On ReligionKahlil Gibran
Have I spoken this day of aught else?
Is not religion all deeds and all reflection,And that which is neither deed nor reflection, but a wonder and a surprise ever springing in the soul, even while the hands hew the stone or tend the loom?
Who can separate his faith from his actions, or his belief from his occupations?
Who can spread his hours before him, saying, “This for God and this for myself; This for my soul, and this other for my body?”All your hours are wings that beat through space from self to self.He who wears his morality but as his best garment were better naked.
The wind and the sun will tear no holes in his skin.
And he who defines his conduct by ethics imprisons his song-bird in a cage.
The freest song comes not through bars and wires.And he to whom worshipping is a window, to open but also to shut, has not yet visited the house of his soul whose windows are from dawn to dawn.
Your daily life is your temple and your religion.Whenever you enter into it take with you your all.Take the plough and the forge and the mallet and the lute,The things you have fashioned in necessity or for delight.For in reverie you cannot rise above your achievements nor fall lower than your failures.
And take with you all men:For in adoration you cannot fly higher than their hopes nor humble yourself lower than their despair.
And if you would know God be not therefore a solver of riddles.Rather look about you and you shall see Him playing with your children.
And look into space; you shall see Him walking in the cloud, outstretching His arms in the lightning and descending in rain.You shall see Him smiling in flowers, then rising and waving His hands in trees.
Can we not say that a religion that nurtures dependence and reliance on the church by restricting ministry to correct doctrine and an emphasis on conformity does more harm than good?
People return to a source again and again when the source not only nourishes, but also causes or facilitates growth and expansion. It’s not where you find and maintain your water, it’s what you do with the water to create the fields of corn.
It’s what your children will do with the water to continue providing for themselves.
Unity in worship and group sustenance is an attribute of strength in any congregation. A united experience of the divine where congregational members each have a deep, powerful AND intimate sense of their relationship to God is directly connected to the ministry of Jesus as the Christ.
Sermons on saving and redeeming, on gratitude and guilt are not sufficient.
Sermons on faith and prayer are more important and ought to include very strong encouragement to meditation, personal reflection and internal visualization – the sort of thing that produces cornfields where none existed before.
Sermons on righteousness must not be sermons on self-righteousness.
Sermons on judgment day should not be given in such a way as to incite thoughts of how righteous it feels to be judgmental.
Goodness should be taught as something desired rather than something by which salvation is earned.
For every sermon on obedience, there ought to be ten sermons on compassion.
For every sermon on The Rapture, there ought to be ten sermons on “The Kingdom of God is Within You.”
Jesus did not teach conformity, but lived a life of non-conformity.
Jesus did not teach obedience as a primary virtue. Rather, the Lord pointed us toward love – of God and our neighbors.
Mysticism as a personal practice does not have complex formulas or step-by-step instructions. It requires no conformity or uniformity in protocol and procedure, only faith, prayer, meditation, personal reflection and internal visualization.
Nothing else is needed for growth toward God.
If one cannot relate with mystical love and awe toward Divinity, religion is not doing its job.
If you enter into a mythological reality willingly …
and if you never forget that you are in a mythological reality …
whenever you meet with co-believers of that reality …
you can be one with them …
Cause when the meet is over … you remember your willingness and how you felt when you suspended your disbelief to be among friends.