Monday, April 26, 2010

Searching for God

April 26/10
Listened to Tom Ashbrook's discussion about the question, "Is there ONE God?" on On Point this morning.
Differences in religions are not the same as different perceptions of God. Religions have found various paths to the mystery we call God, and those differences are worth celebrating, not worth going to war over. Karen Armstrong, in her book "The Spiral Staircase" notes that while Islam and Judaism both stress "what one does" as acts of faith and the celebration of the relationship between humans and God, Christians stress "what one believes" as the cornerstone of their faith.
Since belief is not measureable empirically, there is a real risk that we can each convince ourselves of our sincere belief, based on the teachings, readings and practices of the faith tradition in which we were raised. And then, we can also come to hold such belief tenaciously, almost as a sign of our identity. Only to find such "granite" positions challenged by our next experiences. And we run the risk of becoming patrons at our own smorgasbord of "faith offerings."
Humans seek to know God, the unknowable! Humans persist in our search, with or without the help of prophets, poets, seers, mystics and scholars. Each civilization has its own gallery of the faces of the force(s) that energize, create, sustain and animize the universe, and the individual.
Words, like these, chase God and my own relationship to the divine....only to come face to face with the awesomeness of the encounter...in a Beethoven sonata, an Eliot poem or a smile on my month-old grand-daughter!

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