Friday, February 1, 2013

The First Step to Spiritual Honesty

The past two posts address abortion. Abortion is a moral flashpoint for all of us who are looking for a way to be good, free, moral people outside of the confines of traditional religion because, for those of us coming from Christian and especially Catholic backgrounds, it was the moral issue. So, to say the least, I think we are familiar with the issue, and maybe a little conflicted about a solution.

The March for Life approach assumes that we are not conflicted about the issue, as if it were a cut, done, answered question, instead of a very live, slippery, and unsatisfactorily answered question. That's why I dislike it.

There's more.

Future spiritual communities must be able to ask big questions honestly.

We have talked at length about why religious communities have failed - hierarchy, judgment, and nostalgia. All three are founded on the notion that someone has knowledge that someone doesn't have - the knowledge of leadership, morals, or righteous history. Haves and have-nots. Rich and poor. Chosen and unclean.

Us and them.

But when you look inward, are there not many unanswered questions? Do you truly have the knowledge?

No. None of us has knowledge. We all face our universe as peasants. We don't even know what we don't know. To pretend as if we know, as if we have knowledge, as if we know what is right and wrong in the face of our expanse of Universe, or before the Presence of God, is pure vanity.  
Fact: we do not know. Goal: Wonder and Awe.
Acknowledging the truth of our ignorance is the first step to learning. We all exist in that damn uncomfortable place of the ignorant student. How would it be if I went into Greek class and pretended to know Greek already? I would not learn, and it would be my own fault. 

But then, everything can be our teacher. 

We must be ready to learn from each other, and that requires that we first admit our ignorance. You cannot do this at a rally, and I do not think it is possible in many churches. But it is the first step to spiritual honesty.

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