Ekunyi's Embers

Pagan Blog Project 2012 – A is for Adventure

I’m not sure how many people have a “why” behind their spiritual beliefs. For many years I certainly didn’t see a need to explain myself. I felt what I felt, I experienced what I experienced, and that was the whole of it. This has changed of late, as I am pulled towards a greater effort at self-exploration and discovery in the wake of experiences that revealed the depths of my tendency to take on the personalities and beliefs of those closest to me.

I believe that much of what draws me to various forms of “pagan” practice is the same pull I feel towards my life as a scholar. I seek something beyond the mundane: a quest, a purpose, I might even go so far as to describe it as a hunt. With texts, research becomes my path, one encounter revealing a new trail that I can follow, using what knowledge and skills are available to me in order to successfully track that lone bit of information that eludes me.

With the spiritual, I have found something of an adventure in the search for personal truth. The prospect of a new lesson from guide or god genuinely excites me. I envision myself straining against the harness of my daily tasks in order to get to the next moment when I might close my eyes in meditation, or lift myself into a higher mental and emotional place while sitting in shrine, just to experience, however briefly, something which will make me better than that which I was before.

Adventure is the chance for growth, and thus I loathe the stagnancy of the secular, standard, American day to day. Give me change, give me a quest for greater understanding, allow me to move, to run, to lift my face to the sky and catch the scent of something new to chase, something to work for.

It is a uniquely visceral need for me, and one that I am only beginning to fully recognize. So much of it ties strongly to my emotional well being. I feel that this constant desire occasionally leads much of my spiritual life to fall within the domain of sensation and experiential knowledge rather than the in-depth research that many of my most respected friends and acquaintances often write about in their own posts. I feel some conflict there: as an academic myself I feel as though I should be spending less time being and becoming and more time educating myself in the methods through which I live and shift. I do not understand why I am not more inclined to make the time for such research, particularly given the mental associations of “a quest for knowledge” and the “vitality of the quest” which I mentioned earlier. To some degree I must acknowledge that there are only so many hours in a day, but it likely merits further consideration as to why, even in this post which challenges issues of the mind within my spiritual development, I am largely writing about my emotions.

But however I decide to pursue my spiritual “adventures” down the road, through book, through sensation or through a better balance of the two, I recognize that I do have an overarching structure the “why” of my beliefs. To some I suspect it might evoke the concept that I am charging at windmills for lack of ability to face reality. They may deem it such if they wish. In the meantime, I’ll continue to pursue my quest.

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