Like everyone else,we have just received our 2011 census and I've come to a complete standstill at the question of religion. I am most definitely not any of the religions listed and yet I'm balking at ticking no religion, as neither am I an atheist, I am indeed a very spiritual person. I was just debating whether to put Humanist, when I suddenly remembered an article I read in the latest edition of Kindred Spirit. William Bloom recommends that those of us who are into 'things that are weird and wonderful, psychic and angelic, global and shamanic, healing and transformative' use the word 'Holistic' to encompass all these various spiritualities. If everyone who has these beliefs uses the same word to describe them, Bloom believes that the statistics will then show that there 'really is a dynamically new kind of spirituality in the United Kingdom', which in turn may lead to it being taken more seriously in terms of being allowed to be talked about in schools, hospitals etc.
In past censuses people have either ignored the question or put something silly such as 'Jedi', this is actually a sad waste of a very interesting source of information for future generations, as well as for the present government. My mother is heavily into family history and has copies of many censuses from days long gone, and they are fascinating slices of history, especially when you compare several of the same place: you can see how quickly families grew, how many children died, how people moved around or stayed put for years. We discovered for example that there was an old gypsy caravan in our road for many years and that a lot of the houses are older than we realized and had some interesting families living in them. So I think it is a great idea to try and be as informative and honest as possible: reading that someone in your house or street was a 'jedi' might make you laugh, but wouldn't tell you much about that person other than they were a joker (or a twit!), but to read that someone was 'Holistic' would give you much more insight into the way they lived their life.
For more information visit www.holisticmap.org