Facing Questions That Are “Soul-Sized”

Thank God our time is now
When wrong comes up to meet us everywhere
Never to leave us ’til we take
The greatest stride of soul folk ever took
Affairs are now soul size
The enterprise is exploration into God
– Christopher Fry
I went to the wood because I wished to live
deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life,
and see if I could not learn what it had to teach,
and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
– Henry David Thoreau

This site is an attempt to record the process of my own conscious evolution. Much of that evolution has taken place through how I have sought and found answers to the “soul-size” questions in my own life. That process has required an integration of my Christian roots with what is most real about my life today and with what the scientists now tell us about the planet and Universe we inhabit.Snowfall March09 021

I should note that I make no claims to being an expert in any of the areas I explore.  My first professional training and occupation was as a journalist.  I was someone trained to look for a story that needed telling, ask questions, and collate the responses into a written summary accessible to the general public.  Though I left the profession many years ago, in many ways I am still involved in the same process, and this blog is the result.

The primary resource for the material on this site is my own life journey – it comes out of my own struggle to bring reverence into the world in which we live, and to find my own way to be a part of the solution to a better life for future generations. In 1968, Eldridge Cleaver said, “You’re either part of the solution, or you’re part of the problem.” Today, the problems we face as a human and Earth community are so many and so complex, it is often hard to feel like anything we can do as one person can make a difference. My journey has led me to a sense of hope that we can, each of us, make a very real difference.

On my journey, I have sought answers to the questions I have asked from many perspectives. These include the perspective of the ancient traditions of mystical spirituality and theology found in the world’s major religions, and in emerging movements such as eco-feminist and liberationist theologies.  I also have explored psychology and other behavioral sciences, and in the new view of our Universe emerging from contemporary physics and astronomy.

The voice of Christian scripture and tradition form the primary backdrop for my reflections, since it is the tradition within which I grew up.  The book contains contemporary voices as well, some Christian and some not, but all belonging to people whose insights have helped to inspire me, guide me, or simply affirm me in my own search for meaning and a sense of peace.

I am very grateful to those whose work has helped me to come this far in my reflections. People like Fritoj Capra, Brother David Steindl-Rast, Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, Elizabeth Sahtouris, Miriam Therese MacGillis, and Rosemary Radford Ruether.  These are some of the people I recommend that you read if you are intrigued by what you find here.

I am especially grateful to Diarmuid O’Murchu (1997) for reminding us in his works, Quantum Theology and Reclaiming Spirituality, that spirituality has been evident in human experience since at least the development of homo sapiens, some 170 thousand years ago. He notes that formal religions, oncave art1 the other hand, have been around only for about the last 6,000 years, a relatively recent development in our human experience.

Some time ago, I learned of a journaling process developed by Dr. Ira Progroff, called “The Intensive Journal Workshop” (www.intensivejournal.org). The process includes writing what Progoff called a “Period Log.”  It comes at the point in the journaling process in which you try to “reposition” yourself in your own life by writing about the important events, people and work that recently have filled your life.

Periodically, I write one of these logs, often when I am on retreat.  Each time there are changes, some little, some major, like starting a new job or making a move.  This blog feels like an extended “Period Log” for my spiritual life.  Collectively, the reflections presented here describe the what, how, who and where I have come over the past three decades in terms of my own spiritual growth and awareness.  The knowledge is incomplete, as is the journey.  But it is an attempt to put down into words how I got here and what constitutes my own meaning-making at this point. It is the story of what helps me to face the dawn with hope and energy, to make each day into an attempt to make my own unique contribution to the journey of Life we all are on together. Once I get through telling the story of the past, I’ll move into writing ongoing updates.

My hope is that in hearing my story, placed within the context of the story of our unfolding Universe, you will be encouraged to rediscover, and perhaps even rewrite, your own story, finding new hope and satisfaction, too.

O’Murchu, D. (1997). Quantum theology: Spiritual implications of the new physics. New York, NY: Crossroad. pp. 11-13.

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