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Monday, July 4, 2011

Woo-Woo Religion and Silent Spirituality

In the center of nearby Volcán there is what appears to be a Roman Catholic

church – but when you look closely, you see that behind the façade is only an empty cement floor. The interior of the church was destroyed a few years ago by a tornado – a rare phenomenon in this land.

For me, this outside without an inside depicts the nature of Roman Catholicism here. It is supposedly the dominant religious expression of Panama, but it is basically a front, with little of substance behind it. Parishioners may attend church on the major holidays, such as Easter and Christmas; they will turn out for the big parades down the main streets on certain saints’ days, and they may seek the services of the local priest for baptisms, weddings, and funerals. But otherwise, they have little real involvement with this denomination. For the Ngobe Bugle people in particular it is at best a veneer – a reflection only on the surface of the waters, and their ancient traditions continue to persist beneath this seemingness put on, no doubt, just to satisfy these invaders of their ancient land now, for a time, their vaunted overlords.

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2 comments:

  1. Dontcha just love the "spiritual" types going on about themselves rather than being drawn in service to others and all Creation? It's all about being the Way...

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  2. Absolutely, Yossi. This is in fact why I did some internal debating about whether to share the spiritual traditions I did... I didn't want this woman either latching onto me (as they so often do to suck what "juice" they can out of me) or starting to pompously "analyze" what had been shared. Argh... I eventually decided it was about the spiritual paths and so I shared, but I'm still tossing in my mind which was the better alternative.

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