Hard and Soft Approaches to God & Religion

It’s recently come to my attention that I have an addiction. I’m guessing that this addiction flew under the radar before because I was never in a position to indulge it, but for some time now I’ve been spending more and more time… watching videos… on TED. As I previously noted the horror of all of this is that I am exposed to some very brilliant people who hold beliefs contrary to my own. Case in point is the following video, by a soft-spoken Englishman name Richard Dawkins who, it seems, wants to end the state of detente between the intelligentsia and people of Faith and declare war between Science and Religion.

Richard Dawkins: Militant Atheism

This second video is by another Engishman, but one coming for a very different point of view, a point of view that I more closely identify with.

Rev. Tom Honey – God as “In” and Not “Agent”

I vaguely remember studying pantheism and animism back in my more “black and white” era and rejecting the position because it didn’t seem too “Biblical” and seemed to be used by crazies to say that they were “god.” That part hasn’t changed, but my confidence about anyone’s ability to rightly divine biblical text or that the whole truth is in the text, has change.

At the same time I’m weary and untrusting of the arrogance conveyed by many skeptic who believe that all problems and solutions can be proven through rational means alone. That seems to be just the same mistake by their religious counterparts. The world/universe is much, much greater that you can even begin to understand.

So there is this part of me that wants to pray, to continue to have this intimate dialogue with the Divine but there is another part of me convinced that no one is listening. Last time I attempted to deal with this duality, over twenty-years ago, I choose to ignore the divine and just live from day to day. Over the past five years I’ve come to think that I lost a lot in that compromise, particularly my artistic passion and my connectedness with others.

I wonder if I can be like the latter speaker and appropriate my former passion for the divine with an understanding quite different from my fundamentalist roots. If there is no “Santa in the Sky” how do I direct this part of myself that senses a connection to something much bigger than myself? I rationalized it away twenty-years ago, called myself an Agnostic and wandered in the desert for fifteen-years. I want to do much better this time around, especially in view of the fact that I may not have another twenty-years to fuck around before my time on this little globe is completed. You’d think at the ripe old age of 50 I’d have a better handle on this, but I do not. I hope that I find that oasis (or build that oasis) with enough time to enjoy and share the fruit of this journey. jbb

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