Big Rowan Ackison (greensh) wrote,
Big Rowan Ackison
greensh

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Spiritual Practices and Emotional Reactions

Recently I had an educational tussle on a LJ group. As part of her instructive response, </a></b></a>erthymamma said:
I think everyone is going to have a different view on what makes someone worthy of being a religious leader. Same as people having a difference of opinion of make someone a good parent, driver, lover etc. I think however the discussion gets more heated when it is about religious leaders because of what we are entrusting them with. Our faith. Human faith in my experience is nothing to be toyed with. A lot of people are aware that like trust, faith is hard gained and easily lost.
This statement was an eye-opener for me. I realized that people (in general) have aggressive reactions when people talk about how people "do" religion. The most pointed comments came from people with 10+ and 20+ years as a priests and/or teachers. IMO, my statements were deemed as stating absolute facts about their religious lives, prompting the rightful guardians to move to action. I was seen as an outsider. This view is properly so if the measure of authority and belongness equates to levels of recognized training. While my comments were offered in the spirit of general discussion, they were addressed as if I were attacking or corrupting people's cherished beliefs. In their reality I was. I used words that held deep spiritual meaning, embedded in mystery teachings. In this view, the response is not unexpected.

What is the big lesson for me? I need to be very aware of when I use those words connected with people's spiritual practices. I could offer my understandings as questions. An alternative is to state my beliefs as broad generalities. The challenge is that when general statements are implanted with tradition specific words, the words can become statements of specific fact for those who have an emotional connection to the information. Shoot, I've lived this when people have made "incorrect" statements about shamanic topics. A similar reaction from others is a warning shot across my bow of blogging. Heard and heeded!
Tags: beliefs, facts, religions
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