People fascinate me. Cultures are intriguing, all their traditions -their religions, and everything that is misunderstood about them.
For most of my life I was an extremely shy individual. I did not like attention, at all. I did not even want my bridal shower nor my baby showers as I dreaded being the center of attention. I was far more comfortable being lost in a crowd. Part of it was due to extremely low self-esteem and the other part was I'd rather absorb my surrounding, watching people - and learning.
I preferred sitting in the back of the room and watching everyone else. I still do. That is where you will find me - my back to the wall absorbing the energy and emotions in the room.
Yes, people fascinate me - everything that makes us so unique and then all the things we have in common - our common bonds as human beings.
I think that is why I have always been drawn to anthropology - the study of societies and their cultures and religions throughout time. Up until I was a freshman in high school attending St. Scholastica in Chicago, I didn't know my interest had a name. Believe it or not that all girl Catholic school not only had a theology class but also an anthropology class. The two classes where I actually paid attention as I was not bored out of my mind. I can remember doing reports in that anthropology class where I would get lost in research on whatever the topic was - I needed to know everything about the people I was studying - what they ate, how they cooked their meals, what was expected of the women, the men, and the children. Did they worship one God or more? Don't even get me going on Greek and Roman mythology...one summer out of boredom I made charts of their Gods- comparing the names while I read the Iliad and the Odyssey for enjoyment. Yes, I was a nerd even when it wasn't required of me by a teacher.
Then when I was ill all the time as a child and doctors pulled me out of school, I would go to our library, pick a subject - usually on a segment of society, and take out as many books as possible. I was teaching myself, including coming up with my own tests. Too much time on my hands, perhaps.
Through all that self-teaching I did, in fact, learn we've always had more in common than different. We all walk the path of life towards the end days to our deaths. We all have love and loss along that trail. And, we all believe in something, even if we say we don't - not believing, is a belief.
Most cultures and religions use as their moral compass the Golden Rule, just we don't all call it the same thing. So, if that is the case, which it is, why do we have so much bloodshed on our hands from forcing other cultures to believe the same - most cultures have been a victim at one time, as they have also been the aggressor. That is something I do have a hard time wrapping my head around.
Hence, people fascinate me - people in the world today and the people from generations ago.
This morning I went to a church service - for my area it would be considered a nontypical service. It was the 2nd time, in recent weeks, I have attended a service there, however, I've been hesitant in speaking about it as I fear what others would say - their preconceived notions would get in the way of understanding my whys. How silly is that?
It comes from all the negatives I've heard about the place -how it is evil, that the people are freaks. Again, misconceptions and judgments based on something perhaps their belief systems have taught them. Instead what I found was a very peace-filled gathering. One that welcomes all faiths to gather - and take from their service what you may find beneficial in practicing your own faith, and leave behind what you don't. There was no force feeding of any particular way of believing. Yes, it was fascinating.
It started out like most services do - a welcoming and then a few hymns (yes, hymns), a sermon (but without fear involved) and more hymns. Their religion is spiritualism. They believe in life after death and that those who've gone before us can communicate with the living. Something many cultures believe in - however many religions forbid.
The place I went was the Wonewoc Spiritualist Camp, aka Spook Hill.
Had I believed the rumors about the place, I would have expected to see people in robes dancing around a fire while summoning demons. Thankfully, I went with an open mind or else I would have been quite disappointed.
The history of the camp is rich and deep. The place is calming with cabins located throughout. There are areas where you can sit under a tree to do some soul searching or just to take in the quiet. Throughout the place, you will find little garden statues of angels - not demons. They believe in Spirit Guides much like I grew up believing in a Guardian Angel and calling on Saints for protection.
Their moral compass is the Golden Rule.
This morning there was a speaker. She spoke about healing from past abuse. She is the reason I went this morning. The words she used reminded me of many of my own in posts to this blog -about how you must face your fears, deal with the past rather than ignoring it, and all for the purpose to be able to heal and move on. I enjoyed her talk.
I am glad I went - both times.
Well, that was my experience this morning - one more as I walk the path of life towards the end days of my own death. I look forward to having more experiences and learning -absorbing all that I can from all the different cultures and belief systems that make up the quilt of our time on this planet. I want to stay fascinated for as long as I can.