Theology is the end of religion.
The religion that has to be explained,
spelled out,
nailed down,
and debated
into being
is dead on arrival.

Living religion thrives
on fascination,
balance and harmony,
good faith,
good will,
and on and on like this...

Religion ends
when it tries to make sense
or make disciples.

We find religion
that is the essence of religion 
with our heart,
not with our head.

We live our way there.
We do not think our way there.

You have to know what I mean
before you can understand
what I am saying.


After Theology

Putting ourselves in accord
with the way things are,
and with the way things need to be--
because that is the way 
they truly need to be,
and has nothing whatsoever to do
with how we want them to be--
is the work of our life.

We do this through
emptiness, stillness and silence.

Being still and emptying ourselves
of fear, desire and duty, etc.
and opening ourselves
to the silence
from which all things come,
we wait "for the mud to settle
and the water to clear,"
allowing The Way
to open before us,
guiding us into the service
of what needs to happen
in each situation as it arises--

which we meet,
moment to moment,
with the gifts/daemon (sounds like "diamond")/
which come with us from the womb,
constitute our original nature,
and set us off from each other
as unique and individual parts
of the whole,
and equip us for the work
of doing what needs to be done,
when it needs to be done,
where it needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done,
because it needs to be done
here and now,
all our life long.

Knowing what needs to be done
and being right about it
is a function
of seeing, hearing, knowing, understanding,
perceiving, sensing, and feeling--
and instinctively 
responding to what is happening
in the present moment
with the integrity, sincerity,
innocence and spontaneity 
of children
with no awareness of, 
or interest in,
their own good,
but with clear insight into
and interest in
the good of the situation as a whole.

In this spirit,
we rise to meet the occasion
in each situation as it unfolds,
doing the work of giving 
what we have to offer,
and stepping back,
letting nature take its course,
and allowing the outcome to be the outcome,
which ushers in a new situation,
to which we respond in the same way,
situation by situation,
day by day,
all our life long.

We do this while maintaining 
our balance and harmony,
integrity, sincerity and integrity,
spirit, energy and vitality,
and walking two paths at the same time
in meeting our personal needs
and the need of the situations
we experience through each day,
living out of our original nature
without contrivance
or self-centered interest
in personal gain/profit/benefit/advantage/good.

We are assisted in this
with clarity of vision and purpose
gained by reducing the noise
and complexity in our life
to a minimum,
knowing when we are being "hooked"
into fear/desire/duty,
and returning to the emptiness 
and the silence
as needed for balance and harmony
in service to the flow of life and being
throughout each day.

May it be so for all people everywhere
over all time and every place--
beginning here, now!

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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