I was completely fascinated by Karen Armstrong’s upbringing as a nun, and how that experience helped shape her view of God. I agree with her that many people “take advantage of God”, and think of Him as simply someone who “somehow created the earth”. Being in a convent at such a young age, it had to be a tremendous change to go from set meditation times, practices, and mind sets, to complete and total freedom. I cannot imagine how one can function during that big of change, kind of like culture shock. Armstrong also mentions that after she became a secular she had found it “almost impossible to pray”, when she had gone into hours of meditation when in the convent. This astounds me and makes me think about how religious structure is so influential and how many can be influenced by it without really even knowing it. Fascinating.
I also found it interesting when she stated, “I felt exhausted by the whole religious enterprise; I wanted nothing to do with it.” I can relate with her on that one, because at this time in my spiritual journey, I am so fed up and overwhelmed by all the religious practices that I am exhausted as well. It was well put, and I feel as if many people feel or have felt that way in the course of their religious practices or traditions.
Compassion and love were talked about at length by Armstrong. She had made connections about how Gandhi, Jesus, and Mohammad were compassionate people who were more for peace than conflict. I agree with that, but I am not sure if our world could turn towards compassion. I do not believe that everyone has the ability to become compassionate to all. However, this broadcast has definitely got me thinking more about showing compassion and living it out.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed interview. I was enlightened, challenged, and even questioned some of my own beliefs. I am a follower of Jesus Christ, but I have never been exposed to many other religions other than Christianity and Islam. I look forward to learning more and seeing how many of these religions have overlapping beliefs, and also how they are different through these broadcasts.
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