Monthly Archives: December 2014
Here’s an insightful answer by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson to a 10-year-old boy’s question, “Do you believe in God?” In the 9 minute video Dr. Tyson touches on how science and religion deal with different things; “the Bible tells you how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go.” He also explains how freedom of religion in the United States is possible because our constitution is not based on religion.
Also, his answer brings up other questions like: if God is good and all-powerful, why do bad things happen? This of course is not an question for science, but a call for our theologies to make sense of our world. Science can tell us how and why something happens; religion can give meaning to that answer.
They gave me gifts, but said they came from someone else.
You gave me a gift, that others told me about.
They told me stories about these gifts.
Stories a child could believe.
One day, I no longer believed the stories.
But the gifts kept coming and I pretended to believe.
I wanted to believe, belief brought comfort;
keeping me warm inside, when the world was cold.
Now I knew too much; I had learned how to survive on my own.
I was shivering; but I couldn’t go back.
Yet the gifts kept coming;
whether I believed or not.
Then one day, I didn’t open a gift.
It opened me.
It opened up a heart that had grown cold.
And now the stories don’t matter; the gift of love is real.
– Michael Lindsay
This is how you transcend race and religion…
God’s Love: Naomi Feil, a Jewish woman, sings Christian hymns for Gladys, who has Alzheimer’s and was unable to speak. Watch what happens at the end, when Mrs. Feil opens her heart and gives Ms. Gladys what she needs so deeply.
This is a 20 minute TED talk by an English vicar soon after the South Asian tsunami in 2004. A very thoughtful speech about what could, and could not be, the nature of God; and what we don’t know.
It reminded me of Paul Tillich’s notion of “the God beyond God,” and this quote from Albert Einstein…
“A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty – it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man. I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves…Enough for me the mystery of the eternity of life, and the inkling of the marvelous structure of reality…”
Towards the end of his talk, Vicar Honey mentions the Hindu concept and greeting of “Namaste.” (May our true selves meet, and recognize the divine spark within each of us.) I think this is what Rumi was referring to when he wrote, “Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.”