Sunday, May 14, 2006 is the opium of the people

'Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.' Karl Marx

If religion is the opium of the people then I must be a recovering a
ddict.It is sunday so my thoughts are turned to religion.

When I think of relgiion I always think with saddness of this quote from Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee

'In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith,
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints.'

I think of the faith I had as a child and the pure joy I had at knowing that Jesus was born the 25th December,all those years ago.In it's own way it brought it's own mystical specialness. Knowing that made christmas real, not having large and expensive presents didn't matter.
When I found out that Jesus had not been born on the 25 December it was like a physical assault that I never recovered from. I was 14 years old and it was the beginning of the end for faith and belief.
However the search has continued for it but the major doubts set in when I did a history degree. I studied the crusades which led to the same links that Dan Brown found, the real crunch came with reading A History of God written by Karen Armstrong(many thanks). The circle was complete.
In between came The Church Of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints (the Mormons),which I must add I am no longer a member of and I requested they take my name off their member lists.I love the website DOOCE, I am not sure if she has left the mormon church or is just no longer attending church but her reflections on life growing up in the church and being an adult with family who still do attend is so like my own experiences that her website is like reading my own thoughts and re-living my own memories(apart from the stone washed denim covered furniture of course). I laugh at her blogs in the same way that Catholics laugh at Father Ted and black people laugh at Chris Rock, I may no longer be a member but they are still family(and they are persistent beggars who still 'want me for a sunbeam').
At times in my life I have been asked if you could have one thing what would it be, I am sure everybody has been asked this at one time. My answer is always the same, I want to go back to a time when I had perfect faith and never to lose it.I think that religion is a wonderful thing but also a terrible thing.I want my faith back but I know it will never happen because my mind now will always see it as too imperfect a thing to believe in. My mind is very straightforward, I see things very literally, perhaps that is partly where certain aspects of Beauty's autism originates from.It has been said that everybody is somewhere on the spectrum. Perhaps it is true.
When I think of the beauty of religion I think about places like The Basilica in Valencia, a place I just happened upon once on a trip to Spain. We walked in to the Basilica in the middle of mass, it was like stepping back in time. It was as if nothing had changed in hundreds of years,the priest in his vestments,the incense and the beauty of the paintings and religious ornaments. I may love Brutalist architecture but there is a time and a place for eveything and The Basilica in Valencia is definitely a spiritually provoking place because of it's glorious antiquity.
Now for the deeply philosophical questions.
Why when the Tweenies are being filmed in their playgroup/studio setting are the characters played by actors but when they are fimed on location,i.e visit to the park, they are played by puppets?
Is Jake really 2 years old? He's most intelligent 2 year old I have ever come across.
Is it possible the Tweenies playgroup is really some alt
ernate universe? Normal things such as the Children's act just doesn't seem to apply.
And the answer is ...................
Follow the way of the Bella and enlightenment shall follow(you can tell I was awake way too early and still feeling sleep deprived).
Spirituality can be found in all things,
not just in attending a church.
Follow the way, whatever your way may be.
Mother of Many

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An Irish Blessing

(A Blessing from St. Patrick)
May the road rise to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

May the rains fall soft upon your fields,

And, until we meet again,

May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.