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Cleansing the mind and spirit

by Darren

I saw these candles at St Nicholas Cathedral, Monaco.  We often spend time in churches on visits abroad because, as a building, they are such wonderful places to see.  I’m really looking forward to seeing St Basil’s in Moscow later in the year, although it’s pretty likely that I won’t be able to photograph the interior as I’ve found that Orthodox churches tend to request that you don’t.

Elsewhere in Europe I’ve found both churches and mosques welcome people to their place of worship and don’t place any restriction on photography, with the exception of some larger churches in England who want to sell you a permit, and then use the terms of that permit to prevent you from taking images and using them commercially.  It’s ok, if that’s what they want then I’m happy to comply, although it grates much more when it’s done for material reasons rather than because they feel it’s disruptive to the environment in which people engage in their act of worship.

While I don’t practice any religion myself, I do find the concept of it attractive and I’m pleased that the basic principles of most established faiths tend to lead towards doing acts of good for your fellow beings.  I’ve noticed over the years that some of the most ‘religious’ people I’ve known do anything but follow those principles, which is probably why I’ve not been attracted to any individual religion, but then I’ve also discovered that those who are definite that it’s all bunkum can be just as offensive with their disbelief.

White candles are believed to cleanse the mind and spirit, and I guess we can all benefit from a little of that from time to time.  On the big questions, like the rest of us I just don’t know.  But before whatever happens (or nothing happens) I do know that we can make each other’s time better while we’re here.  And that includes respecting whatever religion or none that people choose to  believe in.

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