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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Lose Your "Religion"

No, I don't mean "stop believing."

And I'm not only talking to "religious" people.

We all believe in something. And belief can be a powerful tool, an ally in facing the struggles in life.

Belief can also hold us back, especially the sort of "acquired" belief that prevents us from examining things carefully for ourselves.

I once read a book by Bible translator J.B. Phillips called Your God is Too Small (now available online). Phillips wasn't suggesting that God was small at all. Rather, he meant that we had a series of concepts of God ("Resident Policeman," "Meek-and-Mild," "Perennial Grievance," etc.) that was too limiting, not allowing God to expand to His fullest capacity in our lives.

Fourteenth-century German mystic Meister Eckhart in his sermon "Riddance" wrote, "Man's last and highest leave-taking is leaving God for God." He explained that when "St. Paul left God for God...God remained to him in his essential self, not as a concept of himself...but God in his essential actuality."

Heavy.

We leave our concept of God to make room for the "real thing."

Now, what about people who claim no religion as their own, or even reject it altogether?

You, too, certainly believe in something. What is it? And is it working for you? Or is it holding you back?

"Religious" or not, sort this out. Embrace the empowering, reject the restricting.

You'll be happier.

2 comments:

  1. If you meet the buddha on the road, kill him - is another way of saying the same thing (and was the title of an excellent popular psychology book by Sheldon Kopp). And as we break out of each new confinement to what 'we' believe in 'we' dwell more and more in the Great and Awesome Mystery. Thanks for your post. Only just discovered your site, but I shall certainly start following.

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    1. Excellent comment. Thanks for following, but in fact this blog is "retired" (I hit 365 and stopped). Your page looks pretty tasty, too, and I'll be exploring it. Meanwhile, alas, most of what I do these days is on Facebook; feel free to find and friend me there if you're inclined.

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