relax, be a sponge for information, a font of questions & opinions, and enjoy your time here.

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Colleen welcome and thank you for sharing your inner strength to grow with us. We are on the same path. I my experience spiritual awareness is cultivated gradually so the awareness of a new way of life can come and a divine plan can unfold individually for everyone to see and feel. A slow advance in the spiritual life gives the body and mind time to adapt, to expel, as it where, the old ideas of disease and evil which they have come to absorb. You show a sincere effort and wisdom and it seems you have been traveling on the spiritual path for some time. It seems you have the higher vision and can help yourself and others by having reason act and supervise what goes on in the mind with self-examination, prudent decisions and listening submissively to God’s suggestions. Enjoy the your spiritual journey and please share your nuggets of wisdom with us.

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I am having a hard time with something right now. Philosophically and by reason I see that the Bible itself and many of the Christian beliefs really don't stand up. I'm ok with many of them not standing up. There's just one that bothers me. My mom died March 1. To put this as short as possible, I'm not sure where I stand in my faith if there is no time in the future where I get to see my mom again or communicate with her. Even if it's more of some sort of nonphysical being that can recognize another nonphysical being I'm fine with that because when you love someone it's not about the physical in the end. If there is no "after life" then I feel kind of lost. I don't believe that there is some ultimate goal outside of planet earth that we are all striving for. I believe the Kingdom of God will happen right here on earth. There is no out there that we all go to either. The only thing that I hold onto "hope" about is what I learned in quantum mechanics about particles (or whatever the scientific terms are) aren't all in just one place at one time. They are in many place. Another analogy I like is C.S. Lewis' version of heaven in The Chronicles of Narnia (deeper in and higher up - or whatever it is that Aslan says). I just don't think we just cease to be. We may cease to be in the form that we know, but I just can't handle the idea of never seeing my mom again. Reading some of the things I've read in the past few days makes me wish I hadn't started reading more. Ignorance is bliss sometimes. Especially as I grieve my mom's death right now.

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welcome,

 

You mentioned your struggles with believing in the bible. I would recommend the book "Reading The Bible Again for the first time - Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally" By Markus Borg. In it he lays out how to lose the literalism but maintain and actually grow the meanings of scripture. Again welcome

 

http://www.amazon.com/Reading-Bible-Again-First-Time/dp/0060609192/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1303307244&sr=8-1

steve

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Where am I starting from? :)

 

I'm not really sure where I'm at actually. I came from a very legalistic denomination. After going through some transformational growth workshops I began to realize that the way I had been viewing the world and God was in a tight little box and being right about God and my view of the world was only pushing God away and other people away too.

 

Signs of growth, IMO!

 

Personally I have a hard time believing in the Bible. I am sort of drawn to it, but haven't read it much in the last 4 years. I don't believe the Bible is meant to be a book of things to do and not to do. I believe it was written for a few groups of people centuries ago and some of it's principles apply today, but not all of them. I am still drawn toward Christ, but don't know how to reconcile my lack of belief in the Bible with knowing his place in my life.

 

I too came from a very dogmatic church background. It took a while to realize that the Bible is just another book written by imperfect men (and, I mean that in the gender sense). The suggestion to read Borg's book is a good one. It demystifies the Bible and will give you a greater appreciation for the INTENT of its authors.

 

My mom died last month. Before that I believed in soul sleep, now the best way to describe what I believe about what happens when people die is from a scene in the Chronicles of Narnia. The one when the family died and they were going deeper in and higher up. It's like they weren't even in the same realm as those who were still alive were. I do not believe in an eternal hell. I just don't believe it fits into the way God is.

 

My condolences on your loss. Your journey parallels mine. My mother passed five years ago, and it was one of many things that propelled me further away from the faith of my youth. I kept having people from the Christian community try to console me with phrases like "she's in a better place," or "her suffering and death was for a greater purpose" (which particularly bothered me). I know that they meant well, but it really started me thinking. I take comfort in knowing a bit about physics. Pure energy can never be truly destroyed. I believe that our life force is pure energy and is merely converted to a different form after death. Perhaps some of this energy manifests itself in continued human life. Not the same as reincarnation, but something like it.

 

I really think that we can bring peace on this earth. It will take us humans choosing to live life out of love and not fear.

 

You may find like minds within the Jewish community. I am half Jewish, so after I left the Christian faith I converted to Judaism. They will embrace even someone like me who no longer believes in miracles or supernatural events.

 

That's a general idea of what I believe at this point. Other things don't matter much to me anymore. Unlearning all the legalism is something I am doing now. I get to catch myself when I realize I am doing it and choose a different way of being.

