I wanted to better explain my spiritual walk. Hoping this is helpful for others
I no longer feel cognitive dissonance on Mormonism. Unstable would be the complete opposite of how I see my paradigm these days. I no longer stand on a rocky foundation (the dominant narrative of Mormonism) and instead take a more mystical approach to what and how I believe. Those beliefs while held within Mormonism are also not dependent on it.
Perhaps a better way is to say that for many, Mormonism is “the path”, or at least a path among many. For me this is a bad analogy. For me there is a path and this path is completely outside Mormonism but can utilize any religious paradigm to help people into growth and development. I feel myself on that path, and “my assumption” is that all of us (all human beings) are on that path and for me I wear the tool-belt of Mormonism as I travel that path.
So in the end any positive change or disappointing behavior that comes out of Mormonism has little to do with my actual walk on the path. I simply realize some of the tools in my tool-belt are effective, others are neutral, and others actual hamper my spiritual journey. Others have different tool-belts containing their own tools, some of which are good and healthy and others not so much. Some tools in different tool belts are similar and others are very different.
If Mormonism keeps me or I choose to continue with this tool-belt, I continue to use those tools in-spite of their limitations and even in spite of their advantages. If Mormonism severs me from the tribe or I decide on my on to switch out tool belts, it has little affect on the path I am on. I could easily put on another tool belt…. but right now, I don’t want to. I find Mormonism to capture my love and interest and it is in my bones. It is my tribe.
Reza Aslin explains my view best
“My well is Islam, and in particular, the Sufi tradition. Let me be clear, I am Muslim not because I think Islam is “truer” than other religions (it isn’t), but because Islam provides me with the “language” I feel most comfortable with in expressing my faith. It provides me with certain symbols and metaphors for thinking about God that I find useful in making sense of the universe and my place in it.”
Mormonism is true as a tool belt. But no more true than any other tool-belt. Unique? yes. True? yes Valid? yes. Is it the path? It is not. If it were how sad that only .2% (point two percent) have access to the path…..
does this make sense?
Aha, but all will be offered and given a chance to carry this tool belt.
Nevertheless one has to decide how many tools can one carry before it becomes to heavy and weigh us down.
I really enjoyed your analogy Bill. I use to think we were all on different paths that led us to the same destination. After reading your post I like thinking of us all on the same path but with different “tools in our tool belts” as you put it. It helped my paint a better mental picture in my head. Reza Aslin’s quote was beautiful. I actually used it to explain (in part) to my brother my evolving views on Mormonism. It was a great analogy. As long as we’re talking about tools, can I borrow your tape measure? I’ll bring it right back I promise.