Sunday, June 27, 2010

Adult Spirituality Group Notes: (6/27/10)

Today, the group discussed the chapter, "Unsaying the word of God":
--"We humans learn best when we can relate new knowledge to what we already know." (Rose) When we try to frame God through out word symbols, humans often have a tendency to become dogmatic and fundamentalist, boxed in by our own thoughts. When we approach God, we should use intuition to not limit and become bound by the thoughts we use to learn about God. For this reason, Francis (dark-haired) remarked that "The book's author, David James Duncan, takes a Dr. Seuss approach to diagnosing the contemporary American spirit."
* Our group feels that BCUCC is different than the churches that Duncan is critical of. "BCUCC gives confidence in your faith because it expands your thinking, giving windows, not walls." (Rose)
* We do not feel our church is that unique in this regard. "There is hope for common vistas between viewpoints in and among churches. For example, recently a Southern Baptist was on National Public Radio mentioning that loving Earth is loving God, and that he wanted church-goers to take the Earth seriously as one of our spiritual goals." (Charles & Francis)
* "Speaking of woo-woo though. Meister Eckhart, a mystic who lived in 13th century Europe) was considered apostate (a non-believer) by the Catholic church." (Bob)

We related to the author's discussion of a soul's hunger at the end of the chapter:
"On loving God: In the period of preparation for loving God, the soul loves in emptiness. It does not know whether anything real answers its love. It may believe that it knows but to believe is not to know. Such a belief does not help. The soul knows for certain only that it is hungry. The important thing is that it announces its hunger by crying. A child does not stop crying if we suggest to it that perhaps there is no such thing as bread. It goes on crying just the same. The danger is not lest the soul should doubt whether there is bread, but lest by a lie, it should persuade itself that it is not hungry. It can only persuade itself of this by lying, for the reality of its hunger is not a belief, it is a certainty."
(by Simone Weil, p. 31)

(The group had a broad, complex, in-depth discussion of the nature of God & the human necessity of belief in God's infallibility. I was unable to properly transcribe its nuggets to notes.)

NEXT WEEK: Read Chapter 3 "What Fundamentalists Need For Their Salvation" (p. 33 ->)


  1. It was a challenge to have a discussion about NOT defining God with words, but I thought Charles described the challenge beautifully as, "a tension we must play with". Humans like to define and compartmentalize and this chapter pointed out very clearly that language and thought are limited and God is not. I was moved by the idea that "God infinitely transcends all His Names".

  2. Thanks for all of your dedication to keeping this blog up and running. It looks like you are having a good discussion in the Sunday Spirituality Group!