Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I've spent several weeks now writing posts in my head about how and why I left fundamentalism behind some twenty years ago. At the time it was happening, it was more a survival thing; I had reached the point where continuing in that direction was toxic for me, and I turned and ran. But I never really thought it out, and that seems important, even at this late date. But now that our summer has settled into as much of a routine as it is likely to, and I have an hour to myself before the kids are awake, I'm sitting here at the computer to type out what I've been thinking and the things I've been meaning to say just don't seem that important--the logical inconsistencies in believing in inerrancy; the need to pierce through the self-reinforcing nature of being inside an all-encompassing system of thought; separating out what is one's cultural heritage and what one believes.

It seems more important to point out what I'm moving toward rather than what I'm leaving behind. Which would be: a sense of gratitude flavored with a bit of humility toward the experience of life; a practical integration of what I theoretically believe with the details of being fully present in my current surroundings; and relinquishing the need for the false sense of security provided by the feeling that the universe is explicable. Which is all a very wordy way of saying I want to find meaning in my experience-- my experience as it is not as I want it to be-- rather than thinking about my experience. Meaning instead of meta-meaning.

Ack. Words words words. It's so hard to get them to say what you want them to say. That doesn't quite do it. It's a work in progress.

And my hour is up.



  1. Just starting to read your comments of late. It's interesting to contrast your latest with some of the previous ones because it seems you're delving deeper into the essence of your upbringing. I can only encourage you to continue the journey.

    Like you, I take comfort from many of the verses you cite and a good many others, as well. Where I run into problems is when I try to take a broader view of the Bible and realize it is , if not errant, at least diverse in its agenda.

    I've read "The Gnostic Gospels" by Elaine Pagels, in which she explores the more dominant role played by women within the Gnostic sects. The Gnostic's "interpretation" of the Bible is markedly different from the version s evolved from King James.

    So I am troubled, let's say, by the lineage of the Bible. How might it appear today if other sects of Christians had dominated the various translations? Were not some of the translations self-serving, reinforcing the religious hierarchy of the time?

    Yet, it's frustrating. At this point in my life I'm unlikely to become a Biblical scholar and like I imagine most people, I'm just looking for a little guidance from wiser heads than mine on how to live this one life with whatever grace and compassion I can muster.

    Like you, I lean toward trying to apply what I can glean from the Bible through my own reading to my daily experience.

  2. thank you, please contribute often as I can always use more input in this search. I have Pagels book but haven't read it yet, but my spouse did and we discussed it quite a bit. It is an interesting perspective. I'm working on more posts on this topic, but I'm not a scholar either, just trying to figure out how it all fits.