 

I'm glad I found this forum. I am a member of a forum for people who were former members of the denomination I had belonged to, but they still have such a concrete in a box view of how people are supposed to believe. I don't think it's going to be a place for me to learn new things...except maybe to be able to know for sure what I don't believe.

 

I look forward to getting to know some of you and also growing more through my time here.

 

I completely relate to where you are at! Welcome to TCPC. I hope you can find affirmation for your journey.

 

NORM

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  • 1 month later...

Hello and welcome!

 

My condolences on the loss of your mother. May you find peace.

 

I know the Sacramento area and am familiar with the Unitarian Universalist church you mentioned; it is on Sierra, right? These are fine, welcoming people who will make you comfortable right from the get-go. If you can manage the travel, I highly suggest you give them a try. The Sacramento lightrail/bus system runs on Sundays, so maybe you can find a way there.

 

Also, you might try Trinity Cathedral. It's an Episcopal church. Don't let the traditional Christian aspects fool you: they are a non-confessional church (meaning they do not require anyone to believe anything in particular) and so they respect those of all faiths. Many Episcopalians hold beliefs in common with those of Bishop Spong - who is, in fact, an Episcopalian.

 

And, I hope you know about Bishop Spong's website? http://johnshelbyspong.com/

 

Take care.

 

Rabbi Benjamin

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I am having a hard time with something right now. Philosophically and by reason I see that the Bible itself and many of the Christian beliefs really don't stand up. I'm ok with many of them not standing up. There's just one that bothers me. My mom died March 1. To put this as short as possible, I'm not sure where I stand in my faith if there is no time in the future where I get to see my mom again or communicate with her. Even if it's more of some sort of nonphysical being that can recognize another nonphysical being I'm fine with that because when you love someone it's not about the physical in the end. If there is no "after life" then I feel kind of lost. I don't believe that there is some ultimate goal outside of planet earth that we are all striving for. I believe the Kingdom of God will happen right here on earth. There is no out there that we all go to either. The only thing that I hold onto "hope" about is what I learned in quantum mechanics about particles (or whatever the scientific terms are) aren't all in just one place at one time. They are in many place. Another analogy I like is C.S. Lewis' version of heaven in The Chronicles of Narnia (deeper in and higher up - or whatever it is that Aslan says). I just don't think we just cease to be. We may cease to be in the form that we know, but I just can't handle the idea of never seeing my mom again. Reading some of the things I've read in the past few days makes me wish I hadn't started reading more. Ignorance is bliss sometimes. Especially as I grieve my mom's death right now.

 

Hi Colleen,

I'm sorry to hear about your loss and I can tell you from experience that grieving is a part of the process of letting go for now. The life energy in our mortal bodies never goes away because it is energy and energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it has always existed just as space has always existed; only our bodies die. Your mom's energy is still present and someday you will feel it if you don't already. My wife lost her mom a couple of years ago and I lost mine 30 years ago. Both of us had a dream experience where our moms got through with the message that they were alright. There will be times when you are doing something or about to do something and you will feel her presence.

 

Now on to other of your concerns and please forgive me because this is a bit long……

 

I have often stated that debating the bible is like debating Grimm Brothers Fairy Tales. Who cares if Jack cut down the beanstalk with a Boy Scout hatchet or a Craftsman 20" chainsaw? These are just stories written to scare us or to teach us. Most people debate the bible to show how well read they are and gain prestige in the eyes of others. The bible is so open to interpretation that everyone can be right and no one can be right which makes it useless to me so for discussion sake here are my talking points.

 

I am not a Christian by most standards people use today. My understanding of God is based on reason and my reason tells me that there is a universal, natural, immutable force governing all that exists, all that has ever happened and all that will happen. I call it the life force; a triune force of consciousness, truth and love.

 

This force permeates everything and guides evolution toward ultimate perfection. The force I describe is called God by most people but the force doesn't love any of us, it is love; it doesn't give consciousness, it is consciousness; it doesn't know truth, it is truth. The life force is in us all and all we need to do to be in harmony with it is accept it, and learn to understand it.

 

The bible stories about the character Jesus speak to me of his understanding of the life Force and how he understood himself as being one with it. He understood the truth of consciousness and love, the consciousness of truth and love and the love of truth and consciousness.

 

Before the sciences evolved as we know them today as natural laws which are provable and understandable there was philosophy. I think that there is reasonable evidence to deduce that a philosopher named Jesus lived and taught a following of likeminded disciples. I think the ideas he was teaching were politically incorrect and he was killed because of them. As with many legendary figures like Daniel Boon, Davy Crocket or Wyatt Earp, many fables were made up about him but there was a kernel of truth to his legend.

 

He knew he was no more a child of some anthropomorphic god than any of us, he referred to the life force as god or father and he understood that life force is in us all. He was a teacher and he used parables as teaching aids. Ignorant people took him literally and the more enlightened understood the metaphors he used.

