looking for god in all the wrong places...
People are looking to find their way spiritually. I used to believe that religious guilt and fear were the primary culprits in thwarting spiritual growth. Now, as I've treated hundreds of individuals who've freed themselves from oppressive religious pasts, I see that one thing really holds people back from spiritual freedom: inertia.
Religious nightmares bolt a stuck psyche out of inertia. A patient reported, "I've gone to the same old church, listened to the same old dogma, and it's where I've been stuck, stuck in a rut because I've been used to it and didn't know where else to go or what else to do."
A nightmare bolted her mind out of its religious rut. "I had gone to Church that morning, was wasted afterwards, so I took a nap after and voice from above spoke to me and said, 'The Church is dead.' Well, I'll tell you that hit me hard and knocked me out of my old way of thinking."
She found herself no longer drawn to old religious practices. "Old ways had long lost their meaning. My life is enough. There's plenty to draw on for spiritual sustenance and growth. I listen to my dreams, I meditate, I have good people in my life. This is where god is for me. This is what's real and good for me."
The American depth psychologist William James wrote, "The place of the divine in the world must be more organic and intimate. An external creator and his institution may still be verbally confessed at Church in formulas that linger by their mere inertia, but the life is out of them, we avoid dwelling on them, the sincere heart of us is elsewhere." (Pluralistic Universe p. 24). The sincere heart of us is in what's real and good for us and this is where we look, listen, and live.