Adam Snider

Welcome to Exploring the Spirit

In Uncategorized on January 6, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Hello, and welcome to Exploring the Spirit. As is typical for me when I start a new writing project, and particularly when I start a new blog, I’m not entirely sure how to begin.

I guess the simplest thing to do would be to explain a bit about what I hope to achieve with Exploring the Spirit.

For a quick introduction, you can check out the About page. If you want more details than that, keep reading.

Why Exploring the Spirit?

Why call this blog Exploring the Spirit? Because it is about doing just that.

I intend for this blog to be an account of my personal spiritual journey. I set a personal goal for myself at the beginning of 2009 to become more in touch with my spiritual side. One of the ways that I will do this is through this blog.

I will use this space to record what I have learned and discovered during my readings, discussions, and other spiritually-related activities. I will also use this blog as a space to work out questions and internal debates. Hopefully, you—the reader—will join me in these debates.

What about religion?

The About page says that this is not a blog about religion. That’s only partially true. While I do not intend to only write about any one, particular religion, there is no doubt that I will write about various religions and religious ideas.

How can one discuss spirituality without at least touching on religion? It seems to me that it would be quite difficult.

That said, this is not a blog about any one religion. It is definitely not about Christianity. The spirit referred to in Exploring the Spirit is not the Spirit of Christ.

It may be the spirit of god, but I’m not sure about that. That’s part of what this exploration is about. What is the spirit? What does it mean to be a spiritual person? What do I, personally, believe in?

If you’re wondering about my personal religion, I don’t have one. I currently fall into the category of “spiritual but not religious.”

However, I recently attended a Unitarian Universalist church, and I find myself quite drawn to the openness of this liberal faith. It may be the case that I will begin to call myself a Unitarian Universalist at some point in the future.

For the time being, though, I am not a member of any organized religion.

Who is this blog for?

While Exploring the Spirit is primarily a documentation of my personal spiritual journey, I hope that it will help others who are on a similar journey.

This blog, then, is for anyone who is on the journey toward a better understanding of their own personal spirituality (or lack thereof). If you find my posts useful, insightful, or interesting, this blog is for you.

If you find my posts ignorant, useless, or just plain stupid, then maybe it’s not for you. Then again, maybe you’re the person who can educate me when I’m being ignorant. If you think I’m off-base or out-of-line, please leave me a comment.

While this is a document of my personal journey, and while it will often be very introspective, I am writing it as a blog, rather than a private journal, because I want to know what other people think of the topics and ideas I’m writing about. If you have an opinion about anything that I write here, please leave a comment.

Who is Adam Snider?

I am not a spiritual guru. I am not a religious leader. I am not any sort of expert on matters of faith, religion, or spirituality. I’m just a regular guy on a journey of self-discovery.

My words and experiences are my own. I hope that this story will help you, but nothing you read here should be taken as absolute truth. This is my truth. You have to find your own truth, your own path.

If it helps, here is a bit of background about my spiritual journey as it stands at the time of writing this (January 06, 2009):

  • I was baptized as a Christian sometime after being born; as far as I know, my family is non-denominational, but I think I was baptized in the United Church of Canada.
  • I was not raised in a religious household. My parents, I think, both believe in God, and would probably call themselves Christian if pressed, but religion was never a major force in our house.
  • I was taken to church a few times when I was youngish. I can’t remember exactly how old I was, but I was probably no older than 10. I remember that I thought church was boring and I didn’t like going. I think we attended on a regular basis for less than a year.
  • Sometime in my early teens, perhaps even sooner, I developed the idea that all religions are “correct” in the sense that they are all just different ways of understanding God. Since God is loving, he would not condemn anyone just because their understanding of him was different from someone else’s understanding. Around this time, I also began to suspect that the Bible was written by humans, and was not necessarily the divine word of God. I think my dad shares this opinion, and told me as much on at least one occasion.
  • I toyed with Wicca and other Earth-focused religions for about 5 minutes.
  • I toyed with Satanism for about 5 seconds.
  • Religion and spirituality were essentially absent from my life for most of my high school experience, though my best friend at the time was Mormon (sort of) and we did sometimes discuss matters of faith during our many coffee talks.
  • In university, I dated a woman who claimed to be very religious. She was a Christian in name only, as far as I’m concerned, but she sparked a desire to learn about religion in me. I began to read the Bible. I studied Christian literature. For a few months, I even referred to myself as a Christian. I attended a Pentecostal Church with her and was turned off of the idea of evangelical Christianity almost immediately.
  • During this time, I attempted to reconcile my humanist beliefs with Christian dogma that contradicted my personal convictions regarding things like abortion, homosexuality, and pre-marital sex (in case you haven’t guessed, I believe that these things are acceptable, while the dogma indicates otherwise).
  • After breaking up with the aforementioned woman, I bounced between hopeful-agnostic (meaning that I wasn’t sure if there was a God or not, but I hoped so) and atheist.
  • After university, I dated a Catholic woman and again the question of religion came into my life. Questions about, “If we marry, how will we raise our kids?” came into play. I knew I could not convert to Catholicism, as it didn’t mesh with what I believed personally, but I again started thinking about religion and spirituality.
  • After that relationship ended, I started referring to myself as an atheist, despite knowing that I felt something greater. I didn’t know if this thing was God in the Judeo-Christian tradition, and so, while I started to use the word “god” to describe it, I no longer capitalized the word (as I wasn’t sure it was an anthropomorphic god).
  • I started dating Sara, my current girlfriend. She was raised Catholic, but isn’t sure if she still believes in that faith. She does, however, believe in God and (I think) Jesus as the Christ. While she made me aware of this, and we’ve talked about faith more than once, she never tried to force her beliefs on me the way that past girlfriends have done.
  • Sara suggested recently (just a few weeks ago, in fact) that we visit the Unitarian Church of Edmonton (UCE). I hesitated at first, but soon agreed. I knew a tiny bit about Unitarian Universalism (UU), but not much. I read as much as I could find about it for a few weeks before finally saying, “OK, let’s go to church.”
  • Together, Sara and I attended UCE for the first time on January 04, 2009. While I’m still not certain that it is the place for me, it has reawakened my spiritual side. I will definitely be attending this church again, and probably visiting other religious services in an effort to learn more about my personal faith in whatever it is that I believe.

That’s pretty much it, in as brief a form as I can manage. If you’d like more information about who I am, or about my journey-to-date, feel free to contact me.

As for what’s yet to come, well, that’s what this blog is all about. If you’re interested in coming along for the ride, you might want to subscribe to Exploring the Spirit—it’s completely free and I promise not to spam you.

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