 

He shared his knowledge with those who would listen to help bring them into harmony with the life force and each other. He understood that death to our self conscious life experience was equally as important as birth. Stories about him show us how to see death as a part of mortal life and how life force will leave our mortal bodies but will continue to exist universally.

 

His teachings are often misunderstood, politicized and used by men with an agenda to gain wealth and power. Christianity became an organized religion with teachings that bear some resemblance to the original meaning of the lessons Jesus taught by example and by parable. Christianity is a man made religion like other religions. It has been used as a political weapon to subdue entire civilizations of non-believers.

 

We don't know where Jesus went to school or learned what he taught; it could have been Egypt, Babylon or another advanced civilization; perhaps even more advanced in understanding than we are today in some ways. We don't know for sure if he existed but I suspect that some teacher fitting a similar description did and stories were told of his teaching and of the conflicts they caused.

 

He taught with parables. The gospels telling stories of his miracles are metaphors not to be taken literally. Does anyone believe he really raised Lazarus from the dead or that he himself came back to life and floated up into the sky above the clouds? Many Christians say they believe and their whole belief system is based on literal translations of metaphors. They accept these stories because they trust the sources like children trust their parents and teachers.

 

I use the word "believe" very sparingly and then only conditionally. It is a word that I see sprinkled generously like salt throughout discussions of politics and religion. Belief is something that is expected of us as children. Saying we believe is a learned behavior. When we say we believe there is a sense of stubborn finality or childlike trust. When we say we think it suggests maturity and a willingness to change an opinion as new information becomes available. When the bible was being written it was sensible to think the world was flat but we now know that is not true. We also know that much of what is written in the bible is not true.

 

Sometimes people say they believe when they actually have doubts; this happens often in religion because of the need for acceptance within a group. They are afraid that if they expressed doubt they would be ostracized or shunned. Belief is a way of life for many of those immersed in religion.

 

We are expected to trust our parents and teachers as they guide us along in our learning process. I remember being told "believe me when I tell you this; you will understand why when you are older". But we won't understand if we don't try to; it's easier to believe and trust the source than it is to ask the question why.

 

As a child it never occurred to me that the source I trusted was one who also believed without understanding and that this had been the practice since the original belief was passed on the first time. Eventually many people believe something that makes no sense but no one questions it because the source was trusted. How can people go on believing things that defy reason and common sense? People don't rise from the dead and float up to heaven.

 

The things we all share with each other are our humanity, the space we exist in and life force. In my understanding the Life Force is what others refer to as God. When I hear the parable of the greatest commandment and the Good Samaritan I think of the life force or God as being in us all and how all of us are one in spirit even though we are separate in physical body. I don't often quote the bible but to make a point that Jesus understood the life force and was trying to teach his followers with metaphors I offer this:

John 14 Jesus Comforts His Disciples

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."

 

 

Jesus the Way to the Father

Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"

 

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."

 

Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us."

 

Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. <BR style="mso-special-character: line-break"><BR style="mso-special-character: line-break">

 

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

"If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them."

 

Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, "But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?"

 

Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

 

"All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

 

"You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me. "Come now; let us leave.

 

Substitute the words "believe" with "understand" and the word God and Father with Life Force and the lesson here seems clear that we are all one in the life force and the life force is in all of us. The prayer was that we would all come to understand that oneness as an immutable fact. When we love God above all things and love our neighbor as ourselves it is because the truth is we are all one in the life force of love, truth and consciousness.

Edited by Harry
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Welcome to the board Colleen, glad to have you with us.

 

I'm sorry about your loss, I can only imagine how you must feel.

 

I think one thing faith in the Divine implies is that death never has the final say on the meaning of one's life, because meaning is kept hidden in the inmost being of God.

 

I like what Marcus Borg wrote (not an exact quote), When we die, we do not die into nothingness, we die into God.

 

In the Buddhist tradition, the Buddha is addressed as "the one who has so beautifully disappeared into Truth." His death marked the end of his re-births, and he vanished into supreme peace.

 

Likewise Jesus says in John 14,

 

16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

 

Jesus' physical disappearance meant a more intimate union in Spirit.

 

I have loved a prayer that Shenpen Hookham wrote, though I won't quote it in full here.

 

May the vast openness of the unknown,

...

Greet you as the friend it has always been,

The indestructible essence of your being.

 

May the truthful mirror of death

...

Dispel by its clarity life's fond deceptions,

Awakening the natural wisdom of your heart.

...

May you find the courage to welcome

The thundering storm of reality

That is your being,

...

Resting in the mysterious light of the timeless joy,

That knows no birth or death.

