Sunday, October 31, 2004

Dipped in Glory

I began a new blog post tonight about the Ego... seems its been on my mind as of late after reading such articles as THIS. But, as I reread my dissertation, I realized that I really didn't know what I was talking about and the article was line after line of jibberish. It seems as though it is true that there is so much in spirituality, consciousness, and psychology that cannot be put into language... things that are truly beyond words and can only be experienced.

I found myself spouting off like an incoherant boob and so I decided to spare you all the trainwreck. In the meantime, challenge yourself by reading the article that I spoke of above.

On a side note: We began a new series at the church today entitled "Dipped in Glory." This is a very cool subject about being submerged in God's Spirit or Presence - like an apple dipped in caramel - or more strikingly - like the cosmos being the "womb" of God in which we find ourselves completely inside of "her." It's about being so overwhelmed with God that one is almost afraid - so astonished and full of wonder that you almost feel ready to burst. It is the "abundant life" that John's Jesus speaks of. It is drowning in the splendor of the Creation. It is tuning in to the Spirit of God... to the Ground of Being... to the I AM and finding pure delight and ecstacy in the process.

It makes me glad to be alive.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

I'm not... wait, I am

I'm not as Blog as you Drunk I am.

Really. Tonight I stand proudly alongside those who belong to the immortal tradition of "Drunk Blogging." Yup. (See also my GOOD buddy Jaxun)

Half bottle of wine. 'Homemade Vanilla Vodka' and Coke.

Why? It's Thursday Night, don't I have something better to do? Nope. The kid's in bed and I had 'the urge.' And of course, like always, you never plan on letting it progress this far. It started with a glass of wine with dinner. And now I find myself in "Wheee" Land.


The Bacon Brothers are on the "80's Cover Song" station of my Internet Radio broadcast. There's only one thing better than Kevin Bacon. That's Kevin Bacon and his brother - singing folk music. Sweet Lord, that's some good crap.

Check Out this Post, El Conquistador

I realize I haven't had much original thought lately (last week's blogs kind of wore me out), but once again, I must point you elsewhere:

This post on my wife's blog is absolutely hilarious. Enjoy:

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

3 Books, 3 Quick Reviews

Over the weekend I finished THREE books that I have been working on... here is a short review of each:

1.) In Praise of Slowness by Honore - Excellent book that goes chapter by chapter through different areas of our lives and encourages us to SLOW DOWN. To Savor. To Appreciate. To be Mindful. Fast has its place, for sure. But our culture is REDICULOUSLY out of balance. To help bring us back to balance, this book speaks of slow, well-cooked meals, working less hours, spending more time with kids or being outdoors, walking or biking instead of driving, living in "slow" cities... In essence, everything that America needs to re-learn how to do.

1.) The Marriage of Sense and Soul by Ken Wilber - Ken Wilber, one of the forerunners of consciousness in our day, shares how to best integrate Science and Religion. There is much that is excellent here, especially the call for religion to be (or become) more of a Yoga... or a spiritual science. In other words, heady theology that is complete speculation is dogmatic and is no longer of use in a postmodern setting... rather, we should do as the Zen Buddhists who when asked a question such as "Who are you?" or "What is the meaning of life?" would not provide an intellectual answer, but would rather sit in stillness and EXPERIENCE the answer.

1.) Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut - One of the most creative and fun novels ever written. This is a wonderful and joyous read and speaks about humanity's capacity for evil, the balance of morality, and the fictional religion of "Bokonism" in an "A.D.D-friendly" format... where most chapters last between 1-2 pages - - or less. Genious book.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

The Yin to My Yang

I'm not sure how many of you have been checking out my wife's blog - but, seriously, she's one of the most hilarious and creative bloggers I've read. Check her out. Give her comments. She loves that sh*t.

Friday, October 22, 2004

The Discussion Part III - Trev's Final Post

I was sitting on my deck last evening, watching a small insect dodge and duck through the grass when it hit me. Out of the silence of the moment I realized that my original post - "Thoughts on What It Means to be Christian" - was headed by an incomplete title. I would like to share with you a more appropriate title to the article, but let me first preface that by two preliminary thoughts: one regarding the culture and one personal.

