Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Search for Transcendence

In an interview with Karen Armstrong she puts forth the notion that religion is the search for transcendence.

Now, let me repeat that:

Religion is the search for Transcendence.

For me, this is the perfect definition of religion and if adopted by all there would no longer be war and destruction associated with religion. In this case, transcendence is God (or Nirvana, or Brahman, or the many other names and concepts we hold). God is not something to be understood and defined but something that is to be experienced.

Far too often, we define God and then demand that God is this way and all must agree with us. This then leads to dogmatism and then onto control. Yet, God cannot be defined because the very nature of God is beyond as God is not a transcendent being but transcendence itself.

How does one define God then? Simple, they don't because they can't.

Now, this does not stop us from doing so and I am one that has his own concept of God. However, it is nothing more than my concept based on reason, observation and my experiences. Despite what many will say they do the exact same thing and create a concept of God that works for them.

As long as we admit that it is a personal concept and not the real deal we are fine and I wish that all people could see this to be the case.

In Deism, we believe that God cannot be defined or truly understood and the only way we can glimpse the true nature of God is by using our God-given Reason to observe the one thing that we know came from God which is nature. As such, we then have the ability to search for the transcendent and experience it as well.

I will end with this thought. Religion should be about three things and they are:

1 - The experience of transcendence (God)

2 - The ability to live a fulfilling life

3 - The goal of making the world a better place

More on these later.

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