So it's Easter Sunday, the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and many of you will be celebrating, as I am now, with some lovely chocolate. A gift that I am enjoying as much as I can, thoughts of my weight and health and teeth and sugar levels notwithstanding.
For those of you that are interested in these things, and I know you are, I am also listening to my cd of Karl Jenkins The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace. Seemed a fitting subject for the theme of the day, but also just lovely music whenever.
Whilst I am on the subject, and to completely debunk the myth of men's inability to multitask, I am also loading onto my ipod two Neil Diamond cd's; 12 Songs and Home Before Dark, from 2005 and 2008 and produced by the magnificantly bearded Rick Rubin (who also produced the American Recordings series with Johnny Cash).
Gone are the days when we would all be found at the local church this morning, although of course mass worship is still taking place. Take a drive down to the not quite so local supermarket and witness whole families wandering around, involved in their joint worship of the great god shopping, spending money they can't afford on things they don't need, or even really want, shouting at the children and barging fellow worshippers out of the way.
Witness also the recent mass panic through fear of deprivation of another of the great modern gods, the car, and the fuel needed to power it.
Strange isn't it the power we willingly give away when we listen to bad advice from people whose motives are suspect and selfish at best and just downright malicious at worst, without question, and then blame them for our own inability to stop and think. The blaming of others for our own failings yet another public ritual we all seem happy to engage in, yet totally unwilling to acknowledge the weakening of ourselves in the process.
The church itself, in it's own panic at the perceived attack on it, completely ignoring the harm it has itself caused in it's own selfish attempts to cling to power, and ignoring changes of attitudes in society, has to resort to publicly begging it's followers to wear a cross to prove their faith.
And the saddest thing to come from all of this is an unwillingness to even listen anymore, to engage with teachings and truths that could, if only we would let them, benefit us all.
Instead of this mass apathy and denial and hostility, why don't we turn inward and just start believing in ourselves a bit more, having a bit more confidence and faith in our own innate sense of what is right or wrong, our own truth, and start to honour and live it a bit more. To feel that we can, and do, have some of the answers we seek.
And of course by doing this, by listening to our own wisdom and acting on it, we become less dependent on the approval of others and therefore less of a burden on them, and more whole and more fulfilled within ourselves.
And then if a church or a group or a symbol such as the cross, genuinly represents what we feel to be true within ourselves then we are freer to engage with it in a healthy way, a more human way, for our own sake, and less needing to argue or attack or criticise.
What if, and here's a thought, we got up in the mornings and washed and dressed in the clothes we want to wear, just because it feels good to do so, not to look a certain way or conform to a current fashion or craze or to please a spouse or an employer. What if we started doing the things we want to do a bit more, just because we like doing them.
What if, and I'm really going crazy now, but what if we started doing things for others just because it benefitted them with nothing in it for ourselves, no publicity or photo opportunity, without having to tweet it or facebook it. What if we just did something for someone else as willingly and happily as we would do something for ourself? Just because it feels good and is good to do. What if we started to celebrate and appreciate diversity and learn from it, rather than demonise and fear it.
What if, instead of blindly following any religion or spirituality or way of life we gave ourselves the freedom to question and challenge and, in the meantime, just tried to be more real ourselves, more genuinly human, more giving and loving and understanding, more willing to work on ourselves and less willing to find fault with others.
What if we just recognise the great gift of life we have been given and live it, and let others do the same. What if we started to do this today, right now. Happy Easter..............