PART ONE -Religion – closed or open mind?
I probably should keep my mouth shut, but it is a question I always wonder when one looks upon the globe and religion, atheism and agnosticism. But the song, “right now” seems to be the ear-worm in my head today…read on for a bizarre adventure.
I started a post about what I experienced in a church last night. Today, there was friction, as I am in a Roman Catholic Part of Switzerland and just like any majority sector of a religion, somehow when you ask “what religion you are?” The term (insert majority denomination of a religion) comes out. Usually, those brought up in one sector don’t want to acknowledge there might be more than just what we were taught.
When people ask what is my religion, I now have to say, “Christian.”
When I look up the religions of the world, I see Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism as the major groups. I don’t read the denominations of each religion as the definition of each, rather, somewhere over time, one part of the religion did or did not like what the other believed or doing so just like the conversation this morning, one side would get up and say “my religion is (insert denomination)” and leave.
Someone once asked me if religion was man made? I said, “it could very well be, but the more I press beyond what man wrote in books, I get the sense that this universe and everything in it that we can see, as well as the dimension we can not see – probably is something amazing from a creative standpoint – aka- god.”
“You could be hallucinating or having delusions?” they questioned.
“Yes, that is very possible. I thought i was in Catholic church hearing Van Halen and Guns and Roses tunes, yesterday.”
I did my best to try to explain that the quest for understanding the mind and the spritual state was something I study all the time. How the brain and mind can bring about an abnormal state in the brain, or how others ingest hallucinogenic substances to “feel” a different state.
But in that walk to find more than words in the holy books and to walk towards trying to change and live them in the world – many times we are told to stop asking so many questions or wondering, “why?” What I learn about the living breathing spirit of god on this planet is how it shows itself is almost opposite of how we think it should show itself to us.
You will make mistakes, you probably will hurt others, have others hurt you, make errors, and screw up along the path. It is as if there is something in the universe that doesn’t want you to change, but rather, just remain the same way you are – continuing to do the same bad habits till you die.
I will stop there on this part, as all I have come to after walking around the planet and looking at and into most of the worlds religions is that within each, you will find some amazing people, you will find some abusing the power, and you will find many burned out or walking away in the journey, still others seeking in another place. It is a journey each of us gets to walk out in our life. I really don’t know what is the best or right way one should walk it out either – with age, every 10 year or so you seem to get a new set of lenses with which to see the world.
From what I can tell, beyond religion is the ability to let go of your “self” to go towards a state of love and “selflessness.”
Actually getting there seems impossible in our modern materialistic world. All I know are you get up each day after making mistakes, and try again. Sincerely try to change yourself again and again.
Inside each religion of the world is probably a few thousand variations or denominations of it. Why man thinks that the denomination is the religion? Only has me ask, “Why do you think that?”
When we all die, don’t you think that there is more than our time on a little blue planet in a universe, that as far as we know is trillions of stars, billions of years old?
PART TWO – God puts Van Halen, Guns and roses in a catholic church and..
I remember seeing Van Halen as a warm up act. To this day, they get my vote for the best warm up act I have ever seen. The amount of energy coming off the stage and the performance was incredible. The band was new, and you could tell they were hungry to become rock superstars.
In Switzerland, I seem to be going to Catholic churches to fill that spiritual space for communal worship. I read the statistical breakdown of my denomination and there are a total of 264 people on the tax roles in my Canton. There is probably that many actual Catholic churches in the Canton.
The nice thing is that while I do not really understand much of what is going on or said, inside the heart and soul, you bypass all the legalism and religion and can just go work on your inner soul.
The other odd part of the Catholic denomination from mine is that you can basically go to mass all the time. Saturday night? No problem. Here is a mass! Sunday morning, afternoon, or evening? No problem. Here is a mass! Day of the week? No problem, go up to see the Capuchin Brothers, there is a mass!
When I went to church tonight, I had to pinch myself that I wasn’t dreaming as I guess they are working to bring the younger kids into the service by mixing that traditional mass with more the evangelical Christian services you find in the usa.
So as I closed my eyes and tried to pick out a few words that were being said in German, the youth choir breaks into Guns and Roses – “cold November rain.”
Yes, I was like WTF? Then I thought about how my mom asked about the lack of rules and structure in some of today’s modern churches. To her it is very foreign that you get a starbucks coffee when you walk in and church is more about making people comfy than forgetting about your “self” and worshiping god. I said, “mom, I have been in so many evangelical churches and I see the tattooed kids with piercings and battered clothing and I marvel.” They are there worshiping god, not shooting drugs or getting drunk - who am i to judge how god works?
So as I sat there listening to the choir band play a Guns and roses tune, I marveled that they pulled it off so well without slash and the band – sans Axl,
Then I pinched myself to see if I was dreaming. If I go to the Capuchin Monks, it is like a hockey game breaking out with the organ. The other church has a string quartet (audio that is divine in the place) and here was Guns and roses in a Catholic church.
As I prayed and meditated, the service was still a big blur of me trying to understand and failing
And then the piano rift from one of Van Halen's tune that I love started. (right now)
Yes, try to imagine Van Halen in a Catholic Church service. I was there and I was smiling, as I couldn’t believe it. I must have been quietly thinking, “How cool is this! Thanks god! If only Eddie Van Halen or Slash was here with their wall of amps!”
The one thing I learned about when seeking god and spirituality on this planet it that there is a very fine line between your self, something that is not love, and actual selfless love (aka – god) You spend your time working to differentiate what is and isn’t real in this world that seems to be increasing more about selfishness than selflessness. We will all pay the cost for this behavior, but we all have blinders on to inhibit ourselves from really seeing ourselves.
All I know is that was man that invented “make-up” to cover up his flaws.
IT is probably the worst solution to growth that a man can do – apply make up.
Then again, that is what I learned in my walk through the time on this earth where what I believed led me to learn that the more I did learn and experience, I didn’t really know very much at all. Hopefully, yours isn’t as much of a roller coaster and a nice smooth wave.
Click on the image, sorry that the only decent version of “right now” ( a video i always loved) has an ad in front of it. capitalism eh? But how cool is it that god can use Van Halen in a church full of kids? (my mom will freak, but eh?)