Sunday, January 16, 2005


"Amoira could be seen as a land of fate and destiny, a place where to find inspiring quotations on fate, providence, Divine Guidance and grace, and many kinds of subjects related to spiritual life and growth.

It might not be obvious that this opening link and quote are relevant to The Real Key West. Let me try.

It's Sunday morning. It's cool, overcast, breezy. We went to Harpoon Harry's for breakfast, early, around 7:30. Ron presided as Manager. It was busy, but not as busy as it will be later in the morning. The Yachties are in town, "Snotty Yachties" some say, although we have no personal knowledge they are so. Jan chatted up a couple of guys at the bar Friday evening, after the Turtle Races and as Moose and the Bulletproof Blues Band was playing. One of the two was crew from one the racing yachts in town this week, and he seemed friendly enough. Kind of a Joe Cool character, well-dressed in a casual way. Fit. Rugged. Polite to strangers without ever becoming quite friendly.

Sunday is the day we usually hold our Bible study, and this would have been the first that Janet would be able to attend in many months. The weather may preclude us holding the study today. There's time to decide.

One image of Key West is that it isn't a very religious place -- drinking, drugs, debauchery, those are the images often associated with Key West as a party town. That image is not inaccurate, but neither is it the complete picture of the place. It's in the collage, but there are other images there as well.

Key West is a spiritual place, and that spirituality finds its outlet in a variety of religious expressions. It also finds outlet in what I would characterize as non-religious expressions. The Bible study, which we joined soon after coming back to town, has included several members over the last six months, but mainly a core group of Sharon, Phil and myself, and Adam before he left for Hawaii a couple months ago. What we all had in common was that none of the organized churches offered what each thought he or she needed for spirituality. Phil graduated from a Bible college a number of years ago, but works as a carpenter and builder. Sharon owns a shop here and at one point at least, she attended the Glad Tidings Tabernacle Assembly of God, as did Janet. Glad Tidings pastor, Ernie Deloach, leads a missionary, charismatic, evangelistic community. The church is one of the leading providers of assistance to the needy, with a pantry, a closet, a meal program. Pastor Ernie is also a long-time, full-time policeman in Key West. We both are nominal Catholics, but don't attend Mass at St. Mary Star of the Sea, the local Catholic community. St. Mary's is likely the largest single parish of any of the churches, and likely has the largest congregation. They operate a kitchen for the homeless on Flagler Avenue. The Metropolitan Community Church serves the gay community. Unity Church of the Keys provides a home for several smaller congregations of smaller sects in Key West.

I'm the black sheep of the Bible study, because my belief system is not as focused on the Bible itself as are the beliefs of the others. Carl Jung, whose writings resonated in me a long while ago, said: "The faith of a believer is a great spiritual force, it is the guarantee of his psychic integrity.

Even the believing Christian does not know God's hidden ways and must leave him to decide whether he will work on man from the outside or from within, through the soul. So the believer should not boggle at the fact that there are somnia a Deo missa (dreams sent by God).

I believe in God and think that he is God of us all, not the exclusive property of any one church or group of churches. I believe that each person locates God in a certain place and in a certain way. Christians rightly point to the Holy Spirit as the manifestation of God within ourselves that leads us to belief in Him. Hindus follow a panoply of gods who are all manifestations of a single deity, the creator, Brahma. Bhuddists revere and follow the teachings of the Bhudda.

Yet, we all get along very well, love one another as Jesus commanded his followers to do. We endeavor to understand one another's reasons for believing as we do, and spend an appropriate amount of time during the week to refining our own understanding of what we believe and why we do so.

There are many such communities here. The Yellow Pages list 23 churches, separated into 28 denominations(?). There are also non-religious spiritual communities: Yogic (there's lot's of yoga here), Unitarian Universalist, and most likely several others that I simply don't know about.

One feels -- or at least I feel -- that there is a sense of the spiritual here, an actual sensing of something physical, a sensing that pleases the body and the soul, that nourishes the body, the soul, and the mind in a way that brings on what the Bhuddists call Satori, or enlightenment, and Nirvana. Janet talked about it this morning. She wanted to take our cycles to Harpoon Harry's where we were going for breakfast. I thought we should take the car, since it looked like it could rain. She grumbled, but I prevailed and we drove rather than rode. On the way over, she said how nice it was yesterday when she and Roger bicycled to several yard sales together, and how pretty Key West is when seen from a cycle. For me, the magic happens when the Night Blooming Jasmine blooms. If I happen to be passing a place where the smell is particularly sweet, I always have to stop to drink it in for a few moments.

There's a theory, another belief system, that there are places of power in the world, places where the lines of energy that are part of both ancient Chinese philosophy and modern quantum physics are particularly strong or focused. One hears of Sedona, AZ, or Taos, NM, Tibet, and many others. Although that web site doesn't include Key West in its list, I do feel that it's here.

So you see, it wasn't that hard to make the connection with Amoira at all. I'm still exploring that site, but its already in my list of Bookmarks.

Have a nice day today. Love one another. Feel the power.

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
--From Hamlet (I, v, 166-167)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

FYI~ Pastor Ernie Deloach of Glad Tidings is not a policeman....his son Ernie Jr is.

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