Serious Doubts About This One

I am worried about this post. It is not my intention to offend anyone but the thought won’t leave me alone and I know by now that if words are haunting my brain they need to seep out the fingers or nothing else will get written.

Let me start by making it clear I am not knocking or mocking anyone’s religion. We all find the belief that we need to make it through this crazy world and I am not saying one is right and another wrong. So this thought I’ve had really, really, does not mean anything against what is sacred for another.

Several years ago I attended a Presbyterian church and an associated Bible study group. I went for a long time. My close friends attended, and I so wanted something to believe in. I worked hard to make it work for me. But these niggly little questions kept coming up. For instance, I remember asking the teacher how we could know that the books of the Bible were authentic, when they were written by very human men. The response was that the words were ‘God-breathed’, that the Holy Spirit moved through them and gave them the words. The analogy was that of a sailboat at the whim of the wind.

Recently, I was writing on a sequel story, and the words were flowing and all you who write know that feeling when the story takes over. When I was done, I sat back, drew in a deep breath, read back over what I’d written, and thought ‘did I write that?’

And then I remembered that Bible study group all those years ago, and had this thought I’m worried about sharing. Those books of the Bible, those words about the spirit moving through the apostles…isn’t that simply what happens to all writers?

I’m not saying my writing is holy! Far from it. But, what is it that moves through us that we call the muse? What is it that we writers can open up to and let in and let free, that separates us from people who don’t write? Personally I think those who don’t write just haven’t tried it yet. But really, how do you describe what happens when the story takes over and becomes words? When it leaves that ozone and finds a berth on the paper, or the computer screen? Word become form?

Christianity did not work for me. I suppose I’m closer to pagan than anything, although I usually say that trees are my religion. I find peace in the woods. But belief system aside, labels torn off, prejudices removed, think about it. Since the beginning of time, since oral storytelling, since the printed word, there is something that connects a writer to a story.

Tomorrow the days begin to incrementally grow longer. The winter solstice begins its slow turn back toward light. Whatever your beliefs are, I wish you a peaceful holiday.


5 thoughts on “Serious Doubts About This One

  1. Thanks, Lisa. I also wish you peace and happiness during this holiday season.

    I’ve wanted to talk about this subject, too. I also wonder if people who’ve wanted power over others of any sort, would have thought twice about using their skill with language in service of that and just call it divine. Why do so many people today insist they know that wasn’t happening when ancient texts were written?

    I’ve heard so many people say so many different things in my own lifetime, so many of them contradictory, that I don’t understand why I’m expected to believe something totally just because someone wrote it out, often beautifully, long ago.

    Like you said, if I can write something down and then wonder how it came out of me, what’s to stop me from thinking it’s devine and therefore verrry important? I’d say common sense.


  2. I would say its what they call talent. You either can do it or you cant. Some people can learn it but its not the same. In my eyes its the same as some people can sing wonderfully without any training, others are super smart, or can do any kind of sport without any practise, and others make up music or other typ of art just like that.
    Everybody is good at something, even if we dont believe we are. Writing is what you are good at, just like your brother said, you are good with words, he is good with his art.
    And I think it flows the best, when we are stress free and give in to it, when we let our imagination go like a childs, the pictures, the words…whatever. We have a picture, a question and we try to answer it, put it in words, describe it…Sometimes we know exactly what we want to say and other times we dont.

    For me my religion (protestant or evangelic-lutheran) is the one that worked best for me. I felt always free to believe what I thought was right. And one of those things is that in my eyes the bible is only a wonderful story book, written by men to explain the world and teach people.
    Choose what works best for you, not because somebody told you its the only way to be closer to…whatever is up there. Thats how I think it should be for everybody, but I am not going to force it anybody.

    If they thought it was god or a wind telling them to write those words down…good for them. I know for myself that nobody is telling me what I write. I am very certain that it is only my very own vivid imagination and the possibility to use a lot of foreign words to bring it to paper( or the screen).


  3. Re, I really like your last paragraph, asking what keeps us from thinking our work is divine. You say common sense, and I agree with that. I think of those around today who believe their word is divine (and give us dates to prove it, that then fly by unnoticed) and it brings up the question, why do they think it’s divine? What is going on in their brains to think that their words are so wonderful that they couldn’t have come from any source but divine? I may question where the words flow from when I’m writing, but I sure as heck don’t think they come from a higher power.


  4. Jenni, you and I have talked about this a lot, but I also feel religion shouldn’t be forced on someone, and you certainly shouldn’t believe and devote your life to a belief, simply because another told you that you should. You’re very right, there. That’s why we told our son to research all religions and find what resonated with him. I strongly believe that freedom allowed him to become a tolerant, compassionate young man.Well, most of the time! When teenage angst isn’t flaring. Great comments from you and Re, that inspire thought.


  5. I Love this topic! I’m with you Lisa on beliefs, and what works for you, and doesn’t. What a beautiful season to ponder this wonder of creation, starting with Solstice as a beginning. This experience you speak of Lisa, of wondering where that writing came from which can seem so much more than we are, that what emerges is beyond oneself, is surely part of this amazing Mystery, even as we take full accountability for our own stuff. I think creating anything is a wonderful every day miracle, that it can work, so satisfy, and bring a totally non logical sense of completion and even perfection at points, places, parts.

    I grew up Presbyterian, 12 Years of Sunday school, plus three more in a college Presbyterian related, taking courses in Scriptures. I never did understand much about those writings in and of themselves but emerged with a gladness that cultures have access to ancient texts. I’m old enough to remember the huge celebrity of the Dead Sea Scrolls when they were uncovered. How otherwise would we know either about the Greeks, and Socrates. Class studies for instance of the four Gospels brought me to an acceptance that we know of eye witnesses, all of whom have a part of the whole. Relativity is about knowing none of us has the whole, but what we do have, and can have in creatings, is a sense of it, and each Gospel writer has his. I myself am very grateful my own writings have not been subject to the severe scrutiny that these guys’ writings have been!

    I love the whole universe of creation that is totally inclusive of all our varying perspectives, ethics, beliefs. I personally do avoid any “one-right-way” Anything isms but feel gratitude for all systems that speak of kindness and love. Happy Beautiful holiday season to all – LOVE your picture here Lisa. YES!


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