Friday, December 24, 2010

A Free and Responsible Search for Truth and Meaning

How's that? If I didn't know any better, I'd say this one encourages you to learn your own way through what you believe in, yet still providing a safety net. Most of the other churches and places of worship I've attended tell you what the answer is (and it's never 42) instead of asking you and letting you decide what your ultimate truths are.

Free and Responsible
Free and responsible, not Free but responsible. I like to think there's a difference in those two.

Free but responsible gives me the feeling that you're welcome to search for what you want to search for, as long as you don't take it too far, and who determines what "too far" is? The church I grew up in taught us in Sunday School by taking choice excerpts from the holy writ and asking us to simplify them and explain what they meant and how they applied to us. "But responsible" because those excerpts were carefully chosen for their inherent worth as decided by the church. A child holding an adult's hand on a journey, the adult holding the map and pulling the child back when it steps outside the planned route.

Free and responsible gives me the feeling that you're not only welcome to search for truth and spirituality wherever you like, however you like, and if you ever find yourself in too deep, there's a friendly hand there to help guide your way out again. It's not a leash to keep you safe, but a candle and a ball of string to help guide you out of the deepest, darkest maze.

Life is a journey, not a destination, and everyday we are different people that we were the day before, not just on a molecular level, but also on a spiritual level. Every experience we have affects the way we look at things and we're constantly passing through new experiences.

Life is a search. Maybe there is no ultimate question or ultimate answer, or maybe there is, but if you ever stop looking for it, you'll never find it.

Truth and Meaning
For those who've been reading my views from the beginning, and for those who haven't, from my perspective, truth and meaning are far from absolute. Instead they are relative to each and every one of us, but to ourselves alone, they are absolute. The truth in my life does not affect the truth in yours directly, until I strive (as now) to share my perspective with you. And to be clear, I do not share my perspective in order to coerce you to see things my way, but to show an alternative to whatever you have found, and to help show how I think and why I think.

Truth? Meaning? I cannot say there is one or either or both, but if I ever do, I will do my utmost to share it, as mine own way to helping you with your free and responsible search.