Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I am new at this. But since I am always thinking, and find that putting my thoughts down on paper helpful, I decided I might as well put my thoughts out there in the hope that they might be meaningful to you, and that what you say in response might be meaningful to me.

After all, faith is all about connection. Connecting with the sacred, with ourselves, and yes, each other.

Much of what I write will come out of what I am reading. I read a lot. Probably too much for my own good. Sometimes my reading is related to my work as mental health therapist, and sometimes it is more personal. My personal reading is usually about personal growth, and more specifically spirituality.

Currently I am reading a book by Sam Keen, who might be called a "recovering Presbyterian." Although he no longer holds tightly to the faith of his father, Sam both challenges and inspires me.

In his book "Hymns to an Unknown God" Keen titles a chapter "Living the Questions." He makes this comment. "The spiritual quest begins when we turn away from our standard answers and turn toward fresh questions. Nothing shapes our lives so much as the questions we ask - or refuse to ask. Imagine the different type and quality of life you would have if the main question you asked were one of the following: Where can I get my next fix of heroin? How do I serve God? What will the neighbors think? Who will love me?> How do I get power? How can we destroy the enemy? How can we end violence? . . . I have come to believe that'the quest' is a metaphor for the willing to live and wrestle with the perennial questions. . . "

It made me wonder. What are the questions being asked by those people on FOX and MSNBC, by our legislators, and pastors? How does that impact how they live? What they say? The choices they make?

And what about me? What are my questions? What are the questions I live, and how do the shape my life? What about you?


  1. I am always moved by a man who takes a stand for what he believes in. Not the outside practice of religious piety or conformity, but one who chooses to go against the current, who stands in the gap. What is it that calls a man to such behavior, and how can I culture it in my own life?

  2. I agree. People who have integrity and respond from the heart to the call of God, and find themselves in the gap, are a special breed. We often think of them as doing great things, but as a writer reminded me the other day that there are ordinary miracles. So sometimes the most powerful movements against the current are almost invisible, hidden in the daily even hourly choices one makes. The choice to love not hate. To be generous rather than go with fear. To choose time with a loved one over working longer and making more money. It is I think being aware of the movement and direction of the Spirit (big S not little s) inside that really causes us to be willing (going with God) rather than willful (protecting our egos and agendas)