By Cat Charissage Ñ Lethbridge Interfaith Network on January 21, 2021.
Many people no longer attend religious services. According to the sociologists, this percentage of people is increasing as the years go by. While many who are active in religious groups decry this trend, others of us want to warn “Be careful before you assume that we’ve rejected all sense of the Great Mystery!”
I’m one of those who others might label “fallen away from the church,” but I see myself rather as a seeker and explorer who is finding the Ultimate Reality, the Source of all, in so many unexpected places and people. And there are many of us for whom a particular church or faith tradition does not fit, but who are active explorers in what I call the “Depth Dimension of Life,” where all faiths might fit.
While some may be called “spiritual but not religious”, that’s only a partial description of our lives’ spiritual trajectories.
Those who explore life’s depth dimensions are keenly aware of the “More than. . .” or “Greater than. . .” aspects of daily life, where going to the grocery store may become a spiritual practice when one reflects on how it is we now live in a world where the shelves are filled with the wonder of foods from around the globe, inexpensive enough that almost anyone can partake of them. This abundance stands hand in hand with the workers who have been named essential pandemic workers, yet who too often bring home only a minimum wage.
They are an essential part of feeding us all, yet they are treated as menial.
Some ‘Depth Dimension’ seekers have spent their younger lives within a formal church tradition.
I, for instance, was raised Catholic Christian, and have a degree in Theology and three years of graduate work in the field.
I never actually left my former tradition so much as reworked it by considering love along with political action, contemplative prayer along with community work, solitude along with building, not necessarily an authoritarian “Kingdom,” but an interrelated family, a “kin-dom.”
These are some of our ways to live a sacred human life.
We live consciously, embedded in the interconnectedness of all of reality, from the human to the microcosmic, from quantum particles to the galaxies.
We feel the reverberations of Mystery in all that is around us, including children in refugee jails and the rape of the wild.
A tree may be the best symbol for this way of life, rooted and reaching, resting and generative, a shelter for all.