Went to two Shabbatservices this weekend, one included a beautiful baby naming ceremony, and was thoroughly impressed. I’ve done myshareofreading about ritual, meaning and myth and their power in our lives. And it enabled me to appreciate what I witnessed and participated in not only with heart and soul but with my mind.
But for all the beauty and joy, my mind was troubled. I was saddened by the fact that fewer and fewer of us have those resources in our lives. In our pursuit to master the world around us, we’ve reduced myth to fables and fantasy. We’ve made ritual mere clashing cymbal and empty motion. We’ve made a God shaped hole in our lives and have since tried mightily to fill it.
We’ve tried fundamentalisms of every sort, from a worship of science to a worship of sacred books. We’ve tried amorphous “spirituality” and superstition as well. We’ve tried mindless distractions and “serious” politics. I’m wondering when we will try humble, contrite hearts that can listen to that soft whisper that only our deepest selves know.
Ask any of us monotheists if we believe God is a god of volcanoes and the discussion will be cut short by weird looks and lots of laughter.
Right now atheists seem to be all abuzz about Yahweh, a.k.a The Volcano God, in some weird attempt to discredit The One we Christians, Jews and Muslims worship today. Ask any of us monotheists if we believe God is a god of volcanoes and the discussion will be cut short by weird looks and lots of laughter.
When I originally read Karen Armstrong’s The Battle for God I didn’t get it when she described myth as an alternate way of arriving at very human truths. I was still all too indoctrinated. But as I’ve studied the history of my faith, I learned a thing or too from real and actual scholars.
One of the problems I’ve had in the past with my Christian faith was myth. This is because I had always been unconsciously credulous in accepting the common wisdom that myth equals lie. And further that people who believed myths were credulous fools. Modernity is, after all, dominated by scientific (materialist?) rationalism. It made the myths of my faith occasions for scorn and even anger. Who could believe such drivel? The ancients were barbaric, backward fools! Why should we listen to anything they had to say? Even apologetic attempts to justify these myths by fundamentalists betrayed the insecurity these myths produced because of their lack of rationality and adherence to scientific truth. And so the indoctrination went.