Welcome to my blog! This is my first post, the traditional “Hello, World!” message. I hope to be saying hello to people all over the world through this website and the discussions it will foster, taking a “big picture” perspective on topics of religion, science, and spirituality.
I chose the banner at the top of this site because it reflects different perspectives that I bring and hold together in tension – ones that are not often brought forward in public discourse about science and religion. I recognize something valuable in atheism and its critique of religion, as well as Jesus, Buddha, and interspiritual approaches. Forward progress will be made as topics such as these are synthesized and integrated.
I am critical of much of religion but see its potential for spirituality and know that its strong mark on culture, art, and daily life cannot simply be erased. The trick is to keep the baby while throwing out the bathwater. The transformation will seem like a destruction for those within it who cling to rules, dogma, and the comfort of the status quo. Others are ready to push religion forward, to deal responsibly with its flaws and to ask the questions we are afraid or at least hesitant to ask.
Prometheus is the center of the site’s banner – a very interesting and multi-faceted figure. He is known for bringing fire to the earth when the gods withheld it out of fear that humans could come to rival them. Prometheus is also a symbol of the danger and recklessness of humankind when tempted by power and the urge to shape the world to our every whim. He represents an adversarial attitude toward God or the gods, one in which the gods are remarkably petty like we can be.
Although I recognize the validity of critiques about God and religion – even religion as an opiate of the people – I understand and experience someone like Jesus as instead bringing fire to the earth through peoples’ hearts – a passion, joy, spontaneity, and joyfully rebellious nature. Christianity usually stifles this as well as his questioning, critiquing nature and his emphasis on God as spirit that cannot be contained, controlled, or limited to one practice or idea. I admire and respect those like Leo Tolstoy, Gandhi, Bede Griffiths, Abdul Ghaffar Khan, and Martin Luther King, Jr. who have come to similar understandings of Jesus and spirituality that cross the boundaries of religion and led them to simultaneously challenge and broaden religion.
So much of religion hinges on what we make God out to be. Do we think of God as vengeful, jealous, and irrational as we often are, or accept it when we’re told this by our religion or scriptures? Or does God represent the very best of what humanity can be, something and some spirit that we can always aspire to, recognize, and access within ourselves?
Check out other parts of my website detailing more about my background, perspective, and a couple of other interests. I welcome your comments and questions as we delve into the strengths and weaknesses of religion, atheist critiques and voices, interspirituality, contemplation, and science. It’s time to move beyond a narrow, divisive view and practice of religion and to recognize the spiritual truths and practices at the core of many world religions and secular philosophies. With these, we can move forward beyond religion to a spirituality and science that are aligned.