Structure and Spirituality
There is no doubt in my my mind that I like structure.
Music has a very well laid out and well trodden path with guidelines and even exams along the way. I know exactly what I have to do to pass each Grade. Whether or not I can is a different matter, the expectations are written out on a bit of paper I can read. Obviously I don’t believe that doing your grades are the only way to learn music, but it works well for me.
When I was well enough to do Martial Arts I greatly enjoyed that, again the grading system provides clear guidelines of what was expected of me.
One of the great things of being a teacher was whatever period of the day it was I had an exact place to be.
I do not do well in social events, networking or anything else like that, unless I am playing a role – the photographer, event manager, teacher, workshop leader etc. A family BBQ? Really stressful… Work conference? Bloody hideous.
And my faith? Well I have to say, one of the reasons I liked the Church of England so much is because of that structure. The liturgy literally provides a structure, complete with words to say at the right points. The framework stays the same, the songs and preaching change, but the rest is constant.
But in my rather contrary way I am also quite rebellious, I don’t like being told what to say. I disagreed with a lot of it.
I’ve just re-read Nimue Brown’s (who often comments here) Spirituality without Structure I love these Pagan Portal books, and I think this is an especially good one. It reminded me of how I liked my own path of freedom. I was a wanderer (hah! I typed wonderer…)on my own path for years. It is wonderful to celebrate with other people, but sometimes you need to be freer. Maybe this is what I want or at least need for now, the freedom to worship the Numinous in my own way. Which is not to say I can’t join in with the occasional service at my local church, or even, maybe, go back to a grove again….. There is even a Forest Church starting up in Essex, which I have written in my diary and I am looking forward to with great excitement.
Maybe for now I can go back to bimbling on my own path.