The past couple of years has seen me shift my religious beliefs quite a bit, and the recent events surrounding the American Presidential election has prompted me to step away from the Christian label to define my spirituality. I have felt challenged to put some words to my spirituality. Not sure how useful this exercise has been, since definitions always fall short when trying to speak of Great Mystery, but I post this here in hopes to see if this resonates with any, or if anything I’ve said should be amended.
I feel fairly safe in identifying myself as an Apophatic Mystic Panentheist. Why?
Mysticism: A mystic is one who experiences. In the religious context, a mystic experiences the Divine, often through one primary lens. My lens is the Now: there is no-when else than now. Now is where the creative spark happens that turns the infinitely mysterious (future) into the known (past). Experience is the key to the Mystery. The universe always and evermore begins here and now.
Apophatic: The Divinity cannot be fully named. Whoever thinks they know God does not know God. Whoever knows they do not know actually knows. For God is known by those who do not know the Godself, and eludes those who think they know. No “box” contains the Divinity, even the Box-That-Does-Not-Contain-the-Divinity.
Panentheist: The Divinity is in all things. Yet this universe does not fully contain the Divinity. The goal of humanity is conscious union with the Divinity, or in other words, the goal for each of us is to truly know who we are.
I humbly submit these as fairly core beliefs of mine:
* Spiritually speaking, I have nothing to teach anyone. I am not an evangelist, nor am I a preacher.
* Understanding humanity is the key available to us in understanding the Divinity. You don’t get that from a book.
* Love is the basis of who everyone is. Human beings are fundamentally good, and do not start out “hopelessly fouled up”. Babies know, perhaps better than anyone else, who they really are.
* The only alternative to self-love is self-destruction. But, in loving self, naturally love expands to many other things. I have personally suffered crushing depression as a result of repressed self-love.
* Tat tvam asi. (That you are). Colloquially: you’re It! (And so is everyone else.)
* Everyone is worthy of love. There is no master race, and no identity is superior, or inferior.
* The “Father” is the Formless “One”, the “Christ” or “Son” is the Incarnated Divinity where human and Divine are in perpetual union, and the “Holy Spirit” is that Divine movement that is tirelessly keeping all in union with the Divinity.
* Both/and thinking is generally more helpful and more truthful than either/or thinking.
* All things are fundamentally a complex combination of Yang/Yin, yes/no, or one-and-zero.
* The breath in every living creature’s nostrils is the breath of the Divine, and there is not a Christian, Muslim, Atheist, Hindu, American, Japanese, Chinese, African, European, etc. way of breathing.
* The universe is not a legal system designed to bind anyone to a legal contract which frees them from the effects of sin or karma.
* Ultimately, this life is not serious. Cosmic Reality is ultimately a comedy, and not a tragedy.
* Silence is the language of “God”, and everything else is a poor translation. I’m obviously less concise than I should be 🙂
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