Metaphorical Gods vs. Reality/God

Rev. Michael Dowd

Evolutionary Evangelist Michael Dowd has a very good essay titled “Metaphorical gods vs. Reality/God” and I encourage you to go read it. Understand that he is mainly writing for Christians and he is primarily trying to show that evolution is not incompatible with their religion (unless, of course, you’re a fundamentalist who insists on reading the Bible literally – then there’s no hope for you).

I’ve found Michael Dowd’s books and presentations to be enlightening, interesting, and even inspiring. I think his concept of God (or as Pagans would express it, Goddess and God) as “Ultimate Reality” and “the largest Creative Whole” are honest and good. I think his comment that “God is more than the universe” is also correct, and not just because there is so much about the universe we don’t know. I think the work he and his partner/wife Connie Barlow are doing is truly sacred.

But while there is nothing in anything he writes that I would challenge, I’m still struck with the same feeling I had listening to Davidson Loehr – where’s the room for religious experience?

I don’t expect Christians (or Muslims or Buddhists or atheists or even other Pagans) to accept my “subjectively meaningful interpretations” (to use Dowd’s phrase) as objective fact. But for me, they are more than metaphors – much much more.

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About John Beckett

I grew up in Tennessee with the woods right outside my back door. Wandering through them gave me a sense of connection to Nature and to a certain Forest God. I’m a Druid graduate of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, the Coordinating Officer of the Denton Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans and a former Vice President of CUUPS Continental. I’ve been writing, speaking, teaching, and leading public rituals for the past eleven years. I live in the Dallas – Fort Worth area and I earn my keep as an engineer.

  • Robin Edgar

    Obviously the “meaningful coincidences” of synchronicity, or other “signs”, are to some degree “subjectively meaningful interpretations” on the part of the person or persons who interpret them. This does not mean whoever that they do not contain and convey some quite objectively meaningful interpretations as well. I am surprised by how often the automatically generated Google Word Verification Code has some bearing on the content of the comment I wrote. It does not happen all the time but it happens rather more frequently than I would put down to pure random chance. I of course have some fun with this phenomenon, which can be seen as a form of synchronicity, by overdoing my “subjectively meaningful interpretations” of WVCs a bit. Sometimes even running obvious gibberish into an anagram generator to so what comes up that might be applicable to the comment the WVC is associated with. It’s all part and parcel of giving U*Us what they want. i.e. A “crazy” “psychotic” “nutcase”. :-)

    For the record the WVC code for this comment is shini which I will subjectively interpret as hinting at shiny or shinny, or indeed a synthesis of both words. I think that you and I may have done some shiny shinnying here don’t you? 😉