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August 14, 2011

This morning Peg asked me what I believed, which was a way of asking me why I was so comfortable with this dying thing. Which was a good question, since I don’t believe in a Christian “God”, or any other theology for that matter. So what do I believe that gives me the confidence I have, not only about life but about death as well?

Although it’s true that I did give up believing in “God” a long time ago, I never gave up a belief in Spirit … that underlying, “consciousness” that I believe permeates the Universe, but which cannot  necessarily be confirmed through my physical senses alone. Nor can it be confirmed at all I suppose, except possibly somewhere in my heart.

When I realized that much of what shaped my life has stemmed from beliefs, and that many/most of those beliefs were indoctrinated into me, I began to be much more discerning with them. I would put much more stock in my own experiences of life and combine those with what my intuition was telling me about them.

My conclusion has been this: living with awareness is teaching me as much as I need to know about life, death, and spirit, than any religion, theology, or dogma ever could. It doesn’t mean I’m enlightened, because I’m not … it just means I have enough faith in what I believe I know; which puts me at peace with what I know I believe.

Whew! How’s that for circular reasoning?

My blog … my reasoning … hah!

Okay, so what do I believe? Try this for a creation myth: I believe that Spirit has breathed truth and beauty and created the Universe. This is free and we can just observe and absorb it. The Universe is truth and beauty … IT JUST IS. However, the Universe does not inherently contain love … it’s ambivalent about love. I could sit on a peaceful wooded hillside and observe one of nature’s most moving sunsets ever while feeling tightly embraced by her “love”; and in the next moment she could drop a tree on me. No feelings one way or another.

But humans are not like this. We might be ambivalent about truth and beauty … at least in the sense of how fickle we are at interpreting these things … but we are not ambivalent about love. In fact, in my mind, truth and beauty don’t hold much attraction unless I have love in my life … but maybe that’s just me. But since this is my blog and my beliefs, I guess I will go with this for now (this ownership thing is gonna get real old … I know).

So, Spirit gives truth and beauty to the Universe, while we take that gift, and give love back. This, I believe, is how Spirit fulfills itself. The Universe is learning what love is as we do. We as individuals, and we as a species. Love grows as our understanding of it grows and our understanding of it grows as we do. And we grow by learning how to love.

Very tidy, don’t you think?

But, this doesn’t just happen in one short lifetime … or I’m sunk. It takes a long time to unfold the many layers of love, and the Universe gives us as much time as we need. Science tells us this, and my soul tells me this. There is no hurry, there is just being present with this opportunity called life.

So even though this is all just personal belief; it’s belief that I am perfectly comfortable living with … and just as comfortable dying with too. Just as truth and beauty will exist in the Universe long past this body of mine; my love will continue too along with all of yours. We will carry this to our next life and beyond and learn more about what it means and how to give and share it; while the Universe absorbs it and becomes more beautiful than it already is.

This is the core of my belief, while there is a spattering of satellite beliefs that revolve around this that I would be happy to share with you sometime in the future.

For now, I promised I would try to keep these posts short

By the way, I just found out that you can subscribe to my blogs, which means that you will receive an e-mail notice whenever I post.

Now ain’t that just thrillin?


9 Comments leave one →
  1. August 18, 2011 7:50 am

    Rick, I know you only from your visiting a meeting I missed, and the gift you made to our organization. Yet, here we are. I appreciate your sharing then and now.
    It is unfortunate the limitations that so many, including “Christians,” put on God– as if the duality, the struggle between instinct and love that you talk about, is part of the unconditional love, the pure goodness that you’ve identified as our ultimate (and inevitable) goal. Thankfully, I think we are led in that direction constantly, despite the many distractions and traditions that justify thinking otherwise. We are waking up! Have you seen Rob Bell’s book, “Love Wins,” in which this evangelical pastor basically does away with hell and calls salvation universal?
    So here’s a favorite quote of mine, from a century ago when “man” was a generic term that included all of us, by a woman who called God, “Father-Mother Love.”
    “With one Father, even God, the whole family of man would be brethren; and with one Mind and that God, or good, the brotherhood of man would consist of Love and Truth, and have unity of Principle and spiritual power which constitute divine Science.” Mary Baker Eddy

  2. Jill Lynch permalink
    August 15, 2011 4:58 pm

    Whew! Rick . . . I deeply appreciate your sharing and your presence to live so wholeheartedly. How you experience life through beauty, truth and love is transformative. It is this that you seem to trust & know directly. Btw, I am touched by the title of this blog and your clearly stated journey home “to essence.” I mean, who can argue with that!! Right now you are a teacher & inspiration for me as I attend to my inner challenges. May you continue to live each day from the qualities & values you so humbly & beautifully articulate. May each of us be stirred and strengthened to join you in living this way too. With gratitude. Jill

  3. sage river permalink
    August 15, 2011 7:40 am

    Dear, dear Rick………. beautifully expressed. You may not be *totally* enlightened (yet), but you do help all who know and encounter you on our paths, and ultimately on our journeys home, just by your being. And now as you share your journey towards home, we all are traveling with you, and loving you as you love us right back.

    Sending you peace and love and warmest of hugs,

  4. Julie permalink
    August 14, 2011 9:26 pm

    Rick, like Dave, we are relatively new friends, but as we’ve discussed before . . . feels like we’ve been friends for a lifetime. I have this feeling everyone you know feels that way! You are a such a gem. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the generous gift of these writings. I know we will all treasure them.
    With love and peace,

  5. Lauren Hunt permalink
    August 14, 2011 8:58 pm

    yes it is thrilling Rick, I was so psyched to see the email in my inbox today that you had written again! thanks for sharing

  6. Susan permalink
    August 14, 2011 8:09 pm

    Some cultures believed (they are mostly killed off by our culture) the purpose of humans is to be beautiful and grateful. That’s what we should spend our time and energy cultivating and doing. I think you’re on the right track!

  7. Marin permalink
    August 14, 2011 6:12 pm

    I really resonate with your perspective, Rick. I’m so glad you’re taking the time to express it to us since I haven’t yet had enough opportunity to sit with you and have these conversations.

    Love you.

  8. Jane permalink
    August 14, 2011 4:55 pm

    A well lived life,complete with messy parts,triumphs,disasters and successes is rich with experiences that shape our beliefs, attitudes and sharpen our intuition. Thankfully, we can all be a small part of your biggest journey to date and share in your “circular reasoning”. Beautifully written Rick.

  9. August 14, 2011 4:47 pm

    Rick: We are relatively new friends but my love for you (and appreciation of you) grows by leaps and bounds, to coin a corny phrase. I just love your piercing integrity, your self-honesty, your willingness to stare right at death and give thanks for life at the same time! As was said, we all are gonna die and to deny that, is the ultimate of hypocrisy….and you are NOT a hypocrite.

    Thank you for saying what I have long believed about Spirit….that is does NOT conform to the man-made definitions of church dogma or religion in general. Spirit is the ineffable, the mysterious and I can feel in you what is also present in me….the curiousity about what comes next.

    When I first found out about your diagnosis, I wanted to help immediately…hence my telling you about the Oasis of Hope clinic. I still believe it is a great, healing place and yet, I totally honor your choice to forgo any attempts to lengthen or even save your life; rather, you seem to want to live each remaining moment you have with gusto, love, and full participation. So be it!!!!Bravo, Rick; you are dear and precious friend!

    Much love, David

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