Wednesday, December 9, 2009

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 a 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 be apart from God. Consequently, they are not conscious of how abysmal their deprivation and predicament is." p.53

Markides, Kyriacos, The Mountain Of Silence

Having read the passage above in Markides' wonderful book leaves me thinking that it is the ignorance of God which leads people into alcohol, drug, food, sex, shopping, gambling, and work addictions. They are striving to fill up the "hole in their soul".

Unfortunately, Protestants don't have the rich monastic tradition which the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox do and so the quest for Theosis, becoming one with God, has been lost. Buddhism has a rich and deep tradition of meditation and becoming one with the universe although strictly speaking Buddhism is athesistic and yet there is the recognition of the ground of our existence and although Buddhists don't believe in a personal deity like some Christians do there is a recognition of a transcendent experience worth pursuing and cultivating in one's being which they all enlightenment while Christians call it salvation.

At any rate, it is interesting that Unitarian Universalists, if they want a richer, deeper spiritual life have to go outside of their own tradition. Having said that, I am inspired by the work of Boston Unitarian and James Ford to offer a deeper spiritual experience to Unitarian Universalists who are seeking it. Many thanks to them for their excellent work.


  1. >At any rate, it is interesting that Unitarian >Universalists, if they want a richer, deeper >spiritual life have to go outside of their >own tradition.

    I wholeheartedly disagree with you, David. UUs can deepen their spirtual lives by connecting with and reclaiming Unitarian and Universalist traditions. Both traditions have long and rich theological histories - one only needs to stop by Boston Unitarian. Channing, Emerson, Ballou, Parker, Starr King, and in this century Mendelsohn, Patton, Adams, Parker, Davies, Church ...

    But, moreover, it is a core part of both the Unitarian and Universalist traditions to seek wisdom wherever it may be found in the whole of the tradition of humankind. Seeking depth and truth "outside" of the UU tradition is, in fact, part of the UU tradition itself.

  2. Well said, Anon! I agree wholeheartedly. In my daily travels as a UU I'm inspired quite often, and it seldom has anything to do with "going outside."