No one would deny that humanity's short history has been framed by a series of stages. One of the many series of social stages has been: Tribal to National to Global. Our ancestors first had community and identity in tribes which shared a common worldview, ethos, and religion. As time progressed and history unfolded, tribes banned together and became nations. And now, in the past couple hundred years through trade, travel, technology and communication we are slowly but surely moving into the "Global" arena. Yes, we have moved into a period of our history where LIKE NEVER BEFORE we are able to communicate and travel between (literally) the entire planet.

In the tribal and even national setting, a group's worldview, ethos, and religion were very highly guarded and enforced. Neighboring tribes and nations were often a threat and so honest discussion and dialogue regarding these topics were rarely welcomed. And yet as we as a people began to move into a global culture and began honest discussion between differing groups, we soon realized something VERY disturbing and disconcerting: Other people from other cultures not only had differing views from our own, but were just as convinced that their way was the right way.

To speak personally, this first came to a head for me when I was in a comparative religion class in college. Suddenly, I realized - for example - that the Buddhist philosophy was just as intricate and had as deeply convinced and committed followers as my then-current Evangelical Christian faith. I saw that millions of Muslims too wholeheartedly believed that they were "right." I examined the passion and conviction of the Native American spirituality. I came to understand that many, many Hindus believed the Bhagavad-Gita and Vedas to be the literal Word of God.

There is no doubt that, like many of you who have posted have said, there are many differing and disagreeing points between religions and therefore they cannot all be equally completely true. One's initial reactive response is to deem everyone wrong but themselves. It is at this point, though, that I believe that if one adapts an attitude of humility and wonder then you begin to ask the important question: "Is there a possibililty... MIGHT there be a chance... that I may not be 100% correct?"

When this happened personally for me, I had a major crisis of faith. After a pretty major breakdown, I decided that the whole Christian thing was bunk and threw it out entirely. I began dabbling in other religions, but existed in a mostly agnostic state for about a year before God began to open my eyes ... little by little. You see, what I had done was throw the baby out with the bathwater. Ok, so perhaps my Christian theology - in light of all of these other religions and worldviews - may not be 100% true - but that doesn't mean its not a valid path nor does it mean it's not 80% true, or 50% true.

Many of you may know the (overused) story of the three blindfolded men sent in a dark room to investigate and describe an elephant. The first one comes out and says: "An elephant is thin and wiry and flips about, to and fro." The second one comes out and says: "An elephant is thick and round like a tree trunk." The third: "An elephant is like a fat hose with two big holes in the end." Of course the three men each got an incomplete picture of the elephant by only focusing on one attribute, namely the tail, leg, and trunk respectively. Are each of these descriptions "conflicting"? YOU BET! Are each of them true? SOMEWHAT!

I'm not trying to be profound or original here... I realize that this is a very old argument, but in light of the myriad of theologies and philosophies around the world, perhaps each of our groups are like the blindfolded men. We each focus on different aspects and characteristics of God, of religion, of living out a faith-life. Each somewhat conflicting, each somewhat true, but none grasping the totality and infinity that is the great I AM, the GOD beyond duality, the HOLY and NAMELESS Mystery to which we all owe our lives.

So, yes, I am aware that I have "glossed over" the differences in religions in my past posts. And yes, I realize that my "bent" on Christian theology is far, far different than the standard American Evangelical view and that in light of where many of you are coming from I am very, very "wrong."

