“People the most obedient to commandment and church formulas can very often be the hardest to convert. They’ve taken the symbol for the substance. They’ve taken the ritual for the reality. They’ve taken the means for the end and become inoculated from the experience of the real thing. Idolatry is when we worship and protect the means. Religion should be understood as only the fingers that point to the moon, not the moon itself.”—RICHARD ROHR
As a culture, we have to be taught the language of descent. That is the great language of religion. It teaches us to enter willingly, trustingly into the dark periods of life. These dark periods are good teachers.
Religious energy is in the dark energy, seldom in the answers. Answers are the way out, but that is not what we’re here for. When we look at the questions, we look for the opening to transformation.
Fixing something doesn’t usually transform us. We try to change events in order to avoid changing ourselves. We must learn to stay with the pain of life, without answers, without conclusions, and some days without meaning. That is the perilous dark path of true prayer.
“Religion…has not tended to create seekers or searchers, has not tended to create honest humble people who trust that God is always beyond them. We aren’t focused on the great mystery. Rather religion has tended to create people who think they have God in their pockets. That’s why so much of the West is understandably abandoning religion. People know the great mystery cannot be that simple and facile. If the great mystery is indeed the Great Mystery, it will lead us into paradox, into darkness, and into journeys that never cease. That is what prayer is about.”—RICHARD ROHR
I have a bed for the first time in ten months. Now I need kisses, umbrellas, and plants in their pots. A little wheelbarrow, licorice, and a lock of gray hair. A Newfoundland, some pencil shavings, and a game of Red Rover. Knit pants, a baby-blue tie, and a week of tomorrows. I need an ostrich egg, a toy submarine, and a recycled legal pad. I need you, and me, and baby makes three. And also four—that poor Eleanor. But buy you one thing, then others you need—and all that you need, you can buy with a dime. I mean five. I mean one thousand times nine.
Big thumbs up on the Team Wright/Team Spong shirts. Now if only they were as cool as Tillich, Caputo, Zizek or Rollins (only kidding a little bit).... All the same, very cool, and I'm always pleased to find another person who identifies as post-theist--although I do go by the term "Christian atheist" myself.
Thank you waterwasntbuilt!! I am so glad that you dig them. N.T. Wright & Bishop Spong’s rivalry reminds me a lot of Edward and Jacob’s from TWILIGHT, so I thought that t-shirts would be super appropriate and necessary. acceptandembrace says that there should be shirts for everybody’s favorite theologians and philosophers, and I totally agree!! If only I was well-read enough to know the writings of John Caputo & Zizek! (Will have to check them out) But OMG, I love Tillich and Rollins.
It is super awesome that you identify as a “Christian atheist”; I often consider “Christian nontheist,” though “atheist” instead of “nontheist” would probably be more accurate! It is great to tumblr-meet you too.
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”—Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (via humanformat)
“Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish. Let us understand what our selfish genes are up to, because we may then at least have the chance to upset their designs, something no other species has ever aspired to.”—
GUYS I LIKE THIS QUOTE A LOT. However, I don’t believe that selfishness is our ultimate or sole nature, and I’m trying to find evidence for this. Not that scientific evidence is totally necessary except for that I am trying to debate it with my philosophy of religion teacher (a Dawkins fan) who believes that pure altruism does not exist. I think that multi-level selection theory is more reasonable than the theory that gene & kin selection are the only things at work in evolution as is forwarded in THE SELFISH GENE (so 1970s bro) except Dawkins is all like “OMG THERE IS NO GOOD EVIDENCE FOR GROUP SELECTION OK?! ALSO MOST SCIENTISTS AGREE.” And he is probs being arrogant again, but, well, that is Dawkins!
Human nature is not naturally self-centered. I disagree with that construct. Rather, human nature is naturally preservative—whatever it deems as important, it strives to preserve. If that happens to be self, if that is what is taught implicitly or explicitly, then self-centrism is the result. But the existence of and our fascination with altruism is evidence that self-centrism is not ideal application of our preservative nature. Instead we innately long for a society and structure where the altruistic ideals can be met, where community is upheld and humanity is preserved, where the choice to preserve self or the other never has to be made. I believe it’s possible.
I have been to Turkey but I didn't actually like the place I visited (Kemer). Too much tourists and so on... But I would love to visit Istanbul, I'm sure this place is AMAZING! - Now speaking of me... I always want to go back to Spain because this is where my heart lies. Also, I would love to visit many countries in South America and in Central America... MEXICO, PUERTO RICO, ARGENTINA... Gaahhhh, every single country there really.
:D I LOVE IT ALL!!
You remind me of when Penélope Cruz said that she felt like an Italian woman in a Spanish woman’s body because
you are Estonian but also Spanish on the inside!! :)
Hey! I'm just curious - why so much love for Turkey? :)
Hey nena!! :) I have no idea why I am so infatuated with Turkey lol! I guess it’s been my dream to go there ever since I randomly started reading about it one day. I love that it’s been the the bridge between the West and the East and the home of so many different peoples and huge civilizations. But I guess the real reason is that in my pubescent years I believed that the Blue Mosque and I were soulmates.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? <3
“No one becomes holy through fear. No one becomes whole by a promised reward for good behavior. If you and I live our lives motivated by our desire to gain paradise or to avoid eternal punishment, then we have not escaped the basic self-centeredness of life that is so natural to survival-oriented, self-conscious creatures. That understanding of life after death must be abandoned, and the personalistic God of reward and punishment, in whatever form we have been led to understand that deity, must be abandoned along with it.”—JOHN SHELBY SPONG