Even though it’s been a while since I’ve been actively involved in church, at the moment I’m feeling rather lonely and miss the inherent social network that is available within the structure. It’s funny, because I’m just about to start a new life as a psychology student at university, which will place me within a large opportunity of social networking. However, I feel I’m still missing out on a spiritual perspective, given that it is all-too uncommon in the secular environment. Still, I’m wondering just how ‘spiritual’ is church? From my experience, most church services I have attended were emotionally engaging and heavy in theorizing around the text of the Bible. Yet I wonder if this can be classed as spiritual, as connected with the divine Spirit. The ‘faith’ spoken about in most churches within my reach at the moment is an intellectual exercise; you are asked to assent your beliefs to Christ as described in the Bible.
I would have to say that most of my most profound spiritual experiences have been in silence, yet most churches spend the majority of time making noise. Last weekend I decided to explore a yoga approach to spirituality, which involves silence and chanting. I was immediately turned off by the singing at the start of the service, which was all in a foreign language. I have no problem with the incorporation of foreign languages in a service, but it is just not pretty to have an entire service in another language sung by non-native tongue people. When this is done by the native speaker, it is beautiful, and when done by the non-native speaker, it is bland. So even here I was disappointed by noise of another kind.
The only option I have right now is a multi-faith chaplaincy service at the university, and I very much hope to report that as a source of spiritual interaction with other like-minded souls.