The question becomes: what do the religions have in common? What kinds of things can we agree on? Might these similarities be "most true"? Or at least consider what "attributes" of God does another faith focus on that is different but congruent with your own. If you were to say at this point that God has called ONE PEOPLE to be his holy people, ONE PEOPLE to unveil the truth, and to hell with the rest, I urge you to reconsider the logic and the heart behind such a stance. Instead of closing up and building a fortress around our own faiths and worldviews, we are at a unique crossroad of opportunity to begin to truly share and learn from one another. Having said this, what I don't believe is that one's faith or worldview should be entirely personal. If one cannot find a valid community that shares his/her views, these views should probably be rejected as they will most likely be born of egotism. I believe that morality, ethics, and religion should be viewed and implemented through a "we" lens rather than an "I" lens.

Some of you have challenged me to accept a more fully complete and orthodox Christian theology. I am now challenging you all to step out of your faith ghettos and truly converse with people that have differing views. I may be guilty of "glossing over" the differences in religions too much, but many of us are instead guilty of reinforcing the segregation by believing oneself to be unapologetically "right." And there is no way you can make any steps into the right direction with heady, theological assumptions. You must make friends and have conversations with a Hindu. You must sit down for coffee with a Muslim.

It is with this mindset that I wrote that initial article: "Thoughts on What It Means to Be Christian." But looking back now, perhaps a more appropriate title would be: "Thoughts on What It Means to Be Christian in 2004: Not Throwing the Baby Out with the Bath Water in a Global Age." (Haha, kindof a ridiculous title... the first definitely had more "ring" to it)

That article was an attempt to look at and discover what truths in my faith still hold true in light of the many conflicting theologies and philosophies. What appears to be the most universally true? How can one be a follower of Christ in way that realizes that it is not the only way? This isn't a wishy-washy, politically correct, don't-want-to-hurt-anyone's-feelings view of acceptance and openness. It's a real and humble attitude that says: "What can other people teach ME about loving and following God?"

A final note - I have also been accused in my past posts of presenting a moral code - a "way" - that must be followed to either find favor with God or to get into heaven. That definitely was not my intent. I have not "substituted God's grace towards sinners" for a set of moral standards that one must keep up. When have I even once said that one MUST follow "the way" to find favor with God or to get into heaven? Rather, what I proposed is a lifestyle CHOICE that is born out of a desire to live a God-life after the example of Jesus. It is indeed a choice that like Dan said on his blog: "[is] because we love God and want to be more than just 'saved' we want to be followers of Christ." The "way" I proposed spoke nothing of God's favor or of heaven. It is indeed purist Christian theology that proposes a requirement for God's grace... if even that means "accepting" it, saying a prayer, intellectually believing a certain thing, or otherwise.

Thank you again to all who have followed this discussion. I welcome all comments, but please understand that there is a 90% chance that I won't respond. I will let you have the last word. I will love to read your responses, but I can't keep this dialogue up for ever (these long posts take multiple hours to write!!). God bless... may we continue to seek God as God continues to seek us. May we each strive for truth and beauty and love and may peace and happiness be found every step of the way. "Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Ghandi

Thursday, October 21, 2004


I don't have the time to post a formal entry today to the ongoing inter-blog, inter-comment discussion. Tomorrow (Friday) I will give my next and final post on the subject. Of course, we can all go 'round and 'round until we're blue in the face but I just simply don't have the time or desire to keep this up ad infinitum. Plus my wife is on my case to stop being so serious and heady and to return to blogging about (quote): "cigarettes and beer."

That being said, I have enjoyed the discussion and I respect each and every one of you that has offered your insights. I'll post up tomorrow! Namaste....

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The Discussion - Part II

This is the continuation of an inter-blog discussion. Haven't caught up? Here are the previous posts:

  • Trev's first post and comments HERE
  • Tim's first response and comments HERE
  • Tim's second response and comments HERE


To Tim, Travis and others who have jumped into this discussion: Thank you! I appreciate where each of you are coming from and your comments and posts have helped round out and shape the way I'm thinking about such things.

Let me be the first to say that my original post - "Thoughts on What It Means to Be Christian" - is a flawed discourse. The fact that I submitted it for publication on a website is somewhat ridiculous as it was originally written for myself and has sundry problems that I will be free to admit.

