The Voice That Speaks

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. -Edgar Allan Poe

I consider myself a spiritual person.  This may come as a surprise to some who know me and as no surprise to others.  I believe the sacred is found in all of nature.  Not just the parts we deep beautiful, but even in the savagery of the lion capturing her prey.    I am an animist.  I have no problem offering love to animals, trees, and plants.  I imagine a consciousness in them that connects us and to a source greater than ourselves.  I also believe in a vast spiritual reality made up of many types of beings, some benevolent, other malevolent, and every other spectrum such as found in humanity as well.

What this means is that you may see me offer honey at the foot of the tree for the spirits of place where I am, or you may observe me offering candle and incense to my ancestors or even various gods/saints who are patrons of various things.  All of these share a life that I believe connects us to the Great Spirit who fills all things.

So when today I watch the movie The Shack, I was moved.  I saw the Divine come in different faces, and by different names.  I was even impressed that the author (as it was a book prior to becoming a movie) included Sophia (Wisdom) in this Christian story.  I agree with some of the theology of this story...such as when the protagonist is asked to decide which of his kids for their temporal faults would be condemned to an eternity of hell and is unable to do so, comes to understand the same is true of God.   God cannot condemn any of us.  What we do may be stupid.  We may be horrible to each other and there are consequences to many of our actions...but it is not the Spirit who condemns us.

I see the Spirit speak to people through many faces, names and by many means.   My experience of God has grown and developed over time.   It started by a love of nature, then as a teenager in fundamentalist Christianity.  It was there that I really opened up to God as a person and power as well as there being a spirit world that I could not see.  Later it was in Roman Catholicism...in Mary and the saints, in sacred silence.  After finding myself unable and no longer willing to reconcile orthodox Christianity with my sexual orientation, I found it in nature spirituality, Vedanta, and the Gospel of Thomas.  My God is bigger than I ever first concieved, and I am sure is bigger still.  And yet it is this same Spirit that is the life in the smallest speck and in my heart of hearts.  It is this One that speaks through all eternity and speaks in silence.

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