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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Cultivate an approach of religious uncertainty

Spirituality & Health magazine offers Thomas Moore’s November-December column, "A Faith Beyond Belief", for online reading. Moore writes:
"Spiritual people often are obsessed with having something to believe in, something to be proud of, something that sets them apart. They want to attain a stage of understanding, a level of wisdom or perfection, and they’d like to possess the truth. They consider their list of beliefs precious and give special honor to their teacher and their local community of fellow believers. They’d like to see miracles and will even travel great distances to check out the new appearance of a saint. Many spiritual people hold on to their faith as a thing, while the most refined teachings often recommend developing a taste for nothing."
Moore considers this "taste for nothing" and images of emptiness in this piece:
"I 'cultivate my ignorance' about spiritual matters, a lesson I learned from my favorite theologian, Nicholas of Cusa, who said each of us should pursue our own unique form of spiritual ignorance, our own ways of shedding the need to know everything. I also cultivate uncertainty and the sense of belonging to every and no community or tradition. Paradoxically, this letting go intensifies my faith and makes me more religious."
He suggests, "When you relax the heroic tendency to know everything and to possess wisdom and belong to the right community, then you have a chance of seeing something really important. You might glimpse the divinity within nature, the sacred in other people, and the holy core of your own self."