HOWEVER, I realized, during church yesterday that I have gone a long time without feeling anything. The hymns have had no effect on me, the recitations just sounded bland, and everything felt lame, felt unfelt to me, like we were all going through the motions, but not the emotions.
I am not the kind of person to raise a hand and say "Hallelujah!" or "Amen!" to anything. In fact, when other people do this in front of me, I find myself looking to the exit to make sure I have a clear means of escape. Yet I also tend to find spiritual energy in a setting, such as the outdoors or even a building (like a church). One church building in Independence, Kansas, where I used to live, felt spiritually potent to me. It was modeled after the ruins of a cathedral in Scotland, and it may very well be the most beautiful church I have ever been inside. Sitting in the church, when the lights were off and sunlight streamed in through enormous stained glass windows, was a spiritual journey in itself, restful, comforting, powerful. Not so when people were there. The services at the church, like the ones at the church I now attend, left me cold, and it wasn't long before I stopped attending.
Why does all this matter? In some ways it doesn't. The spiritual world cannot be contained within a building, nor can it be controlled by people worshipping within a building. But when I cannot find a spiritual link to my own belief system, and when I am forced to keep it entirely within myself for long periods of time, and when a system intended to broaden and feed my spiritual journey does nothing but stifle it, I start to lose contact with the very essence which feeds my soul each day... and that is not a good thing.
I don't want to be in this alone. I don't want to feel as if I am the one person in the world who sees the world as I do. But I have no idea where to go, or what to do, to find what I need to keep going.