Friday, December 28, 2012
God-talk and other matters
I've written over and over here about my religious or spiritual beliefs, how I've largely discarded the Catholic faith of my childhood and delved more seriously and intently into Buddhism and the more mystical sides of Christianity. If you were to ask me what I believe and whether I believe in God, I might say very inadequately that I perceive God to be Love and that this Love infuses everything and everyone in the universe, that there is no end to this Love and that life is eternal, that we are all connected to one another and to all things animate and inanimate.
World without end, amen.
I have also mentioned here that god-talk makes me squirmy and that evangelism and fundamentalism -- any kind -- makes me nearly nauseous, and that when I begin to read it, I stop. When I hear it, I can quite effectively put on a bland face, shut down my mind and go elsewhere -- the poetry of Emily Dickinson, perhaps, or the lyrics of a Bob Dylan song. I recently became uncomfortable when I read a blog of someone who lives in Newtown who called for more God in schools, so uncomfortable that I removed the blog from my blogroll and decided that I couldn't read it anymore, couldn't stomach it, really. I don't know what the deep psychological underpinnings of this discomfort might be, but the older I get the more I yearn for light, for the lightness that comes with authenticity, and the older I get the more confident I feel in recognizing this authenticity. Sometimes reading and listening to god-talk is like drowning in a murky river, slick weed tendrils wrapped around you, errant branches scraping your flesh, the light above only occasionally piercing through.
A bit of that light pierced through today when I read a blog post of an 86-year old man, a retired minister and father of another friend of mine. The title of his blog is Singing the Hymns and I am grateful for this authentic blessing and so look forward to reading more of this man's thoughts and words.