For most of my life, faith, church, God were formative, central, deeply influential …
Then, over time, with much reflection, and long walks, on many paths, in Nature … I emerged. A merging of reasonable reflection, life experience and time.
Here’s how I look back at those trails now, and look forward to the pathways ahead.
My Personal Path Beyond Belief
I’d be interested in your responses.
I just signed up to get your emails a few months ago. Was interested in your history as we lived very near the GTU in Berkeley for 25 years and went to FCCB, which was across the street from First Presbyterian. By any chance did you ever meet the minister from FCCB, Bill Gregory? You remind me of him and his way of looking at religion.
Well articulated summary of your path toward wholeness. Brief but rich. Great model especially for those who’ve left faith behind and are uncertain about the way forward.
Thanks, Allen. I suppose we all may share that uncertainty of the unmarked trails ahead. Cheers.
The file is too small to read on my phone at the moment, but isn’t the awakening process unbelievable as a believer? I never would have guessed, but the key to understanding the mysteries is unbelief.
I believe you’re on to something there, Jim!
Belief distorts the interpretation of the experience. Only by believing in nothing can you experience the awakening without your culture and anchoring biases skewing the perception.
Because of my own background in shelter services, I see your “…focus on compassionate presence rather than faith.” as a pivotal point between mere skepticism and a positive attitude that sustains and fosters hope.
Appreciate your noting that, Jim. It seems to me that’s the “face of freethought” we most need to present to a world skeptical of skepticism. Be well.
A friend, who doesn’t “do blogs,” wrote me this note: “I find what you’ve written to be extremely helpful and I particularly like the combination of the linear, sequential developmental stages coupled with the image of wandering paths that have woven their way, perhaps more circuitously, throughout them. Both were – and still are – significant, complimentary, necessary and instructive. I also resonate with the “merging of reasonable reflection, life experience and time” that have led to emergence. This piece led me to remember and to offer gratitude for the pivotal persons, places and institutions that I have encountered along my own pathways and to remain more alert for those that lie ahead. I continue to deeply enjoy your writing.”