I occasionally check into an internet chat group called Mudcat, where people “talk” about folk music and everything else. Last year, on a thread called “No invisible means of support,” the talk turned to matters spiritual, and I wrote the credo that has gradually taken shape over the course of the last twenty years of my life.
I believe that the vast, positive, largely inexpressible capacities that we each have – capacity to love, to help, to understand, to share, to sing, to give, to be generous – add up to more than the sum of our combined parts, even though that sum would be incalculably great. Into that aggregate also flows the universal will to survive, which is observable in every little blade of grass, every dot-sized fruit fly, every life form including planets and seaweed and earthworms and eagles and people and all – all of those “Will-Survive”s add up to a great loud, deep, massive chorus of “WILL SURVIVE.” In my world-view, that great chorus has the attributes of a being. And I can talk to it. It is like floating down an immense river, which WILL find a way to go downstream no matter how large a dam it hits, and I can talk to the current, and sometimes it responds to me. When this understanding took form in my heart, I realized that the term “God” would work as a metaphor for what I meant, but at first I would always start out with a half-hour disclaimer about “what I don’t mean, not the old bearded guy…” Now I don’t waste my time trying to explain it. It doesn’t matter, really. The term God is always a metaphor; it isn’t the old bearded guy on the cloud, it isn’t just a version of Zeus, throwing down lightning bolts. We are all inter-connected, and the nature and substance of what connects us is this mysterious thing, to which I talk, and to which and for which I try to listen.
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