That being said, while I enjoy this conversation and I think it is allowing all of us to learn and more fully listen to one another, I'm not sure we will ever reach any sort of conclusion besides that of mutual respect. The reason for this is that we are beginning in different places.

The following statements made by Tim...

  1. Quoting John 14:6 as de facto justification for an argument
  2. "humanistic compassion will not get anyone to heaven"
  3. (humanity's image of God) "was shattered in the fall"

...very clearly elucidate that he believes the Christian Bible to be the only inspired, perfect, God-breathed text in existence. I have lived with that view for many years but can no longer rationally or mystically make that claim. I found that all of my "evidence" for such a claim to be a defensive rationalization. How do I, then, see the Bible? Let's start there.

The stories, legends, poetry, songs, and myths that we've come to know as the Bible - in a phrase - is one certain culture during one certain period of human history trying to understand God. Based on their cultural experience and short history, their image of God (the tribal God "YHWH") looked and behaved a certain way. Here is where most "liberal" Christians (who discount or play down the Bible) fall short. What I DON'T think this means is that we should throw out our Book. It's our story. It tells of God's love and power and mercy and forgiveness and blessing and truth. But my shift is that it is not God talking to us word-for-word, it is man talking about, testifying to, and trying to understand the God that can be known yet ultimately in which all words fall short. Does that mean that the stories, myths, testimonies, songs, etc. aren't true? By no means! A story does not have to be historically accurate to obtain truth. This is the curse of modernity - that science/reason trumped the other two: art and morality. Truth is not a measurable quantity - it is immaterial - and can exist apart from scientific data. The Bible tells us mounds of truth about God and as Christians is our primary book!

One might interject here and claim that the Bible was (in its original form anyway) handed down (or breathed through) writers FROM GOD and all of what I'm saying is rubbish. While I do not intend to offer a streamlined evidential reasoning on why you should think how I think, I ask you: Why do you not believe that the Bhagavad-Gita is the perfect word of God (as do Hindus)? Or why do you not believe the Tao te Ching is inerrent and inspired by the Almighty? You might even be so bold as to say that they DO contain truth, but not the truth direct from God's mouth. In other words, for every reason you can give to discount another faith's book (which don't even get me started on how we overly emphasize text in religion to the point where it's Father, Son and Holy Bible) that is also the reason why I cannot fully accept the Bible en masse.

The phrase that most beautifully explains where I am coming from is "One River, Many Wells" (Matthew Fox). Here is a line from the introduction to the book with the same name:

"There is one underground river - but there are many wells into that river: an African well, a Taoist well, a Buddhist well, a Jewish well, a Muslim well, a goddess well, a Christian well, and aboriginal wells. Many wells but one river. To go down a well is to practice a tradition, but we make a grave mistake (an idolatrous one) if we confused the well itself with the flowing waters of the underground river. Many wells, one river. That is Deep Ecumenism."

I do not quote this passage to validate my claim rather to run alongside it (for I know that Matthew Fox is as errant a man as any ... of this I am sure).

Just two more things, then I will discuss a few of Tim's points. First, where am I with Jesus then? Is he the one, unique Son of God and did the cross wipe out the sins of mankind? To be blatenly honest, I don't know. I don't have any reason to say so, except that's what some people say is true and its what someone (namely Paul) wrote down in a few letters a few century ago. In actuality I find in Jesus an example - a goal - a life which one should seek to emulate. One of many who figured out what it meant to fully live. To be filled with God's spirit. To heal and love and teach and all the things that made up my initial post: "Thoughts on What It Means to Be Christian." Therefore following Jesus is following the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Secondly, as I said in the post on Dan's website, I am not a proponent of extreme postmodernism where there is no truth and everything is equally true. That is completely ridiculous. (Afterall, we have differing views about these various topics, no?) I am not a Universalist in this regard because I believe that evil will not go unpunished (even if by natural processes) and that Love, Truth and Beauty are always victorious in the end. As far as how heaven and hell fit into this picture, I surrender to the mystery and allow God to be God in this regard.

