By Maria Cory
"Spirituality is that aspect of human existence that explores the subtle forces of energy in and around us and reveals to us profound interconnectedness. The deeper the exploration goes, the more we encounter a fresh transparency of connectedness…" (Charlene Spretnak in Diarmuid O'Murchu's "God in the Midst of Change," 2012).
Sunday Morning Forum Facilitator Bob Smith's photo stance conveys the vastness of the class topic presented this week! Tackling Part I of "Comparative Religions," Bob presented a snapshot of "The Great Courses" DVD series covering the conceptualization of divinity and four belief systems (Polytheism, Dualism, Monism/Pantheism, Monotheism) into which various theories can be categorized.
"What Do We Mean When We Say God?" (Deidre Sullivan's titled compilation of God-definitions, 1990). As humankind ponders the Divine, nearly all religions strive to address this enigmatic question. From traditions that define the Divine as a singular Supreme Being (some with 99 Names/Attributes), to spiritual perspectives that include multiple gods, or no god, the search often leads one back to the mysterious and inexplicable.
"Trying to conceptualize the ineffable is 'Like Catching Water in a Net'"(2007), reiterates one class participant as he quotes author and Methodist theologian Val Webb. Whether one's sense of the Divine is mystical or anthropomorphic in nature, many would agree that religion, science and spirituality are converging on this multilayered subject.
"When I was a child, God meant an old guy with a long white beard. When I grew intelligent, he meant nothing. Now as I grow old, God means perfect love" (Mary Jane Monroe in Sullivan's previously cited digest).
While copious descriptions exist for God and the Divine, perhaps an Energy that transcends all conceptualization points to a message beyond itself. As faithful UUs, we recognize and strive to respect the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. In doing so, as we make this cosmic journey, if the search for truth and meaning leads us to living in love and care for all of Creation and in Building the Beloved Community, then our quest has been and is worthwhile!
What would religion…divinity…God…the Ineffable…look like if we had no (oral or written) language to define or debate these things? A wise friend says humbly, "Just Be Love." From concept to action, may we embody this way of being to the fullest extent possible! So may it be.
Grow in Wonder; Connect in Love; Engage in Service; Inspire Generosity!