Hardly My First Outing, but. . .

Welcome to my contribution towards the Esoteric Musings blog! Hopefully you’ll continue to find food for thought here.

So let’s check in with an introduction. I’m a 50-something and I best describe myself these days as Interfaith. This is not quite the same as those who describe themselves as spiritual but not religious; it’s more like spiritual and religious. In honor of the spectrum of gender identity, my preferred pronouns are he/him. On both maternal and paternal family trees, my tribe of origin is best described as Ashkenazi Jewish and I entered into the covenant of Abraham at age eight days, followed years later by Bar Mitvah and Confirmation in the American Reform Jewish tradition.

My path lead me beyond the synagogue to study and to worship in different traditions: Unitarian-Universalism, Zen and Theravada Buddhism, Wicca and general New Age spirituality via the tarot, and Unity and Episcopalian Christianity. In our thirty-plus years together, Kurt and I have spent many years in bookstores: in person and virtually. The Spirit has drawn me in many directions – I’ve learned many things on the way. Yet I’m Interfaith or Spiritual & Religious since I appreciate the camaraderie, support and structure in a community. I can sit and sing Shema Yisrael (via Zoom, Youtube or Facebook in these COVID days) on Friday evening in my synagogue community then sit and sing A Mighty Fortress is Our God (whose tune I knew well from the end of each episode of the 1960s animated Davey & Goliath series) in an Episcopal service or Spirit of Life in the Unitarian Church.

My spiritual philosophy is best described by four points of Perennial Wisdom (see https://oneriverfoundation.org/perennial-wisdom/): that everything arises in & is an expression of the nondual Infinite Life that is called by many names, such as Great Spirit, Brahman, Tao, God, Adonai, Higher Power etc.; that there are two ways of knowing the world – the greater Self which knows each finite life is a manifestation of the infinite & the lesser Ego which mistakes uniqueness for separateness; a universal ethic calling for compassion and justice (the Golden Rule as each of us understands it); and a goal of Self-awakening & living the universal ethic.

So now, while Kurt honors Hella as well as Odin, I balance our family’s spiritual life in honor of Elohim/Adonai, Jesus, the Higher Power of the Spirit, or whatever label is calling to me within its own context: no matter what the label is, it does not accurately describe the concept. By following this Spirit, it has given me new insights into my Self and my relationships. I sincerely knew that there are many things I didn’t know. This provides so much more flavor to my spirituality with textures that I never knew existed. It’s true for me that the Spirit has a plan and if I open myself to it – good things can happen. May your journey be similarly enjoyable!

Author: Jonkesstagram

GenX, he/him, interfaith, left-of-center, geja auxlang fan; hoping for a world of compassion and justice

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