Friday, July 26, 2013
I am a Unitarian Trinitarian. Unitarian because I believe in the oneness of the Holy One; trinitarian because all good things come in threes. Threeness has a long and regal philosophical history. The Neoplatonic philosopher, Proclus, saw triads everywhere. His fundamental trinity was that of Being, Life, and Intellect, but triads pervaded throughout the structures and processes of the universe. For me, my foundational triad is Rock, Tree and Water--just like what I see as I watch the noontime scene from a cliff overlooking College Cove. In contrast to the Christian Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, my trinity is impersonal, almost pantheist in scope. No Holy Cross, but groves of Holy Trees.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
The photo above was taken at College Cove near Trinidad, CA, a personal sanctuary where I return to for spiritual sustenance year after year. Yesterday it was shrouded in clouds; other times, the sea glistens under afternoon sun. Each spiritual experience differs from day to day. I cannot help but to muse that liberal religion, like my Unitarian Universalism, spurred the transition from Christian dogmatism to a personal experience of the Divine, close to the time of the Impressionist painters' revolt. The Transcendentalism of Emerson and Thoreau, the nature spiritualism of John Muir, and the influx of the Yoga philosophy of Swami Vivekananda at the Parliament of World Religion's in Chicago in 1893, all fostered the shift from religious creed to lived religious experience.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Last week, Bernard Barryte, the Curator of European Art at Stanford's Cantor Center for the Visual Arts, showed me splendid collection of Bronze Age Cypriot Art housed in the crypt beneath the museum. It was mostly pottery and figurines. Islands are hubs that store up traces of immigrant cultures. With luck, we can decipher each cultural layer and reintegrate them into a historical montage. Each of us, like an island, is a montage of ancestral influences, a kaleidoscope of genetic signals from all over the world. Contrary to John Donne's dictum that "No man is an island", I believe that everyone is an island--islands that form nodes of interpersonal, ancestral and cultural streams of influence.
Monday, July 15, 2013
The regions within and surrounding Mediterranean Sea have been the source of numerous fascinating religions and spiritual practices. These range from Greek philosophy and Roman mystery religions to Judaism and early Christianity. I've always been drawn to these religions and have applied their spiritual gems to my practice as a psychotherapist, a spiritual director and a minister. This blog is dedicated to exploring the interesting nuances of Mediterranean wisdom--both as practical tools for a rich spiritual and ethical life and as a means for understanding the rich interplay of Mediterranean religions throughout history.