 

I can't say I have experience with the afterlife, but I do believe that the truth of our self reaches deeper than space and time, which have no true existence. Intimacy with Mind or Spirit touches the truth of who/what we all are, past, present, and future.

 

I wish you peace on your path,

Mike

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Colleen,

Yours was the first post I read last night as I discovered this forum and wandered in, yours of course being the first on the Introduce yourself page....tonight, I find I have to come back to it, say some things to you. More of just why as bit on down, but first, to speak of your recent loss, and grief, and the natural directions that is guiding you toward..

Grief is very often the spark that initiates a new stage of growth, a seeking of deeper understandings. It is also natural that some of that will be toward wanting to know more about what has happened to your loved one, what happens to any of us, when we depart this world. And, perhaps most of all, what happens to the relationship we've had with those we have shared this life with.

 

I can't tell you what happens. No one can. All any of us can do is speculate. But that's ok, it really is ok. I think its important to know that, that even if we don't know, its ok. For me, that is the very ground of faith, the ground out of which faith arises, and the ground upon which we are firmly set ny its power. My faith allows me to accept not only that I do not, cannot know, but that the reality is probably beyond my capacity to imagine or comprehend anyway.

 

I also can't tell you where this faith comes from, just that it is, and is something real, something we can seek toward, and find, in an infinitive sense, of finding endlessly, seeking/finding as a journey, a process, not a destination. I have some possible theories as to where and how my faith came to be, but that is all they are, and I accept also that if I am wrong about those, that too is ok.

 

As a little child, one of the first passages of scripture that seemed to speak to me personally, that was to be one of the basic guiding principles over the course of my life, was Jesus' instruction, to seek, and ye shall find, to knock, and it shall be opened to you...I always understood that as pertaining to seeking understanding, truth, and a personal awareness of and relationship to a spiritual reality....my little 4 or 5 yr old mind..yes, honestly, that young...had quite firmly decided on that meaning before the religious adults in my life realized I'd misunderstood, and tried to tell me that it meant I was to seek repentance, forgiveness, and salvation....much to their frustration, i never did seem to get that figured out the way they thought I should.

 

But for that personal aspect of my own spiritual jounrney, it has seemed I often recognise when I encounter others to whom that reality has occurred, or in whom it is is emerging. And I sense that is where you are. So where do you go from here? I don't know. I can just tell you to trust it, keep seeking, keep knocking, keep passing through the doors that open, to wherever it leads. Someone close to me once said to me, of their impression of me, in my faith journey, that whatever it is we are all seeking, I had found it...and asked me to help her find it too...

 

That took me by surprise, for I would be the last to have said then, or to say now, that I have arrived at wherever it is I am going! But it did make me think about how to describe what she seemed to be seeing in me. What came to mind to say to her was to say that is there is a "something" I have found, it is that of having comprehended the infinitive nature of the seeking, the finding. Where I might once have sought a door, through which I might pass so as to arrive, I had realized that each door leads into yet another room with yet another door to be sought and knocked upon until opened, moving ever onward, or inward, or upward, or deeper, or whatever analogy one would use.

 

I have now experienced both my parents, my older brother, my younger sister, a grandchild, close friends, leaving me behind here, as they moved on from this world. All of their passings brought anew thoughts about what happended to them, to all of us, when we pass on. The questions were not easch time the same ones, asked again and again, but each time, those that took me toward a deeper level of trying to understand.

 

The most recent of those critical passings in my life was my younger sister. At the time she passed away 2 1/2 years ago, she had lived with me for 5 years, as she battled stage 4 ovarian cancer, which ultimately tooker her life. There were both positive and difficult elements, for me, in our choice for her to to have hospice care come in here at home as the time drew near, and for her to pass quietly as I lay beside her, on a cot pushed close next to her bed. In the last days, our conversation turned so many times to these very questions...we'd always had a big sister/baby sister relationship, she being a bit more than 4 years younger than I. She marveled at how it was she had begin life following me around, asking me what she should do next, that after decades of separate lives, here at the end of her life, she was again following me around hospitals and Drs offices, asking me, what was she to do, where was she to go next. And in those last days, I found myself trying to help her answer that question, that when the end got there, what would she do then? Where would she go when she left?

 

I said at the beginning of this, more a bit later about why I felt I needed to come back here and speak to you. My sister was the one that had said what she did, a few years before her death, about her impression that I had found something we all seek, and wanted me to help her understand what it was. What do I do now? Where do I go from here? Those were exactly questions she asked.

 

When I discovered this forum last night, I had only just asked in my own prayers, for my own spiritual journey, that question...Oh, Lord, where do I go now? where do I go from here? Then I opened the page, and there was your question, the first post that I read.

 

And by the way, my baby sister's name was Colleen.

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