Monday, February 11, 2013
Credo Part III: How then shall we be religious?
Even a nerd like me needs more than abstract intellectual speculation in my religion. I need an image of the Divine to evoke awe and wonder and also to give me a way to connect with the Ultimate. Rabbi Arthur Waskow suggests Ruach, the Breath of the Universe as such an image: “What we breathe is what the trees breathe out, what trees breathe in is what we breathe out. Thinking of G-d as the Breath of Life is a profound metaphor and theology of G-d, as the Breath of Life, in and out breath, that which unites all life, that which is beyond us and within us. Words are physical breathing shaped by intellectual consciousness into emotional communication. So when we pray or share words of compassion we breathe ourselves into the Breath of Life.”
According to Seligman, we can partake in the process toward God. We can increase knowledge as a teacher, increase power as an engineer, increase goodness as a social worker. We can breathe with the Breath of the Universe that is moving toward the Omega Point of all win-win.
I’ve now unraveled the answer to the questions of salvation: Whose are we? To whom do we belong? To whom are we accountable? What keeps us going when life throws us a curve? What larger Something are we part of?
As a contented nerd, I answer: I am part of the Universe evolving toward the Omega Point of more knowledge, more complexity, more win-win systems. I’ve helped push this evolution in my life. I’ve contributed to knowledge by working as a laboratory research assistant, to empathy by publishing a memoir about becoming gay, and toward less violence by clicker training dogs. I celebrate this belonging with my breath that I join with the Breath of the Universe.