May 05-B, 2023

Seascape Oil Paint Rendered — Pamlico Sound, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, Outer Banks, North Carolina
When Carl Jung was asked
if he believed in God,
he replied: 
"I do not believe.
I know."

I would have said,
"I do not believe in believing."

"God" as we have been taught of "God"
exists only as the production/projection
of human beings,
forced onto us by an orthodox priesthood
with their livelihood at stake
in selling their idea of God
to the people protecting their lives
and providing the wherewithal for their existence.

"God" is the product of some priesthood
throughout time.
Which "God" we are talking about
when we say, "Do you believe in God?"
depends upon the priesthood in charge of
generating the idea of God behind the question.

The transcendent ground/foundation/background/matrix
of life
exists only as experience
and has from the beginning of experience,
but must be "theologized"
in order to be worth anything
to those who would profit from its presence.

Knowing "God" is experiencing the transcendent
beyond experience without theology or belief.
Without attempting to manipulate/control 
transcendent reality in serving the perceived
interests/needs of "believers."

The experience of transcendent reality
is enhanced by the right kind of silence
in the presence of nature, art and music,
or the wonder of anything capable 
of generating wonder--
but it cannot be produced at will
or made to perform as directed.

What it means, 
how it might be used
in the service of our wants and desires,
what its purpose is,
and how it spends its time
on its days off
are all open to speculation,
but the transcendent
is beyond all thought and conversation,
and we are best served by it
by leaving it as
a source of awe and wonder,
and understanding our role
in this scheme of things
as being extensions of transcendence ourselves,
and treating one another as though we are,
with honor and respect
and mutual care and support
throughout all the days of our lives.


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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