Yesterday, along with spawning lousy takes on literary development, I also spent some decent amount of time sitting placidly at the Hospital’s chapel pew. I got to wonder—as we often do—what relationship do I have with the Absolute?
To understand how to even begin unlocking the path to an answer, I must venture back into my childhood. Born in a small Portuguese village, the presence and power of Catholicism was palpable. There was a silent yet immense belief for the Christian God, and an unparalleled dedication to whatever that could possibly mean. As such, I spent a good amount of my young days going to services, bible studies and processions of various kinds, dedicated to various Saints. That isolated perspective gave me that sentiment of generality and unity. God was to be considered a “none can, all must”, it didn’t require explanation because it was like eating, like surviving, so encompassing of being human that it begged no further explore.
But I never got that.
Already adolescent, I belonged to a plethora of religious groups for charity. Spent a good portion of my weeks taking care of elderly or preparing food for the homeless, always with Godship in the background, and prayers paving ways to a deep, raw understanding that any void is reasonable, because it is God.
I walked 150 kilometres from my home to Fátima, in a pilgrimage that took every atom of my being to complete. When I arrived, I cried. Not because my spirit was augmented, or overwhelmed, or God was awaiting with a bouquet of sun-cosmos. But because there was nothing there. I cried because I voyaged to discover God, and instead, I found myself. And not the myself you like to find and even claim to search for, no. It was a myself that was too inadequate and insufficient to even relate to something as magnanimous as religion.
A true and virtuous need to belong, and a cruel inability to do so.
At my twenties, where I stand, I’ve since resigned the search for spirituality. It seems to be outside my reach, outside my touch. The Spirit, wherever it lays, has battled me my entire life, and I believe we both gave up to fatigue.
Here, in WordPress, I often come across a lot of people with reinforced faith. In fact, many authors I’ve adored were also deeply immersed in spirituality, Dante, Kierkegaard, Dostoyevski, all enormous influences on how I fostered my being, all spiritual and religious. But I do not understand them on those grounds, nor can I connect with worship here on WordPress.
I look at it, but cannot feel it, nor reason with it. And I try, I’ve tried so hard, but it simply isn’t there. I’ve met many Atheists who refused religion for specs of rationality and scientific facts, but I haven’t met any that genuinely had their relationship with spirit torn by inadequacy. None that couldn’t simply experience it, perhaps with or without will to do so.
As I love talking to all of you, tell me, have you felt this? What do you feel?