Sunday, November 15, 2009


One of the defining moments of our species is the moment of greed we so often feel. What greater proof is there of evolution than the many animal traits we carry with us -- traits which too often dominate our lives?
Greed is an outgrowth of the survival instincts which help preserve us. Yet, it is this instinct run amok. We seek to have enough things to ensure our survival. And yet, too often we find that we want more than we need, or we want things that we don't need.
In a world of unlimited resources, we could each have all that we desire. However, there is a balance in the real world which must be maintained. Every time we acquire something we run the risk of depriving someone else.
There are so many people who think single-mindedly about their our preservation. And so, they forget that we are all interconnected. They allow their own selfishness to dominate their world-view and they don't try to maintain the balance of the Web of Life.
It's no wonder our world is so far out balance with the natural world -- it is simply a reflection of the ideology of our society. For we try to pretend that we did not evolve here and, therefore, that we do not have any animal within us; any part of the natural world. And so man fights against nature: both the natural world around him and the natural world within him. And we all suffer for this struggle. The denial of evolution is a travesty to us all.
And so, the desire to have grows out of proportion. We forget it is a basic part of each of us, but that we should temper it with knowledge of our interdependence. For only compassion can fight the selfish monster who lives within us.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Divine Will

There are patterns in the ways our lives are lived. I have devoted much of my life to observing and trying to learn from them. The patterns are repeated in everything from the organization of the universe to the makeup of our bodies and the subatomic particles which make up all things.
Yet the patterns do not stop simply with the physical organization of things. There are patterns of belief among the often-warring religions of the world. There are patterns in the ways our lives are lived and in the history of people. And there are patterns in the ways our lives flow and interact, one with another.
I concluded long ago that I do not believe in coincidences. For too many "random chance" happenings seem to populate my life, much more than I could account for as being simply "random". At one point I believed, as so many do, that a human-like God was orchestrating the many melodies of my life in strange and sometimes surprising ways.
And then, the world stopped making sense.
When I decided that the faith I had been raised in made little sense in the modern world, I lost the simple explanation for the "Divine plan" which guided my life. My spiritual journey took me through an understanding of many faiths. And I eventually concluded that all this, and perhaps more, is the Divine Being; that is, God is not separate from the universe: God is the living universe.
This revelation brought with it baggage all its own. For the question of Divine Will again became an issue once again. I had concluded that the Divine was not conscious in a way that we can easily understand. I had concluded that it is interested in our well-being as we each are interested in the health of our various body parts. But the "Divine Plan" idea died terribly.
Yet there are still these patterns, as currents in the river of time. Perhaps they are just as sentient as that river. And perhaps there is more.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Pantheist Song...

We were treated to this at the Unitarian Universalist Church this past Sunday morning. Every so often I find a song which is directly on target for my beliefs. Here it is!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Alchemy Revisited

The ancient alchemists believed that the world was composed of only a few elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Modern chemistry tells us that there are literally hundreds of different elements making up our world. Yet physics breaks these down into a few particles which, when rearranged, can become anything. Further, this elemental physics only defines matter. But energy is also seen as a component of things.
I would argue that the ancient alchemists were right, but concerning physics rather than chemistry. For our universe seems to have two major components: substance -- of which everything is made -- and fabric -- the fabric of space: a canvas on which substance is painted. I would further argue that substance can exist as solid, gas, energy, or liquid (earth, air, fire, or water), and that it can change back and forth between them. Substance is anything we can measure and affect directly.
Many people also consider spirit to be a major component of things. In many religious traditions spirit is that which binds all things together. It can also be one of the most elementary components of all substance. Seen this way, it can be argued that everything which exists has a spiritual nature.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

One and the Same

I believe that what is above and what is below are one and the same.
I believe that what is within and what is without are one and the same.
I believe that everything, everywhere, is one and the same.

