Innerweave: The Wholeness Story
By Wil Alexander, PhD, Professor of family medicine, School of Medicine
Robert Frost once said that “Religions start as poems do, with a lump in the throat, to put it mildly, or with the bush going up in flames, or the dove coming down out of the sky. The most that most experience is a sometimes experience of the lump in the throat.” For most, religion is a matter more of custom, yet for many, according to Frederick Buechner, the well known writer on spirituality, “however dimly, a doorway once opened, a word was spoken, and however shakily, they responded.” With so much available, the question is raised “Why not more?”
Buechner comments further, giving hints as to what is
“The debris of life continues to accumulate, the Vesuvius of years scatters its ashes deep and much gets buried alive, but even under many layers the tell-tale heart can go on beating still.... Religion as a word points to that area of human experience where in one way or another we come upon mystery as a summons to pilgrimage; where we sense meanings no less overwhelming because they can only be hinted at in myth and ritual; where we glimpse a destination we can never know fully until we reach it.
He continues: “We are all of us more mystics than we believe or choose to believe--life is complicated enough as it is after all. We have seen more than we let on, even to ourselves. Through some moment of beauty or pain, some sudden turning of our lives, we catch glimmers at least of what the saints are blinded by, only then, unlike the saints we tend to go on as though nothing has happened. To go on as though something has happened, even though we are not sure what it was or just where we are supposed to go with it, is to enter the dimension of life that religion is a word for.”
We are now in the times of celebration of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Might we allow the mystic in us to celebrate the more that is there?