Here is a wonderful quote from philosopher Sam Keen, being moved up front from the comments; it’s from Keen’s 1994 book, Hymns to an Unknown God. Thanks to Sandy Renner for the reference:
“I don’t know the ultimate destiny of all things faithful, vulnerable or fragile…..But I refuse the hidden pretension of omnipotence, of either the religious or secular variety. My mind cannot plumb the limits of the possible. Therefore, I choose to trust the mystery from which all blessing flows….If I am to trust the source from which I came–this unique Sam Keen……I must also trust the the dark destiny into which I disappear at death. I am enfolded in a Being-becoming-itself, a God for whom perpetual dying is a way of creating……..It is both the agony and the beauty of the human condition to be ignorant of our ultimate origin and destiny. In the luminous darkness through which we travel on our human journey, we are often lonely but never alone. Road-weary, overwhelmed by the magnitude of the difficulties we face during our brief days, we are tempted to despair or to settle for cheap optimism. But in the deep place of the spirit, we are moved and called forth to this ongoing adventure, by the yearning, restless and creative One who-though called by the ten thousand names of God-is still clothed in marvelous silence.”
…I am enfolded in a Being-becoming-itself, a God for whom perpetual dying is a way of creating……..It is both the agony and the beauty of the human condition to be ignorant of our ultimate origin and destiny…
But deep down inside, sometimes doncha find yourself wishing God would have come up with a better (less painful) way?” 🙂
Linda Seay-Skaggs says
Brilliantly moving. Thank you for posting.
Nan Bush says
And thank you for saying.
Reminiscent of Apostle Paul’s journey to [Rome?].
It’s somewhere in the middle of the book of Acts, I think.
This also reflects my own cries and deep anguish. I would have used the title Hymns to an Unknown God, if I was so clever. It is the cry of the agnostic and the atheist and the Mother Teresa. So uncertain and so frightening, and yet we are left with some sort of peace “believing” that God is Just and that we are to trust him.
Nan Bush says
So many “things I wish I could have said”! Definitely.
Dave Woods says
I have no faith. To me “faith” is being asked to believe without proof. There’s no way that faith and doubt can’t go hand in hand.
It seems to me that the “faith” folks gather their strength by how many others are willing proceed on the faith construct. Anyone who refuses to join their construct of faith without proof is a threat.
This to them allows free reign to persecute others in what ever shape or form they choose, and feel justified. To me, so much for faith.
Sam has chosen a beautifully written way to express the way he feels about it. He’s also not going to allow himself to be intimidated by the omnipotent all powerful GOD construct that’s wielded like a club.
God is everything, and we are part of God, love and go within yourself. This is where you make contact. In the stillness, He, She, It, will be there. to feel is to listen.
” I choose to trust the mystery from which all blessing flows….”
This sums up, in essence, what my position is – having at last let go, as a consequence of my prolonged dark night of the soul experience, of decades of internal rational sparring …..
Thank you for posting this magnificent quote.
I’m glad you liked the quote. The comments from each of you help me understand it in even better ways. Love this blog/community!
Now THAT is a quote 🙂
Isa Helmi says
Thank you so much giving me this opportunity to express my view on this subject.
Where and how we come to this life,and to where we will go is not our crucial involvement and mental disturbance. What we must take care of and serious is the period of time of coming and going which we call it “life”.It is of pure reality and must be worked on to get better for all. As I remember the history of man on this potentially beautiful floating small planet the history of man has witnessed this argue going on without any results.So let it beliefs of either side be personal rather than social . By doing so,we can be hopeful for a better future for all in the duration of coming and going.to achieve this we better cocentrate on which idea can help more.
Guillermo Garcia says
To Isa Helmi :
With all due respect , I see in your comment some points that seems to me that must be reply in the idea of helping and in no way confront your point of view ,which I entirely respect, altough in part I disagree with.
Reflect about where we come and where we finally go is in our very core as human being and is not a waste of time, you can see reflections on the subject in all ages and cultures, I will only mention for instance Plato (see Fedo) or the Bible … the list may be very very long.
For a lot of people it was a turning point in their lives a mystical experience or a realization about exactly that point, you can see that in all nde’s experiencer.
I agree with the idea that we must do the best with our days, but how can you decide what is that best if you don’t take into consideration our hereafter, whatever your idea about is?
Is easy to live a life searching an answer about that?…of course not, but we are human beings and the hard part of life seems to be done for us to learn and grow and let me say that we cheat ourselves if we close our eyes and think that we can live a full life and do well concentrating only in ‘…The period of time we call it life…?.
In that search you may feel sometimes as though facing a crossroads at midnight without a light at hand, but that is part of our life, and seems to me that we are not allowed to just simply go ahead without thinking, sometimes we must take a byway or even wait until sunrise before restart our journey through the right path, and if we choose that right path it may become a milestone in our life; and, again, how can you be sure that you are in the right way if you only take care of the day to day things no matter how important it may seem at a superficial look.
whether we want to honor this life we must do the best of our days without neglecting the consideration of where we go thats why where we will go is crucial, is our north, is our Light .-
Nan Bush says
Thank you, Guillermo. Nicely said.
Isa Helmi says
Dear Guillermo ,
Thank you so much for your quot,I enjoyed it.You are quite wright and I do agree with you.But ,perhaps I could not express my view well . So here I would make it more clear. As you may have noticed I mentioned ” we better keep it personal” I meant,we must think and of course discuss about it as a crucial point of our lives,but it should not depart people as believers and unbelievers.Thinking about where we come and where we go has always been my concern, and I see myself a spiritualist rather than materialist.I meant these two groups must respect each other’s views. mainly and usually unfortunately the second call the other ,superstitious .
Finally , it has been my memo ” science is a light in our hands to go ahead in time,but as it is relative we should believe more,but again on its base”. I hope this time I could express myself more clear.
Looking forward to hearing more quotes,
Thank you so much again.