Thursday, February 19, 2009

Liturgical Links 2/19/09

It is a fine thing to establish one's own religion in one's heart, not to be dependent on traditional and second hand ideals.

D. H. Lawrence
Welcome to my musings.
Yestermorn a friend asked me what I want more than anything else in the world. My answer was that I want to be a spiritual man. But what does that mean?

To me it means transcendence and enlightenment. Two big words to describe big ideas. In simpler terms it means to learn to look past the limitations of this mortality, to see through the jungle of confusion known as my life, to seek and find the immortal, invisible realities of existence, and to live there.

I've been thinking lately that one of the dangers we humans face is complacency. I am weary of talking to people who wear a cross around their necks, or some other symbol of their beliefs, but who speak in worn out generalities about faith, who can quote scripture as if nothing else has been written on the subject, who are not willing to challenge their faith on the ball field of daily experience. I have almost always believed that there was more than just faith, or rather that there was more to faith, some inner power and reality to which faith is the door.

I think many people are afraid to challenge their religious beliefs because they might find that the wizard of their faith is just a man behind the curtain. I have a friend who is a Catholic priest and also a playwright (and if you are tempted to unwrap your prejudice about that, remember that the last Pope we had was a playwright in his younger years). One of the plays my friend wrote has a priest saying that his favorite article of clothing a priest wears is a tee shirt, because it shows that underneath all the pomp, ceremony and ritual, a priest is just a simple slob like everybody else.

Enlightenment, a state of bliss indescribable both to those who have achieved it and those who haven't, is the real purpose of religion as far as I can see. It is a mysterious consciousness which exists beyond, scripture, ritual, tradition and faith. It is the final overcoming of everything that is "not good enough," the place where we get a new name, where we no longer need angels, those messengers from Deity, because we become the message, where we have ultimately been translated from troubled, sorry, sick and fallible slobs, limited by time and space, into the grand creatures we were designed to be.

Why settle for anything less?

DB - Vagabond Journey
Look for joy today, and find it.


Karl said...

Brother DB, being relevant while connected to the One who love me is an ongoing puzzle. Your thoughts mesh with my own. Wanting to say there is more to all this experience. That the pat answer, the worn out scripture, the religious cliche does not point to the thrill that he is. The modern hymn writers of days gone by took delight in their Master. These weary days, my my my. You said it best DB. Look for the joy and find it. Joy can still be found. My prayer as I went to work yesterday morning was for joy and laughter.
This is one way to point to the One who loves me. And now that I think about it, yes, there were moments of laughter. Be Well DB.

Beth said...

This is very thought-provoking. I remember some years ago when I was struggling with religion due to some circumstances in my life. As I pondered things, it suddenly struck me that there was much indoctrination I'd received that I just didn't believe. It was quite an epiphany.

May I say that you've been on a roll lately? (If not a role, ha ha. :) Your entries have just been excellent, beautifully written, and quite profound. Bravo!

Love, Beth

Arlene (AJ) said...

As always DB, an excellent read on your thoughts on religion. My Cuz, the late Pope John Paul was indeed a playwright in his younger days, I believe he would have loved to have read your words today. I found them to be so profound and written from your heart.

Maire said...

DB~very thought provoking indeed. I believe that ones spiritual path is often tainted and emcumbered by the fear that others may judge you, alas, we live in a society where unfortunately to express ones trues beliefs, if not shared by the majority, leaves you a target of critism, and at the risk of unacceptance by your fellow man. I dont define my joy or my spirituality by others perceptions of what I should believe in, but by my own experiences, realizations and by what my own inner truth tells me. I can share this with the world, without fear of reprisal and judgement, or more plainly spoken, I really dont give a hoot what their judgement is of me.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Spirituality is such a complex subject. Certainly those who quote the "scripture" but do not live the words, are worse than those who do not.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for saying what I always wanted to say, but I could not say it as well as you have. Live long and prosper DB. (rene)

Alice said...

Hi DB. Said so well :).....