Now about a few of Tim's points:

  • Again, comments like secular "compassion will not get anyone to heaven" can only stand on an inerrant Christian Bible as the only truth of God. Apart from the text, such thinking is ludicrous. Of course simple compassion (yes, even divorced from Christianity) is living up to God's Best (we need no 'text' to prove this, it is in our guts) and as far as the requirements to heaven, even the inerrant text that would back such a claim is divided and provides no clear picture.
  • Tim said: "Just as Buddhism negates aspects of Hinduism, it is indelibly true that Christianity does, and at times must negate other forms of religiosity; and even if it does not negate, it will entail addition." Of this, I agree. It is silly to say that all ways are "the same thing" and do not contradict each other. A man cannot commit horrendous and unnatural crimes and claim to be reaching for God. But even while Taoism, Islam, and Christianity are different in many ways, their aim is the same (though their methods are different) and they are each flawed and each full of truth.
  • Regarding Tim's comments about the Fall - again - we cannot fully have a conversation about this issue because we both begin in different places. I think it is a travesty to see people "already in debt," fallen, and born into sin. The concept of Namaste ("God in me recognizes God in you") from Hinduism resonates better with my soul and provides the fertile ground for love, healing, and compassion.
  • Tim said that if I am providing a Universalist philosophy then "it is quite likely that following "the way" doesn't even matter...Belief and action become meaningless." Again, I am not trying to provide a religious or philosophical "theory of everything" that has all the answers. And this is one area that I - again - allow the mystery to remain. I do not believe that truth, love, compassion, and beauty go "unanswered." These are the highest aims of life and provide total meaning and purpose both for the individual and society. But regarding those who have no spiritual life - no arms outstretched to God - and no heart for love - I am not sure what becomes of them. I simply do not have the answers and can only speak and act for myself.
  • Finally, regarding Travis' comment about "evening the social playing field." He argues, with truth no less, that the Bible does talk about "slaves obeying your masters" and uses the example of the story of the woman pouring expensive perfume onto Jesus. These are indeed two examples that show that oftentimes we are supposed to "render to Caesar..." and to give God/Jesus our best even when that requires us to be lavish. However, time and time again... story after story... we see the small, simple God-community abolishing the Empire (the Jews with God over Egypt, the call of the prophets to cease living in ivory towers while your neighbor starves, the voice of Jesus commanding us to give to the least, the last, the lost - even to the book of Revelation - which in some circles is about the fall of the Roman empire). To see much more about the entire Bible being a book about the "underdog" rocking the Empire, see Marcus Borg's "Reading the Bible Again for the First Time."

Thanks again to everyone who is following this discussion. I welcome any and all comments. God bless and Namaste! ;)

Friday, October 15, 2004

I've been critiqued!

I've been critiqued! Apparently my blog entry "Thoughts on what it means to be Christian" has stirred up some discussion. I've got a very occupied weekend as my sister is in from Colorado, however look for a response posted here sometime on Monday or (more likely) Tuesday.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Southern Indiana in Fall

I know everyone blogs about how beauitful it is in the fall and so on and so forth. Nothing real original here. I just snapped these photos last weekend and thought I'd share them. It's interesting that this is literally "the look of death." These trees are basically going out with an explosion of color - one last big hurrah before returning part of itself into the earth. Kinda hope I go out like that.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Completely Cool Website... and When I Say Cool, I Mean Totally Sweet

This is the single greatest website I've seen in ages:

Thoughts on What it Means to be "Christian"

This is a brief article I wrote last June (for no particualar reason other than to get it off my chest). I have submitted it for publication at but - I'm not sure - it might be a little to "liberal" for the site. I guess we'll wait and see....

Thoughts on What it Means to be "Christian"
by Trevor Andrew Harden, June 2004

Day by day, I become increasingly aware that following Christ has little to do with what one believes. More specifically, I'm convinced that being a Christian has nothing to do with agreeing with a bullet-point list of doctrines or belief statements (such as the Apostles Creed or any individual church's statement of beliefs). I am aware that our beliefs inform our actions and therefore nothing can be done without a "belief" behind it, but Christians for ages have argued (with good scriptural reference) that being a Christian simply means believing in Jesus or the contents of the Bible (so that one might "go to heaven").

