I write this on Sunday. We have just celebrated Ramadan, Easter and Passover, and Earth Day, and as a result, two questions are on my mind and I’d love to know your answers:
QUESTION #1: Why do you go to places of worship (Church, Ashram, Cathedral, Mosque, Synagogue, Sweat Lodge—any place of worship)? Why do we go to these places? To pay homage to the sacred? To pray? To contemplate and reflect? To commune? To be in peace with the world? To ask for forgiveness? To experience ritual, beauty and ceremony?
QUESTION #2: Why can’t we do this everywhere, because everywhere, everything and everyone is sacred—our homes, the natural world, our friends, our workplaces—everywhere? Why do we build special places for these things to happen? Do we only honor the sacred in a so-called, “sacred place”? Have we forgotten that everything, everyone and everywhere is sacred?
Some people go to church and then kill people. Others go to church and then lie, cheat or steal. Yet others go to church and hate those who are different from them or belong to a different faith. And yet others go to church and then violate and pollute Earth. Why are some people (even, perhaps, on occasion, you and me!) so comfortable with behaving very differently, and having different standards, and values, depending on where they are?
How would you answer these two questions?
I quite waiting a while back. There are so many wonderful things that can be done today rather than another day.
I go to “shull” (Synagogue) to reunite wit my family who have departed. It would be amazing if this were anywhere yet I am only comfortable traveling back to my boyhood home of my Synagogue in Milwaukee
Your second question resonates Lance. And, while I was brought up believing answering a question with a question is rude. Why do I not find this peace in a local Synagogue?.
I leave that for wiser souls than me to answer Howard. My church is the world. At the same time, I can sit in a gorgeous historic cathedral for hours, admiring the art, the craftspeople who build this amazing building, and honoring all the souls who passed before me. If there is music, so much the better. Much the same as a museum or a concert in a way. Or a sylvan forest.
I agrée with you Lance. There’s no need for a building. It can be anywhere. But there’s a need for connection. So where people group, they fellowship & engage & hopefully help each other to be better people.
Yes, Jean – community is a special gift that all faiths strive to create for their followers and enormous good typically flows from this, doesn’t it?
I was raised a Catholic and served as an altar boy for many years. I no longer go to church, nor do I take my son Aspen. I am now more of a hedonistic Buddhist. Being a farmer, I find more connection with nature/God, and or whatever that might represent in the earth and universe that surround us.
On another dimension, my son son, Aspen and I contemplate what is on the other side of a black hole…
I like “hedonistic Buddhist” – I’m still working on the “hedonist” part!
This words touch me deep inside. Nature in itself is holy and is a sacred place. I wold love to share a story: when I left the “catholic church” in my mid twenties I was told that my grandfather had done so as well and he was reported to have said: I find god in the nature, not only in the church, so no need to go there. And I hope we strive to bring back the respect for the nature and it sacredness. It will be a key for the survival of mankind as we know it today.
I could not have said it better, Wolfgang!