Sunday, January 09, 2005

More musings for a Sunday morning years after leaving the religion of my fathers.

From a note from Morah:

"...but some of their theories, which turn out to be fact, wind up killing millions. Ethical discussions within the scientific community often rest on whether the results of their investigation should be brought to fruition...".

Morah, I don't pretend to be choosing science over religion or spirituality. Hope I didn't give that impression. There is an area of my life that cannot be persuaded by mere scientific theory. It is that part of my life that I claim as my spiritual side. It is in that place where lots of experiences are secreted, experiences that cannot be explained by any known scientific theory. It is here (probably right brain) where those things that I cannot see, hear, nor touch but which I'm certain -- exist -- are held. I'm sure we all share this. Last year's strange set of experiences surrounding the death of my son; a case in point. There are other examples in my life when reason stands on its head and logic stands challenged. The only way to handle the unexplainable to myself is to simply leave it all in suspension and accept the notion that such human phenomena is universal and the raw stuff that formed the basis of organized religions throughout all cultures.

Trying on a variety of possible explanations takes up the quiet places and intervals of wonder from time to time, especially in the presence of extraordinary events or sights -- standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon or in the shadow of thousand year-0ld giant redwoods, or just looking up at a staff-filled sky when I can find it, or looking into a sleeping baby's face ... .

My Catholic upbringing didn't provide adequate answers, nor did the almost purely intellectual Universal-Unitarianism of my adulthood. My truth lies somewhere in between. I'm sure that I won't live long enough to satisfy my constantly evolving battery of questions because they grow in direct proportion to my increasing knowledge -- a losing game.

I'm inclined to believe that the process is all that really matters. The wondering and speculating has enriched my life and kept me humble in ways that I don't see in many who arrived at their answers early in life and ceased to expand beyond some generic previously-determined age-old faith -- by whatever name. I will never be certain enough to evangelize. I will surely search for my own truth until I close my eyes for the last time, but always with the caveat that I may be wrong. The longer I live, the less being right is even relevant. Wrong and right have so many faces.

It's my suspicion that more of the answers are embedded in science than not. Following the work of frontline physicists, many of whom have been deeply influenced by Tibetan Buddhism (as was my late husband), is more than intriguing. But science not tempered by personal spirituality and without an ethical base may be as evil as religious fundamentalism based upon "The Word" without compassion for humanity.

You can see that my thinking remains confused. Stuck. Waiting for the next few magic words or phrases to point to some new pathway -- unlock some new doorway. I often find those openings in just this kind of conversation with other seekers.


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