Stephanie Shirley: spiritual outlook

I think those sorts of experiences led me to, for many years, be really looking for a religion. I was looking for a God or gods, and it became really – I read about religions, I was seeking something that was stable and safe and good. And later on I – I’d never been baptised of course, but I went to confirmation classes, the objective being that I would be baptised and confirmed in the Christian faith. But halfway through those, Christian classes they were, good sense prevailed and I realised that I didn’t really believe, I just wanted to belong to this wonderful, wonderful church. And I pulled out. But I went on looking for various faiths. I still find some of them very interesting, ‘cause I’ve been out in Saudi Arabia, found out a little bit more about the Muslim faith. But it suddenly, it stopped. [Sighs] I think it was round about the same time as my depression stopped, which was early ‘60s, that suddenly I was no longer looking anymore. I found it interesting, yes, but I’m no longer on that scientific search to understand what’s there. And … but for most of my life that was pretty … pretty important. Now I describe myself as having no faith, but I am spiritual. And people so on and so forth say, ‘Well what do you mean by spiritual?’ And I do mean the non-material aspects of life and anything in the sense that is life affirming. And that remains with me, loud and clear, strong. Erm … yes of course I like nice food, or my nice clothes, or my nice flat, but, you know, basically I’m not interested in the material things. And when I find myself getting over enthusiastic about a painting or a piece of jewellery or something, I really haul myself back and sort of say, ‘This is really nothing to do with what I am.’

  • Interviewee Stephanie Shirley
  • Duration 00:02:51
  • Copyright British Library Board
  • Interviewer Thomas Lean
  • Date of interview 8/9/2010
  • Shelfmark C1379/28

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