God Redux

Is there a god? What is the meaning of life?
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Admiral HMS Castanet
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God Redux

Post by fluffy »

I had a bit of a drive yesterday, from the Okanagan down to Vancouver. Along the way I caught a bit of the CBC Radio show "Tapestry" which usually deals with religious and/or spiritual topics. Yesterday's rebroadcast of last Sunday's show dealt in part with what the guest, a well educated and renowned author on matters religious, termed a "spiritual revolution" which has people leaving conventional religion behind in favour of what she called "cafeteria style religion" where people cherry pick from multiple sources, hanging on to nuggets of wisdom and such that ring true to them. Here is a description of her latest book from the Amazon.ca site:

The headlines are clear: religion is on the decline in America as many people leave behind traditional religious practices. Diana Butler Bass, leading commentator on religion, politics, and culture, follows up her acclaimed book Christianity After Religion by arguing that what appears to be a decline actually signals a major transformation in how people understand and experience God. The distant God of conventional religion has given way to a more intimate sense of the sacred that is with us in the world. This shift, from a vertical understanding of God to a God found on the horizons of nature and human community, is at the heart of a spiritual revolution that surrounds us – and that is challenging not only religious institutions but political and social ones as well.

Grounded explores this cultural turn as Bass unpacks how people are finding new spiritual ground by discovering and embracing God everywhere in the world around us—in the soil, the water, the sky, in our homes and neighborhoods, and in the global commons. Faith is no longer a matter of mountaintop experience or institutional practice; instead, people are connecting with God through the environment in which we live. Grounded guides readers through our contemporary spiritual habitat as it points out and pays attention to the ways in which people experience a God who animates creation and community.

Bass brings her understanding of the latest research and studies and her deep knowledge of history and theology to Grounded. She cites news, trends, data, and pop culture, weaves in spiritual texts and ancient traditions, and pulls it all together through stories of her own and others' spiritual journeys. Grounded observes and reports a radical change in the way many people understand God and how they practice faith. In doing so, Bass invites readers to join this emerging spiritual revolution, find a revitalized expression of faith, and change the world.

I think this has a lot to say about the changing face of God among spiritual thinkers these days, that they just don't believe in the traditional "super being on a throne out in space" any more more, but are reluctant to let go of their spiritual beliefs altogether. I've spoken of this before, the outdated aspects of the traditional God concepts and how they get in the way of real spiritual growth.
Heal the sick, feed the hungry, care for the weakest among us, and always pray in private.
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Re: God Redux

Post by cliffy1 »

Wrote this this evening:
Words, thoughts and prayers

Words have power. Thoughts have power. And prayers have power. Where does that power come from? From god? If so, from whose god? From the Great Spirit? What is the Great Spirit?
What the heck am I babbling about now?
There is no god separate from Creation. Creation is god, therefore, the Universe, which encompasses all of Creation, is god, the Great Spirit. The Universe is infinite. Do we really believe we can conceive of the infinite with our finite minds? I don’t think so. Does the Universe have a gender? No. Is the Universe our father? How can we even contemplate that question? The Universe may have created itself and we may be part of it, but let’s put that thought into perspective.
Our solar system is similar to the structure of an atom. Our planet is but a proton circling a nucleus (the sun) and we are but quarks moving about on that proton. If the Universe is the body of the Great Spirit, then, do you really think that the Universe is even aware of this planet or the quarks that move about on it? Are you aware of the quarks that move about on a proton in your body? Not very likely. So how do you expect that your words, thoughts and prayers aimed at the Great Spirit will ever get to Its attention?
Some native traditions refer to the Great Spirit as the Great Mystery. Why do you think that is? In the old traditions, the Great Mystery was never referred to as Father. It was understood that it was an unknowable entity too vast for our finite minds to comprehend. And that is my point. The power of our words, thoughts and prayers are wasted when aimed at the unknown, the unknowable.
So, to whom do we send our prayers if we want them to be truly effective?
Science has proven that the Earth, our Mother, is a living organism. We do not live on our Mother, but are but a single cell of that organism. The Mother is the source of all life on this planet. The energy field we call the biosphere is the source of life. The energy that is generated by our words, thoughts and prayers owe their power to that energy field. Thus it only makes sense that we direct our prayers to Mother Earth.
Actually, I doubt the Earth has a gender either, but since It is the Source of life here, we refer to It as Mother. It is a tangible part of our lives and all our experiences are part of the life experiences of the planet. It just doesn’t make sense to me to pray to the intangible, the unknowable, when the tangible is right here and the power behind our words, the Source of our thoughts, is the biosphere.
Trying to get spiritual nourishment from a two thousand year old book is like trying to suck milk from the breast of a woman who has been dead that long.

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