Sunday, March 22, 2009

Too Many Rivers, Only One Boat

"If you respect and love Christianity so much why can't you just stay a Christian?" As I've stated before I have not left Christianity but I've opened my spirituality so that I may include other beliefs. This does not mean that I bow to every other god because I believe if there were a god there would be only One. As I progress on my spiritual journey, I am learning to live with the wisdom of insecurity, and because of this I can not root myself to any river bank. I allow myself to journey down all streams simultaneously.

[The Jonathan's Run Falls in Ohiopyle State Park, Pennsylvania taken by Hubert Stoffels]

I've been told that this is dangerous for me, but especially dangerous for my kids. I do not believe that the souls of my family will be eternally damned by my actions. Right actions and right beliefs do not guarantee you anything especially if you lack love for your brother. I have chosen to raise my children as Christians and when they come of age they are free to follow, or not follow, whatever belief structure they want. All I can do until they fly the nest is act as a moral and spiritual guide.

But what makes free floating among multiple religious beliefs so dangerous? Some may think that if you open yourself up to "other" ideas that your soul may become tainted with unsound, demonic doctrine. It is the Devil's way of leading you astray. If you are not rooted to the riverbank (faith), nor on the right bank (right belief), you are in serious danger of being swept away into darkness. This is what many people believe and it is absolutely fine as long as your roots are grounded in Love and you bear fruits of Compassion, Patience, and Kindness towards your brother. But I do not feel comfortable anywhere on the riverbank but IN the river itself. By letting the river guide me I am less likely to make the errors that fallible Man is capable of making. I do not fear the journey nor the dangers along the river because eventually all rivers end up in the ocean and there I join the transcending unity that binds the universe.

I can not envision restricting myself to one religious tradition. I see too much beauty and truth in so many religions that to deny myself of these other beliefs would be to color with only one crayon while throwing away the rest. I do not focus solely on Religion as my guide but I balance it with Reason. With both in balance I can harmonize body, mind, and spirit as I traverse the river waters racing towards the sea.


Anonymous said...

Hey Eruesso,

Love your blog! I study comparative religion, as well, and write regularly on topics as a Christian who often feels she is on the margins of the church...sounds familiar, I'm sure...

What I find challenging about the "all paths lead to God" approach--not that that's what you're saying here--is that while I don't want to make any universal truth claims, I also don't want to leave room for violent and violating forms of religion to be allowed a legitimate voice in spiritual expression. (The old "intolerance of intolerance" issue) Have you had any luck working around this?

Eruesso said...

Thanks Welovetea for the comment.

I spoke a bit about this in one of my previous posts.

"Religion is the vehicle, the language we use when we speak of the Divine. Religion does not need to be defended because it is just a series of symbols. What those symbols represent to those that use them is what should be sacred and NOT the symbol itself." This is what I meant by my universal approach to the Divine. Man is fallible and capable of corrupting the symbols that represents the Divine. It is not the symbols but what it represents that should be considered holy. Since we can not fully comprehend the aspects of the Divine we use these symbols to define God. The symbols are corruptible leaving "room for violent and violating forms of religion". (Sorry if I sound repetitive, I tend to talk in circles until I hit my point)

For me, my focus is looking past the symbols (religion/theology/doctrine) towards what it is trying to convey (God/Universal Consciousness/Love/Jesus/Allah/Brahman/etc). Having a focus on God beyond the symbols can help in determining which paths are truly leading back to God and which are twisted and manipulated by Man for their own selfish goals. (Sorry if that was a bit long-winded.)

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