Re: Why I've given up trying to label myself

Posted by anovagrrl on September 09, 2003 at 07:24:41

In Reply to: Why I'm not a Christian anymore posted by juni on September 09, 2003 at 02:58:55:

Namaste! (trans: I bow to the enlightened ONE within us both.)

If I were to lay out what I believe about Yeshua Bin Miriam and his teachings, there are people who would say I'm definitely a disciple of the teacher. Other people would say I'm not a Christian, because there are many orthodox teachings associated with mainstream Christianity that I can never accept. When I join with a Christian community, I sit in silence with the Quakers.

I am attracted to Buddhist practice because it is compatible with the scientific training I've received. Rigorous training in empirical methods does change you, no doubt about that. I question everything.

With Buddhism I'm not asked to believe anything about the existence of a supernatural diety, only to make careful observations about the workings of my mind, my perceptions and experiences of life--and draw my own conclusions about a transcendental reality that some people call "God." The process is about staying open to possibility and becoming increasingly aware of my participation in..."?"

I don't have a single word for "?" that I can share with others. Some people say God. I cannot do that because the English word "God" with a capital "G" has very specific connotations that are limiting and very hard for me to ignore. "?" does not mean unknown or unknowable. I have found certain words that work for me: beloved, mystery, sunyata.

I have concluded that my experience of holy being is beyond concept. That is why I have given up on labels. Now I simply look for kindred spirits--people who speak and act from a place of lovingkindness and humility--and I try not to let my emotional baggage around labels and language become a barrier to connection.