Sunday School consisted of a 5-step routine:
1) Watching ‘Veggie Tales’
2) Reading lines from The Bible
3) Thanking Jesus for being crucified
4) Daydreaming while the pastor praised the Lord
5) Eating snacks while adults socialized.
All that was asked from me was that I don’t question Christian values, or anything else that was taught. This was my personal hell.
I was a child that liked my friend group small, as a I do now. I was never the best at socializing since I was already very comfortable with loneliness. There’s a word for placing a child in a social setting she’s already unsure of but is forced to agree with anyway (until she actually agrees): indoctrination.
I’ve feared this more than death: associating myself too much with like-minded groups where I am unaware of the beliefs injected in my unconscious mind until I stop asking questions. All for the sake of having a community.
As an adult I notice more and more people are rejecting this religious indoctrination and gearing toward spirituality. It’s not the same thing, it can’t be the same thing—until it is. We’re still humans seeking a like-minded group, seeking a higher power, seeking spiritual experiences that make our human life a little more interesting. We’re seeking a community that gives our life meaning.
My Kurdish ancestors were mystics, dwelling in nature and moving through the mountains. I always found that beautiful: having a belief without a dollar value added to it. In America, mysticism and psychic services were valued at $2.2 Billion dollars in 2018. Horoscopes and finding out the position of the sun when you were born have found a home in the hearts of America, purchasing healing crystals and apps to apply reason to our personality and life.
I feel as though spirituality is sought, especially when organized religion has failed to make an all-inclusive community. Is it terrible to have an all-inclusive community worshiping crystals and writing blogs on wellness or how to manifest correctly? No—it’s not terrible at all.
Is my fear still there as an adult—associating myself too much with like-minded groups where I am unaware of the beliefs injected in my unconscious mind until I stop asking questions (All for the sake of having a community)?
No, I stopped caring, because I realized projecting my fears made me less free. I became open to befriending different groups and letting them speak their truth. Afterall, we all want to be heard.
Nietzsche wrote an essay on his views that people as groups change over time and that these groups are incapable of leading themselves, that’s why they rely on a Shepard, or in the case of this essay, a religion or spiritual guidance. Those who live in that zone of normalcy are the most valuable, because if they rise above it, they risk being in solitude, and if they sink low, they risk being a criminal.
Perhaps I should stop asking questions.