Yes, I really did just say that. Hear me out, though.
This isn’t what one would think of in a sense of orthodoxy. I’m not even sure if ‘church’ is the right thing to call it, but I really want to refer to it as such.
The church is going to be called, ‘The House of Vulnerability’; Where conversation is the preacher, and the practice of listening is the only required element to being a member.
On a personal level, I think it also important (for perspective sake), that I outline a bit further my involvement/experience with religion. To put it plainly- I am FASCINATED with religion. I enjoy engaging with different religious groups, in varying capacities. I have attended the Christian church, I have read segments of the bible, I have sat down with a monk to discuss Buddhism. And my favorite holiday? Ramadan. 100%. Fasting for a month, reading the Quran, engaging with the Muslim community, is one of the greatest things that I have ever taken part in, and I will continue to do so, each and every year. The point is, that while I am secular, and I do not believe in a set higher power, I believe that religion holds significant value, that warrants further interaction.
I have decided not to subscribe to one particular sect of belief for a few reasons, but the largest of which, is that I feel value from all of them, but don’t feel permanence to any of them. I read the bible, and I see massive lessons, and helpful, very applicable sentiments which can guide some incredible thought, but I do not believe in much of the ultimate preached ‘truths’. I fast in the name of Islam, and I feel a powerful connection, but I do not feel my heart to be in line with all of the teaching. I meditate with the spirit of the Buddha, but he is not my home either.
My religious exploration is not about me trying to find a religious home. I am extremely happy with my standing in this life-department. I love my engagement with all, and commitment to none. Let me emphasis WHY this is how I feel…
I strongly believe, that religion’s maximized potential, is in the question.
With so many varying, different religions, and factions within those religions, it is impossible that everyone is 'right'. I think, this is the coolest thing about it. The uncertainty around every written or spoken element, is truly remarkable. Through an all-encompassing religious lens, it is hard to understand, hard to ponder, and impossible to grasp what truth looks like. To me, this sounds a lot like the all-important vulnerability.
The vulnerable mind (where I live), is about celebrating uncertainty, engaging our questions, and ultimately knowing, and embracing, that we do not know. This, also, runs synonymous with my vision of spirituality. The thesis of all this, both in a religiously-oriented conversation, and in the larger scheme of this life, is that the questions themselves, are the answers.
This is the thesis of my church as well. As we ask questions, our mind will want an answer, but rather than feed it one, we will instead have our questions met with more questions and thoughts. Instead of religion providing an answer, it will be used to prompt the next question, the next conversation, the spreading of the vulnerable revolution.
Ok, enough of my religious manifesto. Let’s finish with some brick-and-mortar (or maybe stucco and wood? Still waiting on the contractor estimates.) details of this here church…
I envision an open room whose orientation is not to one stage or speaker, but instead is set-up to value the group as the sum of its parts. The ‘pews’ (which will likely resemble more of a coffee shop-style high-top table. Again-still waiting on those estimates.) will be garnished with a book from each differing religion, as well as a note pad. Experts and guests from various groups, mixed with the average secular, spiritual, or religious-member will all take a seat. From here, the room will fill, and the conversing, and question-asking, shall commence.
Please, god, if you are out there, help me make this dream happen. I would love to bring together the teachings of all that you are, and all that others claim you to be. Think of the oppurtunistic immensity of that collaboration. Amen.