Thursday, December 17, 2009

Awareness/ignorance of God

"The most basic illness that the holy elders talk about," Father Maximos began, "is ignorance. In their language, however, ignorance does not mean lack of the right kind of information or the right kind of intellectual knowledge. What they really mean is the heart's ignorance of God. And this lack of direct experience of God renders human beings incapable of knowing what it means to live apart from God. Consequently, they are not conscious of how abysmal their deprivation and predicament is."

Kyriacos Markides, The Mountain Of Silence, p.53

This is the most basic illness of the heart which Father Maximos describes.

As a psychotherapist I see people who complain about anxiety, depression, interpersonal conflicts, addictions, and suicide. They have turned to pills and psychotherapy for relief. This is a good first step, but I often wonder if they have a heart felt experience of God which Father Maximos describes.

I wonder if a lot of psychiatric symptoms are a result of spiritual deprivation. There certainly is a lot of sociological evidence that people who participate regularly in a religious tradition are healthier, happier, and function at higher levels. There may be many interpretations of this fact, but the fact that religiosity contributes to healthier, happier, better social functioning is a well demonstrated fact.

I wonder if Unitarian Universalists have a tradition rich enough in symbols, rituals, and contemplative spirituality to provide its adherents with the opportunities for the knowledge of God? It seems to be that UUs are the scavenger fishes of the spiritual world using the symbols, rituals, and teachings of multiple sources, but does this dilute the tradition or enrich it?

At any rate, there are two blogs in the UU blogosphere which I have found which regularly I find spiritually nourishing; Boston Unitarian, and Monkey Mind. There may be others which I ask that people suggest in the comment section.

1 comment:

  1. I thought the responses to this post that you got the first time around were pretty good.