My Physiology of Faith

Thank you for asking.

I claim, with a tip of the hat to Erasmus, a physiology of faith.

My brain is Buddhist, my heart is Christian, and my stomach is Humanist.

It all comes together and makes me a Unitarian Universalist.

I am convinced in large part of the Buddha’s basic analysis of the human heart, that we are profoundly wounded by our delusion that we and those we love are permanent and our grasping at what is constantly changing as if it were permanent, like someone trying to hold onto flowing water. And like any wounded animal, this makes us dangerous. Beyond this I have for decades been informed by the stories of the Chinese meditation masters. These bare words only hint at the passion those stories inspire in me.

And those stories are joined in my heart by our Western inheritance. Specifically, I learned to read at my grandmother’s knee, she holding a large illustrated Bible on her lap. In the King James version, of course. As my people like to say if it was good enough for Jesus. What this means is that the metaphors and tropes that come to the tip of my tongue in my life are informed by the stories from the scriptures I learned from before I can remember. The stories of the scriptures are a golden inheritance. And they live in my body.

And then the glue that binds this all together, the lens through which I read nearly everything, is a deep rationalism, a life-long love affair with the natural. (I like to say I’m more rational than you, at least when I want to annoy my friends). If something exists in the phenomenal world, it is subject to analysis. You want to convince me of anything, show me something that can withstand hard scrutiny. This perspective is the golden thread of my life…

Taken together these three things inform who I am, and how I see the world.

It is where I stand.

I can do no other…

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