A View on Religion

I have a friend who’s in midlife and struggling with the creeping irrelevancy (my term) of his religious beliefs. His personal history with religion (Christianity) doesn’t go all the way back into childhood, but it’s deep enough to have been a significant force in shaping his adult worldview. He and his wife raised their childrenContinue reading “A View on Religion”

The Only Way of Salvation

Religion is an answer to the problem or dilemma that besets our human condition. Throughout its long history, the answer of religion has changed according to the nature of its problem. Earliest religion was focused on the body and a need for the business of society to stay connected to the provident rhythms of nature.Continue reading “The Only Way of Salvation”

Soulful Religion

A very long time ago, way back in the dim prehistory of human cultural evolution, “primal religion” functioned to keep our run-away brain connected to the cycles and rhythms of the natural order. At that point, the tribe was still a human group organized around the necessities of sex, territory and nutritional resources. These cyclesContinue reading “Soulful Religion”

No Use for God

Religion is to spirituality as meaning is to mystery, as god is to ground, as belief is to faith, and as body is to soul – if we can resist the old habit of making the second term of each pair into some separate and metaphysical “thing.” These pairs are paradoxical, not antagonistic or merelyContinue reading “No Use for God”

Unqualified Mystery

De Mello: “The fact is that you’re surrounded by God and you don’t see God, because you ‘know’ about God. The final barrier to the vision of God is your God concept. You miss God because you think you know. That’s the terrible thing about religion. The highest knowledge of God is to know GodContinue reading “Unqualified Mystery”

Easter Reality

Religious high holy days are anchored deep in myth and symbol. These are times when true believers – as well as the larger number of unaffiliated and “occasional pilgrims” – step into the sacred stories and reflect once again on the miracles of old. Too many of them probably do this out of family obligationContinue reading “Easter Reality”

Waking Up

De Mello: “Spirituality is the most practical thing in the whole wide world. I challenge anyone to think of anything more practical than spirituality as I have defined it – not piety, not devotion, not religion, not worship, but spirituality – waking up, waking up!” Human beings are creators, and what we create are worlds.Continue reading “Waking Up”

The Birth of God

Schleiermacher: “Suppose there is someone who rejects the idea of a personal God. This rejection of the idea of a personal Deity does not decide against the presence of the Deity in his [or her] feeling.” Because personality is the filter through which we humans experience reality, our long-standing assumption has been that it representsContinue reading “The Birth of God”

Polarity and Paradox

Heschel: “There are two ways in which the Bible speaks of the creation of [humanity]. In the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, which is devoted to the creation of the physical universe, [humanity] is described as having been created in the image and likeness of God. In the second chapter, which tells usContinue reading “Polarity and Paradox”

Waiting Around

Nietzsche: “In every corner of the earth there are people waiting who hardly know to what extent they are waiting but even less that they are waiting in vain. Sometimes the awakening call, that chance event which gives ‘permission’ to act, comes but too late – when the best part of youth and the strengthContinue reading “Waiting Around”