Step Two: Almost
I think before I can embrace step two, I need to take stock of what it is that I believe. It is hard to express this in any sort of concise set of words. I started as a Catholic but as an intellect, artist and truth seeker I wandered the worlds religions, great and small alike. Some I tried to embrace, all of them, I studied throughly. After christianity, Bhuddism and Taoism came the closest to capturing and holding onto me. What truth did I discover on this journey of spiritual sampling? I came to believe that no one religion has the proper name or accurate picture of God, as wise people tell me often, whatever force created or manages the universe is far too great for us to truly comprehend in any expressible way. So then, faith, real religious experience is a feeling, an experience of sense so awesome and unique as to be inexpressible. All the bibles, sutras and sermons in the world have failed to express it. I would argue, some are designed to bring us the experience rather than describe it, to profit devotion which can beget faith. The one book that seems to have the facts right is the Tao Te Ching, which tells us that the moment you try to express the divine you have lost it.
In that vein, I am left to ponder how to give a name to a higher power or how to place my faith in something that has no name. I am not sure at this time if I am for any organized religion giving a name to God, though I consider returning to the Catholic church. I do not believe that any one of the world religions is right, but I am not convinced it makes them entirely wrong. For me, where I feel closest to faith, to the divine is during this simple act, in writing, poetry in particular and in acts of sex, touching another beautiful body, another soul.
The writing bit, I suppose makes me believe in the muses, in the seemingly magical power of words, even if they fail to capture the true essence of the divine they can be beautiful and moving just the same, and they are the vehicle by which all human knowledge, understanding and tradition are carried forward in time. Reading the words of poets like Rumi, I can almost smell the mixed air of salt and sand in the old muslim world. The stench of piss and absinthe in Rimbaud’s Paris and it stirs an indescribable feeling of being connected into some continuum. Perhaps this faith in words, in beauty and simple divinity is misplaced and has not served me well. If so, perhaps I should seek out a more traditional god figure. I don’t know, perhaps I am the one that has not served it well enough. I know that I will, because I must, ponder it from now until a resolution reveals itself. I think I need some resolution before I can pass beyond this (second) and the next step.