What does God Really Look Like? – Time for A New Vision

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I am a bit tired of literal, anthropomorphic interpretations of God. Could there really be a bearded, gray-haired male deity in the sky judging our every move? Why would this guy even want to spawn offspring, and mystify people centuries later trying to figure out how that could have happened without the usual means for transmitting sperm? Was eating that apple in the Garden of Eden truly such a serious offense? Would God actually need to have his own “son” executed to redeem humankind for this e … [Read more...]

My Defining Moment Led to this Patheos Blog – and My Book.

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Patheos is asking bloggers to write about a defining moment. Here is one of mine, excerpted and abridged from my book.Begrudging WisdomThe fearsome, yet somehow oddly thrilling words jumped right off the page, crept stealthily past the obviously snoozing hogwash detector in my brain, and spoke directly to my heart: “Stage IV men and women will enter into religion in order to approach mystery…” I grasped the book a bit more tightly, reread the words, then threw it down. A prickly se … [Read more...]

Why I am a Freelance Spiritual Seeker

Patheos has recently challenged bloggers to respond to the question, in 200 words or less, "Why I am a......" (whatever religion they are) Ok, so I sort of went over the word limit, and I am not sure I got my response in on time, but here it is:Why I am a Freelance Spiritual SeekerI have never been a detail person. I like the “big picture” story about everything from the daily news to the stock market.The individual religions each carry a story that is too small for me to buy. “If … [Read more...]

IS there an afterlife?

Today this question came through to me from AllExperts.com. I put a lot of thought into my response, so I thought I'd share it here.QUESTION: Dear Margaret, 5 years ago my wife passed away. Christian mythology, which has lasted 2000 years and been supported by some very wise people, promises if I only believe Jesus was God and rose from the grave I will be able to join my beloved in the afterlife and be with her forever. What does atheism have to offer that is even close to that? … [Read more...]

What Does Spiritual Progress Really Mean?

What is “spiritual progress?” The dictionary tells us the word progress means moving forward, advancing, creating better conditions or new policies or ideals. So how would a person move forward spiritually? What better conditions or new policies or new ideals would a spiritually advanced person promote?Forward movement—or progress—in spirituality has been pretty well defined through a generally known, but rarely articulated process that should one day come to be called spiritual development t … [Read more...]

Transcending the Self – through Kite Flying?

This You-tube clip – “Romancing the Wind” with Ray Bethell is well worth five minutes of your time. It’s beautiful, right? And of course it is nice to see a senior citizen who has found a pastime that keeps him active and engaged. But I believe there is also something important we can learn from it.The spiritual masters tell us the way to spiritual growth is through transcendence of self, and most of them claim meditation is the way to do that. They say that at advanced meditation levels, the … [Read more...]

Planned Parenthood Urges a More Spiritually Mature Conversation

Planned Parenthood has a new campaign called <a href="http://www.ppaction.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pp_ppol_notinhershoes#.UQkwteihBuW" target="_hplink">"Not in Her Shoes."</a> In it they are trying to move away from the divisive labels "Pro-choice" versus "Pro-life," and the black-and-white thinking those labels engender."Not in Her Shoes" begs us to broaden our conversation about abortion, and to realize the issue is far more complex than being "for" or "against" the … [Read more...]

Were the New Atheists Right?

Were the New Atheists Right? In the last decade, many people were impressed with the work of the New Atheist writers. These three authors each wrote a highly reasoned treatise against religion or God that hit the best-seller list around the middle of the last decade.  A few words about them from my book, Faith Beyond Belief: Stories of Good People Who Left Their Church Behind:[1] In God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Christopher Hitchens claimed that…religion has mi … [Read more...]

The Problem of Knowing God

There is a big problem in our society and it is God. No, God is not inherently a bad thing—but people’s interpretation of God causes a lot of trouble. When people insist that their own particular view of God is the only correct one, the only real one, they alienate everyone else. Huge amounts of controversy exist over this—and for no good reason.People who have studied faith development have claimed that the less developed believers hold more literally to the God description put forth by thei … [Read more...]

What? “Teach” Spirituality in Schools?

I was so happy to see this article on the Greater Good website: “The Case for Discussing Spirituality in Schools.”  A baby boomer myself, I thought back to my school days when the good nuns at Saint Frances de Sales and later Blessed Sacrament schools were very bent on teaching us the facts and rules about Catholicism. I am quite sure the word spirituality never once crossed their minds. No element of the curriculum was devoted to helping us develop, or even acknowledge, that part of ourselves th … [Read more...]


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