This I Believe

Rev. Dr. Linda - Mequon, Wisconsin
Entered on May 18, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

“Is the universe a friendly place or not?” This is a question I have pondered for over 20 years. I have explored the depth and breadth of possibilities and the following transcendent reality is what is true for me.

Desire for Wholeness or Healing

I support the principle of “One Source, Many Tributaries.” The Source is unnamable, unspeakable and indescribable—too vast for the human mind to encapsulate.

Religions are born from mystical consciousness and represent cultural filters that describe the numinous (supernatural) reality. They are essentially a derivative from primary spiritual experiences—an institutional-ization of this experience, a way of handling revelation. All religions are true at some level, yet none can encompass the “greater reality” which lies beyond words. They are very useful, however, in pointing the direction. Once a person has become a master in his/her own religious tradition, it can be used as a launch pad to experience the Source beyond the mind. Mystics of all traditions are living testaments to that.

Accepting that truth is not the exclusive possession of any one tradition or community allows me to understand the diversity of communities, traditions, understandings of the truth and visions of God in a new light. They are not an obstacle to overcome, but an opportunity for energetic engagement and dialogue with one another. It does not mean giving up commitments. Rather it means opening up those commitments to the give-and-take of mutual discovery, understanding and transformation.

Spirituality, with its emphasis on experience, allows me to transcend the limitations that have traditionally caused problems among religions. Because the nature of spirituality is transcendent (a longing for union and communion with God), it is unlimited by the distinctions that separate people (the framework of beliefs, values, traditions, doctrine, conduct and rituals.) Spirituality is an awareness of my connection to God, earth and others. It is a realm of “inner” rather than “outer” experiences, unified consciousness, holism, non-rationality and non-linearity.

As a result of spiritual practice, I experience an actualized moral capacity and commitment; nonviolence and reverence for life; a sense of interdependence; inner change; mature self-knowledge; simplicity of life; the desire for compassionate, selfless service; and the freedom to exercise prophetic action.

Each soul is potentially divine. I manifest this “divine within” by directing my consciousness beyond the outer forms of expression to the indescribable, ineffable, Source. This can be achieved through many modalities including worship, contemplative prayer, meditation, or spiritual exercises.

I experience Divine Union with the Source as a result of quieting my body, emotions and mind. Doctrines or dogmas or rituals or books or temples or forms are but secondary details. At this point, I am in the field of “Presence,” a nonlinear state of being, beyond space and time, and I am freed of the dualistic state of being (right/wrong, life/death, etc.). I experience atonement (at-one-ment) with the Source and function as an observer who directs the other levels (body, emotions and mind) creatively instead of reactively.

I believe that I (among others who are awakened to God consciousness) have the capacity to be a creative response to God’s will on the planet (i.e., co-creator with God). My opportunity is to learn to surrender and to be a responsible creator. The more I empty myself of personal egoic desires, the more I am available to align with the Source and become an open channel for the Light of the Holy Spirit.