Sources of Inspiration

As a thinking, rational human being, I find useful inspiration from several sources:

Christianity from Conservative to Liberal to Progressive to Heterodox. 

I started my religious journey in a Southern Baptist church, where I was baptized in my teens. I was a Baptist by birth, having parents of that denomination. When I came of age, I left the Baptist church behind because I came to see that they had doctrines I could not support.

Christianity is the culture and faith in which I was raised, and my struggles within it and with it have taken up a good part of the past five decades.

Much of what passes for Christianity is a religion about Jesus and about the Bible, rather than the religion of Jesus. This means that the influence of Paul and other preachers have overwhelmed what Jesus was teaching. I am heterodox in that I have moved away from the about toward the of .

Part of this movement is a recognition that worshipping the Bible more than you worship God is a form of idolatry. Part of it is also studying the history, strengths, beauty, barbarity, contradictions, and background of Christianity and the Bible so I can better understand how they fit into my path.

I am also heterodox because I reject creeds and doctrines which defy reason and the historical record.

Unitarian Universalism.

Of all the churches which I have attended over the years, the only ones where I have found a truly open-mind and open-heart community were the Unitarian Universalist Churches. Being a UU is about following your own spiritual path while giving others the freedom to do the same. It is also about learning all you can about those other paths so you can find inspiration wherever it may be.

So, being a good UU means not just tolerating other faiths, but studying them until you come to understand what they are and how they contribute to our understanding of life and the divine.

Discordianism.

While Discordianism is often presented as either a joke or a religion, I see it as more of a philosophy. As such, it is one that most closely follows the calling of my heart. You can read about Discordianism online, I posted an explanation of sorts on Memphis Service Ministries here (What the Heck is Discordianism?), and I will probably post some articles about it here eventually.

Philosophy

Many of the big questions that religions have attempted to answer have been tackled by philosophers and they have sometimes done a much better job of it than any religion. While I have yet to find any one philosophical school or movement that has all the answers, and my own sense of what is true has evolved over the years, I still come back to this fertile field for a harvest sometimes.

Nature

Seeing a sunrise, walking down a tree-lined street, feeling a cool breeze on my skin, watching kittens playing, seeing the patterns that connect all things — these inspire me at times.

Books

I have lost count of the number of times that a book has blown my mind, reshaped my understanding, or simply caused me to stop & ponder. As an avid reader, I find the voice of the Divine speaking through books quite often, no matter what type of book the author may have believed they were writing. Books truly are the only way to know what those who went before us thought, felt, and did.

Blogs

From the #Blogging101 class which I took in August 2015, I received a much better awareness of the wisdom, humor, and inspiration available on blogs. So, I have started reblogging articles that struck me as useful, uplifting, or otherwise of benefit. You can see those under the category reblogged. I have created a page that lists all the blogs that I am currently recommending – Blogs To Follow. One site that I really love is A Year of Living Kindly; here is a page of Kindness Resources from that site that is particularly nice: A Year of Living Kindly – Bibliography.

Here is a page of sources of knowledge that I really like: What Are the Sources of Knowledge

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