No one great spiritual teacher has a monopoly on spirituality. Only now -- as the world grows smaller and we begin to understand each other a bit better -- do we even begin to see the whole picture with regards to the spirit. And there is so much more yet to discover!
But we do understand enough to know that all the larger things are made up of the smaller things. That the universe is simply made up of many many simple things. And we can know that the universe makes much more sense than it at first appears to.
Everywhere we look -- in chemistry, physics, astronomy, medicine, any of the sciences -- we see the same patterns repeated. The arrangements of atoms and molecules looks no different than the arrangement of stars and galaxies! And so, also, are our bodies arranged.
Some time ago a philosophy called "The Gaia Hypothesis" became popular. In this world-view it was assumed that the earth is a living organism who maintains herself -- that is, that the environment is a living entity with all the repercussions that life entails.
I believe this idea helps to explain the way we find the earth. But I believe it does not go far enough.
I believe the entire universe functions as a life form: the universe is alive! Not in the way we normally conceive life to be. Rather, I believe the universe maintains itself and grows and does the many things which make itself complete.
I look at the universe as the ultimate form of life. And I tend to believe that it is That which we call God. I find that this is perhaps the best explanation to reconcile the various god-interpretations of the many world religions. For there are some who believe that God is one (the universe as a whole), and some who believe God is many (the various parts which make up the universe). There are some who believe God is a formed being (matter/people/the many parts which make up the whole), and some who believe that God is spirit (the unifying force behind creation). There are some who believe that all things have a spiritual nature to them; that is to say, they believe that everything has a spirit associated with it. This is easily explained in that, as we are each a part of the universe, and therefore a part of God, we each contain a tiny piece of that Great Spirit within us.
And here is the great charge: as we each contain a piece of God within us, we should each treat one another with the same respect and love we would have for God -- and for self. We are not the many separate beings we appear to be. In fact, we are both interrelated and interconnected. We must work together in harmony for the body of the universe -- the body of God -- to function well. Therefore, it is important to "do unto others as we would have them do unto us".
And so we discover that we are part and parcel of the Body of God, and so is all else. We live in a sacred place; a holy temple. Everything here is sacred. We simply must look for the Holiness -- for God -- wherever we turn.
God creates, preserves, and destroys: to recycle and create again. The Hindus have long understood this, as their trifold groupings of deities demonstrates. As an example: Brahman creates the universe, while Indra preserves it, and Shiva destroys it. And the universe works in cycles of creation, preservation, and destruction. Brahman opens his eyes and the universe comes into being, and as he closes them it is destroyed. Again, and again, the cycle repeats itself. So we see the cycles in our world. Seasons come and go, to repeat the following year. Lives are lived, and new births for those which will take their places. And also stars are born and destroyed and reborn. It is no wonder the Hindus place such an emphasis on reincarnation. Although, I believe we are not recreated as we are today, I believe that all the makings of our bodies are recycled.
Many times we are fearful of others because they look different, or believe differently, or live differently, or love differently. But we should be more accepting because they are and they do believe, and they do live, and they do love -- as we all do.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Turning the Spirit Inside-Out

Our spiritual paths work both ways: inward and outward. We focus on our own spiritual development and then we share our discovery with others. We find it in ourselves and we make it manifest!
Baptism demonstrates how this process works. First, the person is immersed in their chosen faith. Then the person comes out of it and goes forth into the world. This ritualized "cleansing of soul" is necessary before we can bring our message to the waiting world.

We work on our spiritual nature first. We look within ourselves, we change and we grow, and we find the spirit within. We nurture our own spirituality.
We then manifest spirituality. We act on our beliefs, including protecting the Web of Life, finding the spiritual nature in others, and celebrating our uniqueness. We bring it out of ourselves.
And so we find the spirit within, we turn it inside-out, and we celebrate it. We find the balance-point between taking in and giving back. The answer is as simple as breathing: for what is taken in, the same amount is given back. We take from the world to nurture our spirit, and we give back from our spirit to the world.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Matters Of Spirit

Religions are constructed around Spirituality.
Now, Spirituality is a universal thing. It is not a thing that can be learned or fully described. It is something which must be experienced. It is a moment of clarity, a moment when we "plug in" the Holy "puzzle piece" which is within each one of us. It is a moment when we see things with infinite perception. It is a thing William James described as "mysterium tremendum". It is variously described in religions as: "the filling of the Holy Spirit", "Enlightenment", "drawing down the moon", and so forth. It is an overwhelming moment of absolute clarity of purpose -- when everything makes sense to us.
This moment is something which must be felt, and not thought about. For the moment we think about it -- the moment we realize it's happening and we try to understand it -- it fades. It is a moment of perfection, and perfection is so difficult to hold on to.

Spirituality is a fulfillment of purpose. It gives meaning to our lives. It answers questions and gives direction. It is a moment when we exist in harmony with the universal whole. It is a time when we understand it all, for the briefest of moments.
And Spirituality is the moment we take the Sacred within ourselves and connect it with the Sacred outside ourselves. For the Sacred exists within all things. And through our connection with all things we are made more complete.