After reading Jesse’s post immediately below, I thought about the question "Does it all need to Change?" I offer an excerpt from a book I’m currently reading called “The Seeker’s Guide” by Elizabeth Lesser.
"The New American Spirituality
"We are witnessing the birth of a wisdom tradition that is uniquely American. Within traditional organized religions, as well as in the hybrid creations of our times, the stamp of American thinking is plain. We see the American spirit in the proliferation of nonaffiliated Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, and Islamic churches, and also in the profound changes within sanctioned denominations. This spirit values independence from religious hierarchy. It crosses religious and social boundaries, telling the tale of a diverse people, gathered in close proximity, and absorbing each other's ways of worshiping, ritualization and mythologizing the great mysteries of life. In contains the nature-centered traditions of the original peoples of the Americas. It is part science, which has underscored, for the most of the twentieth century, our unspoken collective philosophy. It respects both a mistrust of heavy-handed authority and the willing surrender to a greater power. It draws from the religious teachings of the past: from the biblical traditions; from the spiritual roots of Africa; from the meditative schools of Asia; and from other diverse mythic and religious worldviews. and it draws from our own times, from the wisdom of psychology, democracy and feminism.
1. Who Has Authority: The hierarchy has the authority. Church authorities tell you how to worship in church and how to behave outside church.
2. What Is Spirituality? God, and the path to worship Him, have already been defined. all you need to do is follow the directions.
3. What Is the Path to God? There is only one path. It is the right way and all other ways are wrong.
4. What is Sacred? Parts of yourself--like the body or ego or emotions are evil. Deny or transcend or sublimate them or they will lead you astray.
5. What Is the Truth? The truth is like a rock. Your understanding of it should never waiver. Therefore ask the same questions and receive the same answers at all stages of life.
1. Who Has Authority: You are your own best authority. As you work to know and love yourself, you discover how to live a spiritual life.
2. What Is Spirituality? You listen within for your own definition of spirituality. Your deeper longings are your compass on the search.
3. What Is the Path to God? Many paths lead to spiritual freedom and peace. You have a rich array of gems from which to draw illumination: the world's religious traditions; mythology; philosophy; psychology; healing methods; scientific wisdom; your own experience.
4. What is Sacred? Everything is sacred--your body, mind, psyche, heart and soul. The world is sacred, too, with all of its light and darkness. Bring the exiled and unloved parts of yourself back into the fold.
5. What Is the Truth? The truth is like the horizon--forever ahead of you, forever changing its shape and color. Let your spiritual path change and diverge as you journey toward it. The truth accommodates your growth.”
Does it all need to change?
I think it already has.
But perhaps I can allow the truths from my past, those truths I still hold so dear, to continue to shape and define me as I head toward a horizon 'forever changing its shape and color.'
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