I am now convinced that being a Christian is all about following "the Way" of Jesus. This verb - following - is an active verb. Sitting in church, doing Sunday School, being a moral person does not a Christian make. What, then, is this Way? It is an alternative lifestyle choice that informs all of life. It isn't about personal purity, holiness, or morality - though oftentimes that is the result (or fruit) of walking "the Way." It is not about being good. It is not about getting into heaven after death.

Being a follower of Jesus is a radical, spiritually enlightened way of living on this earth that flows from love, thereby creating a "force" in the world. Many people follow the Way of Jesus their whole lives and don't even know it. Being a Christian is doing so intentionally. The Way of Jesus, then, is not an exclusive path - negating other modes of life or religiosity. People in other religions and lifestyles very often follow this Way better than we Christians do.

Some of the characteristics of this "Way" are thus:

  • Death and Resurrection - Dying to an old way (usually a destructive way) of living and being born into a new way. This happens not only once, but like the cycles of nature is a constant process. It understands that we are not punished FOR sin (by God), but BY sin and therefore as Marcus Borg puts it: "is a path of liberation from existential, psychological, and spiritual bondage to the lords of convention and culture."
  • Evening out the social playing field - Vigilantly raising up the poor and oppressed. Bringing down unjust systems, empires, and structures. Finding worth in all people and seeing the God-Light in every human (and even non-human). I am convinced that Jesus was (among other things) birthing a social movement and that his egalitarian message was truly the "good news." The individual Christian and the Church should be ALL OVER compassion and justice.
  • Community Life - Sharing and giving. This does not mean tithing to a church building or giving to church programming in an already affluent community. It is about real communal living where people share with each other and with the less fortunate in such a way that one goes without that others may have.
  • Healing -The Christ way as the bodhisattva way. Living to love. Living to serve. Living to relieve suffering wherever one sees it.
  • Returning sight to the Blind -Helping people "wake up" and see the Kingdom of God that is already "spread out upon the earth although people don't see it."
  • Fullness of Life -Jesus was a joy to be around because he truly lived. Social activism is often plagued by cynicism, whereas the Jesus way is teeming with excitement and life.
  • Led by the Spirit of God -This entails tuning into the Spirit of God that is present in every human being and in Creation (consider a suggestion that the Holy Spirit may not have been sent on Pentecost, rather recognized on Pentecost). This Spirit is endowed with Wisdom and always suggests "the highest good."
  • Although the list could certainly go on, finally the Jesus way is rooted in the "Jewish Way" which shares these same characteristics and adds a few subtleties of its own. One of the more important attributes of this Jewish Way is a reverence for and sacredness of Creation and the Cosmos - helping us to understand that humanity is not the center of the Universe and that we should therefore respect the earth, the skies, the plants and animals, and everything that is bound together in the web of life.

Evangelism, then, as Tony Campolo would say is "signing people up for the revolution." Notice the contrast between this and the standard notion of saving people's souls from hell and/or helping people become better or more moral in life. One way is "me" based, the other is cosmically altruistic. One makes people more comfortable, the other calls for change.

What the world does NOT need is more radical fundamentalism. The revolution that the Jesus Way calls us into is not inclusive, closed, or violent in any way. As silly as it may sound, this uprising is a "love revolution" that looks beyond oneself with radical and embarrassing levels of charity and acceptance. It sees the knowable, yet mysterious God not as the means to some personal end, but as an end in himself - thereby freeing us up to be a people who are radically and joyously about the Way of Jesus.

Props to the Wifey

I just wanted to take a brief pause from blogging about eco-hippie topics, spiritual issues, and other random musings to say how much I love and enjoy my wife. Marriage has been good lately and we've been having a lot of fun together. In particular, apart from being a major hottie, I've come to a new understanding of my wife's humor... turns out she's one of the funniest people I know (as you can attest to by clicking here). Anyway, "props" sweetheart - and if you're reading this, then enjoy today!

