Thursday, May 17, 2012

The I LOVE Project: A Pantheistic Perspective

It all started with the pantheist…
It was many years ago, when I was living in Iowa, that I’d gone to breakfast with family after church service. Our waiter was the most interesting fellow. He was jolly, good-natured, and actually sat down to converse with us, which is not common for wait staff to do, at least in my own personal dining experiences. He just seemed to generally love people…and life!
I was truly inspired by this waiter…this man who introduced a term to me that summed-up my inner knowing about religion and spirituality, yet I hadn’t known there was a word for it: pantheism. (Encarta dictionary states: 1. belief that God is everything…the belief that God and the material world are one and the same thing and that God is present in everything.)
And another source:pan·the·ism
the doctrine that God is the transcendent reality of which the material universe and human beings are only manifestations: it involves a denial of God's personality and expresses a tendency to identify God and nature.
any religious belief or philosophical doctrine that identifies God with the universe.
The night before receiving Tao, I read the Tao Te Ching, and it spoke to my soul on so many levels. So simple, yet complete. It’s like a part of me shouted, “I know this!” as though it’s familiar, yet there’s a certainty that I’ve never heard anyone speak of it, at least not in that way, at least not in this lifetime.
Receiving Tao was a very spiritually uplifting experience for me. I was filled with awe, and my master was a gentle man with kind eyes. He just looked…well, happy; genuinely happy.  The experience left me with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. And just thinking of how this sacred practice reached me is breathtaking; the paths that led me to that specific juncture in life… the paths I’d taken that led me to right there, right then; and how I got to right here, right now. Life’s web of events is amazing, and all that I just said doesn’t even begin to touch on the expansive miracle that it is!

“Just realize where you come from; this is the essence of wisdom.” (Ch. 11)

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