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’m a Druid in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. I’m an ordained priest in the Universal Gnostic Fellowship. I’m the Coordinating Officer of the Denton, Texas Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans. This year I’m also serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of CUUPS National. I’m a member of the Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

I write as a spiritual practice. It helps me organize my thoughts and work through ideas and concepts. It helps me evaluate my beliefs and practices against my core values and against what I know (or at least, what I think I know) to be true. It helps me interpret my experiences (religious and otherwise) in ways that are both meaningful and honest.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06208142626285495635 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? ;-)


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