This is what I believe: That I am I. That my soul is a dark forest. That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest. That gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back. That I must have the courage to let them come and go. That I will never let mankind put anything over me, but that I will try always to recognize and submit to the gods in me and the gods in other men and women. There is my creed.
~ D. H. Lawrence
Credo (plural Credos) noun (from ENCARTA): statement of principles: a statement of principles or beliefs, especially one that is professed formally [12th century. From Latin, literally ‘I believe’.]
1. statement of Christian beliefs: the Apostles’ Creed or Nicene Creed, both of which are ancient statements of the basic doctrines of Christianity
2. musical setting of the Credo: a musical setting, especially in a Mass, of the Credo
You have one, you know – a personal Credo. We all have. Unfortunately, all too often we form it fuzzily and semi- or un-consciously, failing to be aware of it, never having been taught to pay attention to “I believe”.
It could well be that one’s Credo is the single most important construct built during a sojourn here on earth.
I’ve been thinking frequently about mine over the past few days. Not having come from a liturgical church background, I’ve been fortunate in meeting the credo concept face-to-face in music. There cannot be a more wonderful way to begin to take in the wonder of a Credo than by singing the words to music that has stretched from Mediaeval to Modern times. Music loosens us up to the spiritual and frees us from having to think exclusively in words.
But I digress! Blame it on music. After all, Vivaldi is playing on my DVD player, and those close to me know my current writing obsession to be with Vivaldi.
So, I’ve been thinking about my credo while I listen to Vivaldi and while I’ve been on the treadmill. The treadmill functions musically, if you will, freeing up the right brain and allowing me to wander into the holiness of the non-verbal.
All this wandering around and into my credo culminated in the crystal-clear awareness that I need to put my credo out there – to you – to anyone when appropriate. You see, today, I told someone who vehemently disagreed with me, finding me too watery in my faith, that I believed that I could die for what I’ve come to believe in. I actually said that. I said it evenly, with thought and with conviction. And then, I sat down with myself, took a deep breath and scrupulously examined what I had said.
That’s the question that has been bubbling along inside me since the eleventh of September this year, 2001. Would I, could I, die for what I believe in? Isn’t that what many, if not all, of us have been struggling with? Isn’t that what times like these draw out of people? And don’t we either face the question or flee? I’ve been taking many deep breaths since I sat down with myself. I’m taking one now – while Vivaldi’s ‘Nisi Dominus’ accompanies. Of course, I sit here in freedom and luxury while I ask myself these questions.
Well, then, deep breath – here’s my credo. I share it with you in the hope that you will read it, abandon judgment and work on your own if you need to….
- that we chose to come Here from Elsewhere
- that we have a purpose to find, healing to carry out and Soulwork to do
- that we forget our genesis as we move through early childhood
- that we feel the call to remember throughout our adulthood through dim, non-verbal, cellular memories
- that we name this call Emptiness, Longing to Belong, Why, Homesickness, Quest, Thirst… until we begin to identify it as Homecoming or Soulcoming
- that we are unconditionally loved by the Almighty
- that we are personally accountable for our lives, no matter how we got to be where we are
- that we must “work out our own salvation in fear and trembling”
- that all our answers lie within us
- that we dream our lives into being
- that we are capable of great creativity
I acknowledge that there are Seductive Traps along our Journey Home. Amongst these traps are:
- the abuse of power
- ownership, especially of how we conceive God
- blind fear
- and others
I leave my Credo before you. Handle it with care. It is about my soul. And all souls must be handled with care.