It did not take long into my experience with organized religion to find out that questioning was frowned upon—well, certain kinds of inquiry. Inquiry had to fit within the narrow constraints of the religion or denomination.
Danger lurked beyond the buildings, community and pages of sacred text, waiting to beguile the curious. Spiritual curiosity meant playing with fire.
What if curiosity didn’t kill the cat? What if it gave the cat an extra nine lives?
In order to be truly spiritually curious, I contend that one must embrace abandonment. Understandably, abandonment gets a bad reputation.
Abandonment in this context points to the willingness to release the beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes that compromise the journey and/or vision. It commits us to going beyond our comfort zone of inquiry for our highest good.
Therefore, if we believe that we must hold on to a religion or belief system, we will limit our exploration. We will be more likely to prevent ourselves from facing tough questions and issues with resolute integrity.
We will be too afraid of the unknown or possible answers and what it might mean for our lives.
As I reflect on things I used to say to keep myself fitting in with my religion, I used to hold myself back from questioning because of fear of what I called “questioning myself out of the faith.”
There was no freedom in this kind of fear. I did not want to explore “too much” because if I what I found compelled me to leave my religion, my playing with fire would lead to a fiery eternal grave.I have fire walked. I know that fear and fire are not the best of friends.
Although I walked without getting burned, I burned my hand the other day while cooking. The same fire that inspires can cause harm.
Spiritual curiosity, then, envelopes the sacred, majestic, mundane, playful, and serious. As an uncontainable exoteric and esoteric odyssey, it refuses to be reduced or constrained.
Spiritual curiosity is fire.
What if questioning ourselves out of beliefs and systems that no longer further our individual and collective evolution and transformation is what we long for or even need?
What if questioning our beliefs helps leads us to a deeper knowing and devotion to a current religious path?
If we do not abandon our comfort for curiosity, we will not find out.
What if we placed our hands
On the constructs
We hold as untouchable
Take them off the table
To examine more closely
What if we embraced the joy of wondering
Getting lost in mystery
And learn to dance with the unknown
What if our thirst overtook our fear
And we dared to walk on fire
When we fear
Playing with fire
We get burned
We feel the loss
Our truest selves
Playing with fire
It guides us
The who we are
We have not met.
And if we must walk through the fire of life,
We might as well have fun with it.