So I went to church today. No, my faith didn’t change, but my interpretation of it did somewhat.
Longtime readers of this blog – all three of you 🙂 – will remember that I left the Unitarian Universalist Church in Tallahassee because they seemed overfond of the word “blessed” for my taste. I wasn’t convinced that my faith, Kemeticism, really involved that particular word. It sounded too Christian for my ears, and I hadn’t really encountered it since I converted.
And then I started reading Awakening Osiris: A New Translation of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. It’s beautiful, with some of the most enchanting lyricism I’ve ever read. One chapter in particular does use the word “blessed.” A lot. But part of my head was going, “This isn’t a word-for-word translation. How do I know that the ancient Egyptians would use this word?” But eventually, the more times I read the book and got comfortable with that aspect, that part of my brain shut up.
Lately I’d had the thought, tossing around inside my head, that it would be nice to be part of a community again, maybe go back to the UUs. Then I heard that today’s service would be “Losing, Finding, and Rejoicing Together.” I’m still processing the loss of my girlfriend, and so I thought it might be good for me to go. And it was.
But there was this one little thing. That one little thing that I’m having trouble letting go of.
I attended the meditation group after the regular service. And as we went around the circle with introductions and all, I found myself explaining that I used to come to UU services, and why I stopped, and why I came back. And then I went into my reactions to the Tara Brach meditation that was used, like everyone else did, and everything was fine.
Until this guy – an otherwise lovely man I was sitting next to, who had just come back from a funeral for his favorite aunt, and whom I immediately liked – suggested that any “sect” or “ancient religion” (he used a few other examples) that pulled me away from “this” was (he struggled for a while, obviously trying to come up with a better word, but eventually settled on) “wrong.”
The words that immediately came out of my mouth were, “Well, They [my gods] called me BEFORE I found you all, so…” And the matter was dropped. And I think he sensed he made a mistake because the rest of the time he was very nice and welcoming and “Come back soon!” and all.
Later, when l’esprit de l’escalier hit, the response in my head was, “You don’t get to tell me my path. No one knows that except me and my gods. Only I know what’s best for me,” etc.
Otherwise, I had a great time. The main service focused on losing and finding, making sure we’re not missing anything in our lives, that kind of thing. And the meditation session (there were two meditations) was lovely.
But if I see any more of that “We’re the only path for you” crap, I’m out of there.