RESOURCES FOR FERAL ADVENTURERS
A key insight of feral spirituality is that your dependence on institutional religion is either much reduced, or non-existent. Its time to begin to trust yourself. There are dangers in that of course, and if you’re lucky you’ll already have, or will find, a spiritual friend to support you who’s wisdom and experience you can trust. But good ones are not easy to find. Hopefully you’ll find support and encouragement on this website.
Nurturing feral means, amongst other things, learning to trust yourself.
What you don’t need now is another external authority. But be encouraged, for many of the resources you need are already available to you: your primary resource is yourself. My experience is that most people deep down already know most of what they need to know, its buried treasure lying deep inside. It’s a matter of recognising it and learning to trust it. How do you go about that? Slowly. One small step at a time. Do that and you’ll often pick up what I call ‘a following wind’ whereby what you need next will come and find you. You haven’t got to find it yourself, but recognise it when it comes your way.
What we are talking about here is taking personal responsibility for nourishing your relationship with God. The good news is that God has already done 99% of this already. You’ve been given the gift of life and put in a beautiful and generous world. But you can’t leave it all to God, there are things that you need to do as well. But the second piece of good news is that they’re mostly things that you enjoy doing.
Take time for fun, for whatever brings you pleasure, God will meet you there.
See life as an opportunity to be creative. God is creative or you wouldn’t be here and neither would anything else, so when you’re being creative you’re being a bit like God. I’m not talking about a major work of art here, but making a cake, tidying a room, painting a fence, doing a good piece of work, are all creative acts. Think of yourself as a creative person because you are.
If you feel the need to pray, but weren’t allowed to use words or visit a religious building, where would you go and what would you do? In my experience people answer that question in many ways:
What might you do?
Where is your holy space? The place where you went to pray probably is one. But there may be others. When you want to be quiet and feel at peace with yourself and the world where do you go? It might be a favourite chair, it might be somewhere outside, perhaps a garden, a spot by a river or in a wood. It could be a café or a pub, a museum. Wherever it is make sure you spend some regular time there.
Set aside an hour on Sunday [or any other regular day] and devote it to something that feeds your soul. It can be a different thing each time. Try things, be willing to experiment. Not every experiment will feel like a success, that doesn’t matter.
Set aside 15 minutes every day and look back over the past 24 hours. What have been the moments that have touched you most deeply, be they happy, sad, or simply questioning? What might God have been saying to you through them? What are you thankful for? Where were the gifts in the day? Be willing to take seriously any intuitive ideas or thoughts come to you. If you keep a note of what you notice, you might spot themes that recur.
Use your memory. Remember moments when God felt real for you, take yourself back in your imagination and experience them again. They will continue to speak to you. Do the same with good memories you have of places, people and times.
Negative Capability. The poet John Keats coined the phrase 'negative capability'. He said “Negative Capability is when a [person] is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries and doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.” There will certainly be times when nothing seems to be happening, when God seems to be silent, and all you can do is wait and be patient. There are times simply to do nothing.
Where is God in all this? Is a key question always to have in the back of your mind whatever you’re doing, wherever you are. Don’t burden yourself with it, but perhaps once a day look back and ask it.
In this adventure, we hope the following resources are of help to you. We'll add more as they come our way. If you have specific suggestions, please let us know.
Music as a resource
Poetry as a resource
Art as a resource
Films as a resource
Worship materials as a resource
Quotations as a resource
Other websites that may be helpful