Saturday, 12 April 2008

A Name For Something So Complex

People are always asking what I call my "religion". The simplest truth is that it does not have a name, nor should it be expected to have one. Cults have names (Cult of Christ); so do movements (Christianity) and institutions (Roman Catholic Church). But religion in its raw form shall always be nameless like a god. Perhaps it can be called many names for the sake of comfort or articulation, but never just one. One cannot separate it and name it like fruit. It is spiritual culture; spiritual art. It cannot be contained in a box.

Mine is a religion of many names - reminding us that we can never confine it. It is a religion of blood and land, tied to ancestry and geography – where origin and future are a continuous line. A religion of here and there, past and present, experience, raw passion and cultivated philosophy, identity and consciousness, free thinking, logic and emotion, and conscience. It would probably take me a full day to describe it in words.

But Nana is a good name for my religion. It means mother or parent. It appeals to my sensibilities. It means origin, binding force, sustenance, birth, death, and so much more. Perhaps in casual speech, I can call it that.

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