Thursday, September 11, 2014

Is it crossing a line?

I'm pretty sure that I mentioned it before, but one of my classes this semester is an Intro to Eastern Religions, and one of the assignments this semester is to record our personal spiritual thoughts and journey in a creative and meaningful way.  Naturally for me, it seemed obvious that I would just choose to blog about it, as the whole thing just feels like one big exercise in self-experimentation, which was the point of this blog for me in the first place... a space where I could share my self-experiments.

I told Ammon about this assignment not that long ago.  I could have sworn that I had mentioned it to him sooner, but if I had, I didn't really explain it well to him, because when I brought it up to him this time, he seemed to grow very annoyed at the instructor for assigning something like this in the first place.  And I totally see his point:  I attend a public, state funded community college.  To ask students to talk about their personal religious experiences, and then be graded on it seems... like it's in a gray area of what could be considered acceptable.  I don't mind taking religions classes, because I find the scholarly study of religion to be fascinating.  I love finding out about what people believe in, and how that affects the way they live their lives.

I never expect that in a religion class, that microscope will be turned back on me, and I will have to share the thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs that I am bringing to the table.  I don't like sharing my personal story of my ups and downs with faith and religion.  It feels too intimate, too stripped bare for the whole world to see and judge.  I study religion outside of school to help me understand people better, and to help me understand myself better.  I look for myself, and my heart in religions, and sometimes I can see it there, and other times I can't.  I study religion in school because it's required.  I am transferring to a private Catholic University in January, and they require 12 credits of religious studies.  It feels like my two worlds are colliding, and I'm not entirely certain about this convergence.

I am trying to keep an open mind about this experiment.  Until Ammon brought up his concerns, I wasn't thinking too deeply about the parts of this experiment that would challenge me, or make me uncomfortable.  I just thought about the fact that maybe I could start to organize and clarify my own position on faith.  Every time I think I have it figured out, it changes.  That's okay, I think.  It means that I'm changing too.  Change is good, right?

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