Sunday, September 04, 2005

Water communion.

For me, it was too soon. Naturally, they mentioned the disasater and the destruction water can cause, but still, all the quotes about how spiritual water is were a little much,

But I'm taking this harder than most people, and everyone else looked fine. So maybe I'm being oversensitive.



fausto said...

No, it's not you. It came up at PeaceBang's hurricane relief party last night, too. The water communion ceremony is just lame.

indrax said...

I've pulled the bulk of this comment from my own UU Blog entry.

I don't think you're being oversensitive, just sensitive. Compassion is good.

But, I don't think it's good to stop holding something up as sacred just because it is being destructive. What would we be left with? flame? no. Rocks? no. People?
If something is sacred, even symbolically, you need to be able to see it as sacred even when it is horrible. It won't work to have a religion that values something, but ignores that value when you don't want to hear it.

From Kali, to Pele, to Zeus, to Jehovah, deities sometimes kill you. Water is no different, life is no different. If you give up on what you revere when it is unpleasant, then you have lost faith. We have always known water could be destructive, but we chose it as a powerful symbol anyway. Water is still as life-giving and interconnected and beautiful as it ever was, even now.

If people have inherent dignity and worth, do they still have it when they are killing someone?

I do think there is room to change the way we spiritualize water to better handle it's negative aspects. A 'Bad Water Ceremony'? Or perhaps just a balance in the poetry we use, and then waters we bring. At our water ceremony, we have the option to use a pitcher of symbolic water for things we forgot, or didn't have access to. No one brought symbolic flood water.