Monday, April 2, 2018

God as The Word. Finding God in Books, the Divine as Knowledge.

      Passing on a love of reading

I am a huge bibliophile. I own hundreds (maybe thousands) of books. I have a joke about my own life. "My ex-wife asked me which I loved more, her or my books. Now, I still have my books, and a new more compatible wife."

Even before I returned to Quakerism. I have felt that I am closest to the Divine while I am reading. Not in the "I learned something new, now I am illuminated," sense. I don't feel that Nirvana of any sort is attainable in a set path. (Except for the band from when I was in Junior High, you can find an easy path to buy their songs.)

What I feel is the sort of openness and internal stillness that among Quakers is most often experienced in Silent Worship. It does not matter what I am reading. When I am, as the colloquialism goes," lost in a good book." I feel the Light of the Divine.

I am led to feel that I am not alone in that discernment. In the beginning of the Gospel of John, Jesus is referred to as The Word. Specifically as LOGOS. An idea that in the Greek has greater connotations than the English concept of The Word. LOGOS means something closer to an idea of words as the basic building block of the universe. How you can describe something so completely that the description is indistinguishable from the thing itself. So, maybe our modern concept of mathematics comes closer to that concept then our idea of The Word. (It also sounds like something else I should explore further as well in the future) Also, that you can experience God through The Word. In essence, Jesus was LOGOS in order to spread The Word and bring us closer to God.

To get back to my point, when my wife's devoutness caused a renewed interest in Faith for me. I handled it the way I do everything I want to learn about. I started reading everything that grabbed my interest about religion. Starting of Course with my own Yearly Meeting's Faith and Practice.

As I read more, I am learning more about my own faith tradition. Progressive Christianity has a long and proud history. Especially among Liberal Quakers. It is so liberating to see that Christianity does not have to be small minded, bigoted, and hypocritical. That Christianity can be rooted in seeking knowledge, loving everyone, and taking care of the world and people around us.

There is also so much Light to be found in other Faiths. Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, Islam, Non-Theism, and even Neo-Paganism all have a portion of the Light in them. It is also so much easier to see where your own path is causing personal blindness by using the Light of other paths.