When I was a child, my father spoke of sin as a separation from God and others, a broken relationship, while theologian Paul F. Knitter sees God as a connecting spirit..
This is so true, we are intimately connected with the divine through all our relationships, through relationships with one another and all of creation.
In his book, Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian, in writing about Thich Nhat Hanh’s idea of “interbeing,” Paul tells us that understanding God through relationships is critical and that the source and power of our relationships is driven by the presence of the "Holy Spirit."
If I may paraphrase Paul, the importance of this concept is summarized by this: “behind and within all the different images and symbols we may use for God—Creator, Redeemer, Word, Spirit, —the most fundamental, the deepest truth we can speak of God is that God is the source and power of our relationships."
I think this is true in all faiths, with all of life. We may call it by another name or use another metaphor or image if you wish, but for me it is simply a mystery, or a very intimate divine memory that draws us to one another. I can easily live in that mystery, accept it completely and watch it be revealed fully in and with and through all of you as our lives unfold together.
Paul Tillich spoke of God as the "Ground of Our Being." Paul Knitter speaks of God, the Divine Ultimate Mystery, as the “Groundlessness of Our Being” when seen through a Buddhist lens of Śūnyatā–Nirvana~Emptiness, or rather the openness of all creation that is ever-changing and expanding.
Arising, seemly endless, "worlds without end," to use a poetic image from Anglican-Episcopal liturgy.
In the spring issue of Parabola Magazine, they explore both sin and grace. You cannot have one without the other, and when you stop to look closely at your own life, you will see that grace abounds. It flows all through your life and the life of others. It flows through all your relationships and creates a unity with the divine that is eternal.
In your deepest memory, your Buddha Mind or Christ Consciousness, your original nature or self, you know this to be true within the Ground and Groundlessness of your being, within the openness of creation and a path that leads us always towards becoming fully human and something beyond, towards a new being, to rebirth and renewal.
Use your own imagination here, the possibilities of being, are endless in a world or worlds without end.
Publisher - Saint Julian Press
Poets and writers have long been inspired by the sacred literature of the world’s religions and faiths, with stories of wisdom, transformation, enlightenment, and salvation.
The word literature points us towards the high art of communicating ideas, feelings, beliefs and wisdom through writing, of thoughts made with letters. Poets are storytellers who use letters and language, myth and metaphor, as symbols to communicate with the world. The language they use may be both literal and emblematic, expressing the inexpressible and ineffable through images, narrative, emotion, and truth that open us up to the mystery of life.
Some of the greatest literature written across human history comes from the sacred scriptures and mythologies of the world; from the Hindu Mahabharata and Ramayana to the Bible’s Old and New Testament; the Celtic-Welsh Mabinogion and Celtic-Erin Cath Maige Tuired; Ancient Greek and Egyptian Mythology; or the Dhammapada and Heart Sutra of Buddhism. Our sacred scriptures and ancient mythologies hold the stories and narratives of our relationship with one another, the universe, and the Ultimate Divine Mystery of creation, with God. And the journey we take to free ourselves from the tyranny of our own minds, the struggle to see truly what is real and our own unique place in the world. Poetry helps us to believe and know that we are part of something greater than what we may imagine as our soul struggles to find meaning in this life, to know and be known by this greater mystery, and fully embrace our unlimited potential to love within creation.
Many of the poems in When Angels Are Born draw upon the spiritual traditions and language found in Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and other contemplative wisdom traditions and faiths. Poetry as a language calls us into an intimate relationship with one another, the divine, and creation that is ultimately transforming; poetry is also a celebration of life, a call to live life fully with a full awareness of life’s value. My hope as a poet is that these poems will help the reader to see more clearly, to offer some clarity to your own vision of life and sense of self, and how your life, the self, the soul, or the human psyche are constantly changing and evolving through all your relationships, through love. And that life, your own life especially is indeed a divine gift of love, however, you may imagine the divine to be at work within the world, your world.
“The Lord bless thee and keep thee; the Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” - Numbers 6:24-26 (21st Century King James Version)
The Afterword from ~ When Angels Are Born
Ron Starbuck is an author, poet, the Publisher-CEO of Saint Julian Press, and an Episcopalian with certain Buddhist leanings who values comparative literature and literary dialogues in many forms.
All Anglican Anglican Communion Books Buddhism Christianity Christmas Easter Episcopalian Ghost Story Interbeing Interconnections Interfaith Dialogue Jesus John Cobb Literature Mystery Nativity Paul F. Knitter Paul Knitter Poems Poetry Theology Thich Nhat Hanh Vietnam War