It is always encouraging to find fellow travelers on the journey of life. Anyone who knows me knows that I do not like comparing people's experiences. It can tend to universalize an experience, and exclude those who do not share them. There is nothing wrong with learning from others though, as long as we maintain the intersubjectivity between us and respect the experiences of the other. Jean Raffa has an excellent blog post that resonates with me. My experience is similar to her's that she describes in the first few paragraphs. Take a read:
Gated Religions - Jean Raffa
I especially love this, as I could have written it myself if I could find the words:
For many years, literal belief in the doctrines of my religion (Christianity) was enough to satisfy my spiritual hunger. But the strain of containing my beliefs in a tightly enclosed, left-brained compartment labeled “Religion” while repeatedly coming up against a Mystery that encompasses the entire universe eventually wore me down. At the age of 37 my ego waved a white flag and surrendered its need to feel safe and in control. In leaving the gated community of my religion, I entered a Dark Night of the Soul that lasted nine years.
I returned from the desert with a new way of seeing and living.
For me, I am still learning what that new way of seeing and living could look like. I know what I'm letting go of (inherited God images, etc), but I only have a glimpse of a new way at this point. Depth psychology and the mystic tradition are helping to paint the picture of the future, but I'm still, daily, filling in that picture on the path of individuation.