Monthly Archives: December 2013

“‘Atheism’ tells me what I am not, and I yearn to know what I am.”

Because I don’t feel stuff-and-logic-based explanations deep down in my toes. There are no miracle stories of flying children there, or brothers reborn into the land where the sagas come from. The language of ‘stuff is all there is’ tells me that I can — even ought to — be rational and sensible, but it doesn’t make me want to be. ