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When I say I am spiritual but not religious, I usually mean that I recognize
that I am part of a grand Totality, part of a cosmos which, in encompassing all
that is, is infinitely creative and transcendent; and yet, is also a cosmos of
which I am a necessary, inextricable part, even though I am mortal, and thus it
is also a cosmos that is finite, ephemeral, and mysterious--this is my spiritual
nature. What I mean by not being religious is that I no longer subscribe to the
formal orthodox beliefs of organized religions, with all their rites and rituals
emanating from mythic conceptions of the universe. In the age of Einstein and
Darwin I have no need of the God hypothesis as an explanation for the nature of
being. Humans are the symbol using animal, and "God" as a cognitive symbol
(concept) for the Creation, and its implied, though invisible Creator,
originating in the ignorance of our ancestors, is a useless and irrelevant
legacy beside our evolving scientific understanding. But residing within my
being, and resonating AS my being, there is a need for synergy, fusion, one-ness
with, as Native Americans might put it, "all my relations." Spirituality is
about relationship--to the sky, the earth, the flora and fauna that surround me,
the visible and invisible presence of animate and inanimate forces, too numerous
to name, too powerful to ignore. And a framing of the moral temper of my
being's relations to all of that. I have found that while religion may aid in
acknowledging the awesome sacredness of Being, it cannot and does not explain
it, nor is helpful, ultimately, in living sacredly. (By living sacredly I mean
living in the full awareness of the preciousness of life, one's own and that of
the creatures and plants we devour.) Religions' mythic symbolism keeps getting
in the way. One can discover and live a life of sacredness without religion. I
do so. This is what I understand Mr. Wright to be suggesting in his basic
thesis about the Evolution of God. The "Evolution of God" is really the
evolution of humanity towards a more perfect moral order--with or without the
God hypothesis.