TheReligiousLeft.org

Monday, December 12, 2011

John Standridge: I am the Religious Left

All religions, including Christianity and Buddhism, can bring one to an elevated awareness above and beyond a dualistic conception of reality, or idea of “pairs of opposites,” such as being and non-being, good and evil, or right and wrong. Joseph Campbell quotes in the preface of The Hero with a Thousand Faces: "Truth is one, the sages speak of it by many names."

In the interest of full disclosure, I should reveal that I choose to believe in God, therefore I am not an atheist; but I respect and I am fine with those who choose not to believe in God. I also choose to deal with the subject of the existence of God, therefore I am not agnostic; and of the many names I could use to reference the unknowable and indescribable force, the name I choose to use is “God.”

I choose to believe in God because it is unacceptable to me to believe that mankind represents the ultimate truth, the finest moral fiber, and highest intelligence of our universe. I prefer to believe that truth is universal and that we humans have some capacity to glimpse this larger truth on occasion, and the capacity to tap into some mystical reservoir of a higher intelligence and, indeed, morality. Upon some inner reflection, it appears that I can no longer deny the existence of good and evil, although linking God to morality is tricky and unessential for me. My God is the life force of a complex nature and all that that implies.

I find spiritual wisdom in Jesus' affirmation, especially to the marginalized and oppressed of the world. I think highly of the Sermon on the Mount, and it would please me if Christians did also. Jesus taught, “You are the light of the world.” Everyone, each one of us, is precious. Unitarians call it, “Affirming the Inherent Worth and Dignity of Every Person.” The broad tent of Unitarian Universalism reflects the widest possible view of that plurality and acceptance. As religions go, I like it that Unitarian Universalism has no dogma; and I smile smugly that it offers universal salvation.

Religion is a search process: a quest to achieve enlightenment. One may be guided by notions of what is right and true, the way one is in thought and spirit, but one must travel with keen awareness of one’s true self and the good companions of God, intellectual honesty and freedom, and with the creative life force of a complex nature, and go with Love. 

My name is John Standridge, and I am the Religious Left.

2 comments:

  1. This is wonderful! Quaker here, and this line really resonates with me: "I prefer to believe that truth is universal and that we humans have some capacity to glimpse this larger truth on occasion, and the capacity to tap into some mystical reservoir of a higher intelligence and, indeed, morality."

    Thanks for sharing, John.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I also like what you have shared John
    thanks,
    dan

    ReplyDelete

 
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