It’s been a little while since I’ve had time to write. Other concerns have demanded some attention, and between traveling and working all hours, the universe has reminded me again to slow down. Which is to say I have a cold. And when I have a cold, I generally go to bed for a couple of days, read and otherwise catch up on this and that.
I was several chapters into What’s So Great about Christianity, a book which I recommend others read but which I often wish to throw at a wall, when I began to hear those quiet little questions I only hear when I stop the incessant chatter. Why are you reading this? Are you really learning or just fencing? D’Souza makes some interesting points, but his often reverse causalities are unlikely to sway my thinking very far. When he descended to the defending Anselm’s Ontological argument, I knew there was little left here to be mined.
We have such a little time, and we given one great gift in the universe: our choice of how to use that time. With the thousand thousand limitations we put on ourselves, we still have so many choices we can make. And so I decided to step back and look again at those things that build, and for a time let go of fighting those things that destroy. We must defend the castle walls, but what is the point if we never sing?
My first step was in my reading, and I’ve done a thing almost unheard of for me. I’m re-reading a book. I never do that. My wife and I used to laugh when we found a restaurant that we liked, it was a shame we would never be back. There were always so many to try, we never thought to try one again. Then we did, and now we’ve found the love of favorite places to return to. There is a lesson in there on the importance of ritual that I will need to think on.
So I’ve returned to one of my favorite books, Life of Pi. He paints such a wonderful picture of religion. Not finding the heart of them all, but rather the truths that can be found in practitioners of them all. Those who think that all religions are true are generally projecting their own beliefs onto the religions. But there are pieces that can be teased out, and that are true, and are what pull us towards religion. Pi’s conversion to Christianity is so beautiful exactly because he molds the religion to his truth rather than this truth to the religion. I will try to write more of this later. It is at the heart of the misunderstandings of religion in the US.
After Life of Pi, I have some other religious books to re-read. Stranger in a Strange Land and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance for starters. I may even re-read The Spiral Dance. I am hesitant to get too “new-agey” because I often find the soil there very broad and very shallow. But it’s time for me to rediscover God in her aspects rather than focusing on the mistakes of others. I’ve been fighting too long; a soldier needs to come home to remember what he fights for.