Sunday, October 10, 2004

That's Me in the Corner. That's me... Losing All My Coolness

First things first:

It's like signing people up for the revolution, really.

Yes, it's true: I've converted my wife to BLOGianity. Check out her shiz at Besides, she's way funnier than I am and has a great rack to boot. (She made me say that).

And now...

Seriously, how hardcore am I?

Nah, I'm not a regular smoker. Sure, I enjoy the occasional cig, but I just made my wife take this picture to ratify any James Deanness I may have left in me after I had just changed 4 mustardy-seedy diapers and made up a song about baby toes.

I need a tattoo STAT.

Friday, October 08, 2004

I, We, and It

Currently reading Ken Wilber's "The Marriage of Sense and Soul." The book's aim is to integrate science and religion into one worldview that makes proponents from each parties equally satisfied. While I'm not through with the book and cannot make any complete resolutions or reviews because of that, the concept of the "Great Nest of Being" is fascinating.

Wilber says that throughout all philosophies and worldviews (except in Modernity) there is a heirarchy that looks like a set of concentric circles - each senior enveloping and including its juniors. Something like this...

The content of the circles, then, is thus:

Matter to Life to Mind to Soul to Spirit
Physics to Biology to Psychology to Theology to Mysticism

So where Matter is A, Life is A+B, Mind A+B+C, Soul A+B+C+D, and Spirit A+B+C+D+E. Each level transcends and includes the previous level.

What does all this have to do with anything? In modernity (the past 300 years or so), the dominant worldview (particuarly of the West) has been STUCK on "the innermost circle." Of the "Big 3" (science, morals, and art), science has overtaken and overshadowed to the point where if it cannot be measured on a microscope it is not real (and therefore "matter" - or the innermost circle - is all that exists).

But then the question must be asked: Are not your thoughts "real"? Is compassion real? How about love, is it real?

See we've been using the wrong language to discuss spirituality. It cannot be talked about in scientific terms. We cannot rule out the idea of God just because God cannot be measured in a laboratory. There are very "real" things that "exist" OUTSIDE of that innermost circle and can be seen through different lenses:

Art provides the "I" lens. Morals provides the "We" lens. Science provides the "It" lens.

The world is not simply made up of meaningless and cold "Its." While "It" most certainly has its place, the "I" and the "We" provide the meaning, the depths, the outer rings of the circles.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

The City in Slow Gear

Things I've experienced today:

-A fresh, fall breeze on my face
-A rush of energy and a feeling of well-being
-Tiny weeds towering between sidewalk cracks
-A gentle wave to a man on his front porch
-The enjoyment of freedom
-The expansion of consciousness

...WHY you ask?

Because I have decided to go car-less as much as is convienent and possible and have taken to the streets on BICYCLE all day. I've biked quite a few miles today commuting to work, to a haircut, to a video shoot for work...

There's a thousand reasons why I've decided to make this switch TWO of which are:

-The emissions from personal automobiles is the #1 contributor to Global Warming and sundry other enivronmental problems. I think it'd be really great if my daughter's kids would have an earth to live on (Don't think it's that bad? It IS that bad, people just choose to ignore it).

-Most of us are worshippers at the altar of speed. Fast food. Fast relationships. Fast cars. Fast internet. Leading to: Stress, ulcers, dissatisfaction, incompleteness.... So, I've decided to SLOW DOWN in many arenas and this is a very practical one. Sure it adds 5-10 minutes to most of my trips, but I get to spend that time "smelling the roses" (so to speak), thinking about things, or simply enjoying a "meditative" state (something about being outdoors tunes one into Spirit).

So, I know that winter is approaching and one would think that winter biking would be difficult, but I've heard it's both do-able and enjoyable (!

Much love, sleep well - another Entry tomorrow morning!