The Meeting Will Now Come To Order
When Pat and I have a conversation, we need paper, index cards, colored markers and a large table. Over the years, since 2007, we have promoted ourselves from the Sleeping Giants to the Great Dames. We ask big questions and we love to explore what the answers might be.
At our December 2013 meeting, Pat announced her question. She loved broadening her religious perspective beyond the comforting verities of the Presbyterian faith, but without that image of old God the Father smiling down at her from the clouds, who the heck was she going to talk to when the fur was flying, when the shit was hitting the fan, when her soul was having a streak of dark nights?
The old-time religions give us a time-tested set of metaphors and images that we can fall back on when the going gets tough. If you break out of the old order, sometimes all you have is the mystery, without the comfort.
Maybe we needed to work through a cosmology -- a picture of the universe -- that would provide a comforting (if that's the right word) framework for an updated theology. Go get the paper and markers!
After a few hours, we had some ideas rich enough to fuel lots of future discussion. Let's see if I can put them in in my own words now that I'm home.
>>> "God" is the "Source" (avoid picturing grandfather in clouds)
>>> The Source generates all the energy in the universe. (Instead of petitioning a sky God, our prayers are invocations of this energy, plugging in to its power.)
>>> This energy forms a big Net, which kind of holds everything together. I guess you could call it the ultimate Power Grid. An awareness of this Net requires us to go deep within ourselves. Maybe it is this Net that also holds the "collective unconscious" that Jung proposed -- our shared reservoir of human experience.
>>> The Net = Order. Falling through the Net = Chaos.
>>> Our spirit finds its way along the energizing, orderly warp and weft of the netting. (See sketch below.)
>>> To really fight the risk of falling through the Net into Chaos, we weave our own little section of netting (whew). And this is our "sacred space," where we might retreat to when (so to speak) the cold wind is rattling our windows.
>>> Maybe there are "mentor-beings" out there who can offer us guidance as we hang on to the power lines (Jesus, Buddha, League of Grandfathers, etc.).
At the end, we felt pretty satisfied with this imagery. We had a couple of frozen margaritas as a poultice for our overheated brains. Then we watched episodes of Laura Dern's "Enlightened" on HBO-Go, as an example of how one woman is able to beat back the chaos in her own spirit, but then has to confront a Real World not in sync with her deep awareness... the classic hero's journey. Nothing is easy.