Saturday, December 28, 2013

Metaphorical language and spiritual beliefs

Over the holidays I went to a sing-along Messiah.  For those who haven't ever done this, it is a performance of Handel's Messiah, with the audience singing the choruses.  If you love to sing, it's both challenging and a lot of fun. I hadn't done it in years.

This performance was put on at the local Mormon church, and it was my first time there -- maybe the first time in a Mormon church at all.  The solo singers were wonderful, and they enunciated clearly as well, so I had ample opportunity to take in the words.  And I thought, "My, what a weird religion Christianity is! What is all this supposed to mean?  No wonder I never could believe my childhood religion!" 

But I was also moved.  And it is that ability to move that Handel, and the Bible verses he used, were aiming to elicit.  The doctrine itself is meant to be non-rational, because ultimate truth is beyond rationality, beyond the mind.  And the deeper the spirituality, the more that is true. 

I think about the assumptions behind non-dual spirituality, of which there are plenty, and realize that these too, to those who haven't experienced what they point to, don't make sense. Religious ideas arise as a way to describe the ineffable.  They just point to a truth that can't be spoken. 

So, then, are all religions equally true?  I wouldn't go that far.  And I do think different religions stress different aspects of truth.  But it's important to keep in mind that I was called to the path I have been on in this life not because it is in any way "truer" but because the language that is used to describe ultimate truth is language that made intuitive sense to me as well as moved me.  When we are looking for a path, it's important for both of these elements to be there. 

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I love to get comments from readers who want to mutually explore Truth as we at the same time remember that the words are just fingers pointing...