Feeling the Spirit at Movies 8

October 29, 2007

This week’s topic: Spiritual Experiences Outside of Mormonism

by carrie ann

This has been an interesting topic for me to think about. I have had many, many spiritual experiences outside of church or churchy things, but I have wondered if any of my experiences were outside the realm of the influence of the Holy Ghost. Even in my most hippie-ish, good-vibe-seeking/being-open-to-the-wonders-of-the-universe moments, it was still the Holy Ghost I was feeling. So are we talking about those kinds of spiritual experiences? I am going to, because that’s all I know. (Is there some level of spiritualism that I am missing out on? Should I be wearing more crystals?)

Here are just a couple of those experiences, silly as they may be:

High On a Mountain Top:

During a really rough time in college after breaking up with a serious boyfriend, I felt the need to go on a hike. I am more want to hike out of frustration, not pleasure. When I am upset or depressed, I need exertion and heavy breathing to get it out of my system. So I drove up as close to the mountain as I could (in Provo, Utah) and I hiked up to the bench trail, but instead of following the trail north to Rock Canyon, I decided to go straight up. After an hour or so I made it to a rocky outcropping. I was nowhere near a trail, and high, high above civilization. I decided to shed myself of any worldly thing (representative of my woes), and I took my clothes off. It felt wonderful to sit there in the early summer sun and feel naked, small, and unencumbered. It was definitely spiritual and symbolic. Luckily, I had my camera so I took a picture (from the shoulders up, of course, although this was the age before digital cameras so I was taking a huge chance of someone at the photo booth getting a shock…). I still have that photo on the fridge as a reminder of that feeling.

Spiritualism at the Movies:

Another experience that came immediately to mind is rather embarrassing to share. It occurred at Provo’s dollar theater, Movies 8. This is the world’s worst theater. They don’t even have surround sound. The shows are packed with noisy students and poor young families with screaming babies. Not the most ideal setting for movie watching let alone spiritual experiences. But while watching the movie “Contact” in said theater, I had an interesting experience that has stayed with me. I can’t even remember really what part it was (it was near the end), but I had the distinct impression that there was some bit of truth we were experiencing, and I don’t think I was alone. The audience was completely silent, no, REVERANT. I looked around at my neighbors and all the strangers and felt that they were feeling the same thing as me. So weird.

Mostly, though, I can feel spiritual outside of churchy things when I feel grateful. I can feel gratitude often, and for various things. Nature inspires gratitude, so does spending time with my family, eating good food, working in the garden, and lying in my comfy bed in my safe home next to my wonderful husband. Even the most banal daily routines can be laced with the spiritual when one feels gratitude for blessings given by our Father in Heaven. At least, that’s how it works for me.

One comment

  1. I have had such experiences in movie theaters before as well.

    I love this line: “I can feel spiritual outside of churchy things when I feel grateful.” Beautifully said.

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