Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Breakthroughs?

Two developments over the past week: 1) the boy has started to sleep better, usually making it past 6am and when he hasn’t made it that far, he can be made to go back to sleep again with the aid of a little music, and 2) I’ve been joining in with Sir Chub every other day on his spiritual quest of insane amounts of exercise.

The former has quelled some of the pissiness that had come to dominate my mood and the latter seems to have provided significant enough impact to push my weight down below 165 again. I still haven’t seen anything below 163.5 yet – and with the influx of Girl Scout cookies in my workplace this week, I won’t likely any time soon. But I feel slimmer and the exercise seems to provide a cushion within which marginal food choices can be absorbed. If I can knock off another pound or two before my WW year-one anniversary I’ll be extremely happy.

I’ve been thinking about religion again (as distinct from spirituality) lately and it’s a difficult thing. Intellectually, I tend to sort through everything and arrive at most religion as the opiate of the masses (when I’m feeling cynical) or as a pleasant fairy tale we tell ourselves to deal with the fear of death and other things unknown (when I’m not quite so cynical). I guess this would be fine if there was something a bit more compelling about my general humanist “faith.” I generally believe in kharma and that if you do good things, have good intentions and treat others with love and respect, more often than not the universe tends to give you a fair shake as far as everyday pain and suffering goes. I tend to think it’s way more important to be good to those around you and act out of empathy than to go certain places on certain days or say specific things at certain times.

But that’s all a little squishy in terms of rousing passion for one’s faith. There’s no battles or downtrodden ones or mysterious rituals or saviors or prophets or fanciful sayings in Latin. So I’m left wondering how to maintain an active exploration of my spirituality and, without that, it remains a background process in my life and something that’s hard to enervate the children with. I’m starting to think maybe, since I’m in graduate school anyway, it may be time to take a religion class and see what I can find there. If nothing else, it’s a good excuse to peruse the course catalog for the twelve-hundredth time. Some folks love to shop for clothes or books; I love to shop for classes!

2 Comments:

Blogger Kim Ayres said...

You could maybe take a look at Buddhism, which has a lot to do with ritual and religion, but doesn't actually involve God.

Alternatively, I can imagine you might get an awful lot out of Taoism (pron D-ow-ism). I don't know your level of knowledge, but a great introduction is Benjamin Hoff's The Tao of Pooh (you'll find it on amazon easily enough)

2:32 PM  
Blogger Lord Lessismore said...

Hey Kim,
It's funny that you should make those suggestions. I'm currently structuring an independent study course for myself on religion in China that I'm sure will involve Buddhism and Daoism. I've been lucky in grad school so far -- most of my classes have fed my various interests rather than feeling like obligations. I may be after you for your perspectives on these faiths once I dig into them deeper.

9:19 AM  

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