Such a busy couple of weeks, very little time to add to this thread. Just a short quote today sent to me by a Buddhist friend who is part of my theological Google+ Circle, which for the moment shall remain unnamed.
The line is from Thomas Moore, from his ” The Soul Of Religion”. Moore is a Lay Servite Brother, a Jungian psychotherapist and a religious academic probably best known for his 1982 “Care of the Soul”.
" Belief is a word of love, not thought. It comes from a Germanic root meaning to hold dear. Belief is an endearment….people may try to show us how our belief is wrong or deluded, but we may be profoundly attached to it. We love life as we see it and don’t want others to take that precious vision away from us. All human love is complicated, even religious belief…..For all the talk of dogma and teaching, attachment to a religion or a spiritual system is almost always a matter of the heart rather than the head…….I began my life as a believer by agreeing to a certain vision and understanding of life that I received from my church. Now, after going through many phases of belief, I believe in many things-art, religion, cultural diversity, peace, nature, honest work, real community, passion. These are secular things but as the objects of my belief they become part of my religion. My belief has expanded, and yet it is still rooted in the vision I received the very moment I was born. And as long as I still believe, I know I can still love."
I love the expansive nature of the belief he describes. The gospel expands our mind, our vision and the Spirit expands our hearts, our embrace. Anything less seems rather mean in comparison.