Isn't it a fascinating time we live in!? Technology advances at a rapid pace and when we can learn to use it, we're better off.
I used that progress in technology to go back. Allow me to explain.
Recently, I ordered the Ancestry DNA kits for my beautiful (5% Irish) wife and myself.
The 5% Irish is a running joke in our home due to the fact that my wife has always had a strong affinity for all things from the Emerald Isle. However, upon receiving the results of our test she found that 88% of her culture came from the UK (mostly Scotland according to the Elders... JK Katie. Don't kill me).
My results were much more of a hodgepodge. I found out that 50% of my genetics are rooted in Germany and France (explaining my love of beer and wine), 15% from Ireland (explaining my love of whiskey), and 20% Native American (explaining my inability to do well while drinking any of it).*
Upon discovery of my genetic heritage, I went into a frenzy of reading and studying about the cultures.
Aside from the social identity of those cultures, I also wanted to understand their backgrounds in religion. Not Christianity. Though there are many fascinating and wonderful lessons in Christianity, even the most neophyte student of the religion could tell you Christianity has been used since it's inception to control and stifle individualism. But I'll save that for another day.
I looked into Celtic paganism and spell craft. Bought books about spiritualism of the Germanic Tribes. Learned about French surrender. I kid. But I haven't dug into classic French spirituality yet.
However, the most inspiring research I have done is on Native American spiritualism.
I have gone through, to put it scientifically, a metric ass-ton of treatment for my Bipolar disorder as of late and one of the parts of treatment is therapy. And more therapy. And so on.
There is a huge push within the therapy community to use things like mindfulness, meditation, hiking and communing with nature in treatment. Doesn't that sound familiar? If you've studied any of the well known Native American nations and tribes, then the answer is most assuredly, yes.
Hearing that encouragement to pursue those endeavors all while studying the ancient ways of the indigenous American people was quite the serendipitous happening.
I've become focused on the holistic healing methods and the spiritual values that emphasize nature and respect for the past.
It's strange when you study the pre-global (is that the right word?) religious movements and see the common links that are woven throughout their identities. There is a value that has been lost over time in the importance of these principles.
My goals now are to find the factors that bring them together and use them to create harmony both in my internal mind and my external world.
The fantastic part of religion/spirituality is the fact that it isn't just about making a person do better. If you read ancient text from nearly any world religion, there is a large onus placed upon the practitioner to do good deeds and have a positive influence on their fellow man.
I don't know if I'm creating a new religion or just creating a spiritual gumbo to be served at my figurative metaphysical table. I guess it's not for me to decide anyway. I'll leave that up to the Great Spirit.
*I know those are generalities about drinking and alcoholism. It's a joke. Just calm down.