spirituality: practice over belief

i just finished the mary karr episode of on being. honestly, it had the air of one of the episodes that i tend to skip because of the framing of the title: “astonished by the human comedy.” just didn’t seem appealing to me. i’m glad i listened anyways. i probably have four different thought posts inspired by the content, though they did all come in the last 15 minutes of the episode. just goes to show that you really can’t judge things by their outward appearances (or that you shouldn’t make assumptions… or something, heh).

anyway, here’s a paraphrase of one of the first section (and here’s a timestamped link to the podcast episode so you can listen for yourself) that really stuck with me: 

“the people who follow jesus, more so than people who call themselves christians or catholics or whatever seemed to always be the ones working in the soup kitchen and also seemed the least hateful and angry… that’s why i started trying to figure out the whole jesus thing.”

that totally resonated with me because i had a very similar trajectory. the only real different is that i started out in the church. i rejected the blind faith and dogma because it just didn’t seem effective or impactful.

and, just as i was having that thought… she dropped this:

“… that’s why it’s a spiritual practice and not just a spiritual belief. people talk about doctrine all the time (and even fight about it) but what i care about what you do on a given day. i don’t care so much what you believe in; what do you do?“

bam. totally same lane as me. i loved her leaning into the framing of spirituality as a practice. practice is action based (similar to love). given how i’ve seen christianity (and many other religions) be destructive, i wonder if this way of thinking about spirituality and spiritual differences would allow a much more healthy coexistence of multiple religions/spiritual practices… i know for me, i don’t particularly care what you believe, as long as it impacts your life and the world positively.