I enjoyed an email message from Tamara so much, I asked her if I could share it in a blog post.
Her OK reply was equally enjoyable: "By all means, Brian, throw my golden prose onto the godless telegraph. ha. My opinions are always liberally (double meaning) expressed to everyone within earshot--or email. Accreditation is no prob." Here's her message:
LOVE LOVE the Oct. 12 "God is too good..." piece. At last, a kindred spirit in this religion-soaked world.
My opinion of god is, if we entertain the premise of that existence--he/she/it does not DESERVE my worship. This crap about omniscience and higher plans for us all, knowing all the sparrows etc. is as u so eloquently say, "wish fulfillment through unfettered fantasy." (I think I found a bumper sticker for my '51 Buick!)
Until god does a better job -- or shows the slightest inkling -- to clean up evil, injustice, cruelty, ignorance, malice, war, poverty, starvation, waste, and other assorted misery, I am not onboard the adoration train. (Now, Mother Nature, we're pals. There's the domain of artistry, beauty and for me, peace and appreciation.)
Well, I could rant on, but I'm using the faster computer at the library while my steam-powered one at home rests, and my time is limited.
Just saying, "Atta boy," & I'll wade through your considerable other writing with anticipation as time allows.
Another faint voice in the wilderness,
I also recently got an email with a considerably different tone from someone who urged me to return to the Radha Soami Satsang Beas fold. My initial reaction was, hey, I'm not "far left." I'm middle of the road. But the right has gotten so much righter in the United States, they've redefined what "moderate" means.
We are probably the same age- I turn 65 in December. We were both initiated in 1971. You were a devoted disciple for 30 years, and I mostly ignored it. But, I have come home, with great enthusiasm. Sawan Singh said once that the Master is interested in cleaning the cloth (the disciple), either gently through Satsang, or more firmly, by beating against the rocks.
I was beat against the rocks.
When I die I hope to be taken to Trikuti where I get to meditate for lots of eons-I have a lot of karma to burn up.
I see you have become a far left activist. I like to sit at home, do as little as possible, and read my library of SRSS books.
You should come home.
Well, each to his/her own.
Seven years ago, after I registered the "Church of the Churchless" domain name, I wanted a tagline to put under this blog's name. It took me about two seconds to come up with Preaching the gospel of spiritual independence. Since, I've never had a desire to change it.
Religious believers don't bother me. What bugs me are people who want me to believe as they do, but without providing any good reasons for their chosen beliefs. "Just have faith" doesn't cut it for me any more.
Regarding Tamara's email message, re-reading her comment about God needing to do a better job with starvation, war, and other earthly nasties reminded me of similar sentiments expressed by physicist Leonard Mlodinow in a chapter I read today in "War of the Worldviews," where he's responding to some New Age'y notions of Deepak Chopra.
Deepak wrote that we humans are "the growing tip of the cosmos, the fresh spark of life being pushed forward by all that exists," and that the universe is loving through us, creating through us. He says that "to accept the spiritual life of all," that truth must be real for us.
In taking the view of science, and rejecting Deepak's version of spirituality, I sometimes find myself feeling like the haggard and unshaven Humphrey Bogart sending away beautiful Ingrid Bergman at the end of Casablanca, offering up my cold, calculated assessment that the problems of us little people -- and our feelings -- don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy universe.
But if Deepak is right about a universal consciousness, and that the universe is loving through us, then it must also be hating through us, murdering and destroying through us, doing all the things that humans do in addition to loving, including the acts that blew up my mother's faith in God [losing her family in the Holocaust]. Deepak avoids talking about this dark side, but if the universe is working through each of us, then this universal connection must be a double-edged sword.
Though I believe in neither the God of the Bible nor the immaterial world Deepak advocates, I don't agree with him that to embrace the scientific view is to turn my back on spirituality.