November 1st, 2008

Generic Meditaton Issues: Agnostic Spirituality

Hi Inspired by the journalist Solitary Bird (whom I discovered by googling "Hermit" I thought I would try my hand at public journaling/blogging. Though I am an old man, I have never done this sort of thing before, other then doing a 4th step many years ago. I am not a hermit, though I am closer to the hermit temperament than to any other specific spiritual perspective. My commitments forbid an eremitic lifestyle, and I could probably take or leave it in any case. What I cannot leave, however, is a sense that life is meaningful and that I should be trying to discover what that meaning is. We live in a universe that ought to be treated as though it were sacred. But I am going to have to learn for myself, even at this late stage, what that implies. I was born into the most fundamentalist of fundamentalist Protestant traditions (Darbyite, *exclusivist) and was raised in a series of local churches almost as extreme. I walked away from this in my mid teens, and there is no chance of my going back. For thirty years that walk was directly, willingly, in the direction of secularism. In fact, it was when secularism drifted into post-modernism, semiotics, and deconstructionism that I began to reconsider the merits of a spiritual perspective and a contemplative life. Beginning with philosophical Taoism, then animism, then mahayana Buddhism, then,, through Thomas Merton, back into the western traditions of Sufi, Catholic mysticism, and Kabbalah

*This is an error, although an understandable one for someone habituated to seeing the world through secularized eyes. The Plymouth Brethern who usually just identify themselves as "Christians" and meet in buildings called "gospel halls." are, infact the "inclusivist" brethern, which I guess means that one can be restored to communion after serious error.