|The Mystery within...|
Unchurched is a word I have been hearing lately used to describe people who are no longer card carrying, dues paying members of a religious sect. I don’t much like that word used to describe those of us who have left formal religion. During a discussion between Arthur Zajonc, a physicist and contemplative, and Michael McCullough, a professor of psychology, on Krista Tippet’s On-Being Program, Mind and Morality: A Dialogue, it was said of people who have left formal religion they have stepped out of the little church of virtues and have stepped into the virtues of the big church. I really like that analogy.
I love the big church’s virtues. Knowing that all of creation, everything and everyone in it, is holy, helps me look for the Divine Mystery everyday. Knowing that all of creation, everything and everyone in it, is connected, gives me pause to reflect on how my actions affect everything and everyone. I love the freedom to be curious and to question everything. I’ve become comfortable with knowing that answers only raise more questions to be explored. I love the challenge of reflection and looking beyond trouble and hurtfulness. I love knowing I belong to the big church.
Other points that touched me in the discussion between Zajonc and McCullough were: we need to allow for differences and to explore them in safety, with respect; morality is our relationship to others and the world; empathy and compassion activates moral progress; there is no good argument for treating people differently; the fact that we can choose to separate ourselves from one another, and live and learn in a monoculture, is absolutely poisonous; education should teach us how we are going to be together as a human community; and we need to use our attention wisely.
What if the little church of virtues and the virtues of the big church got together?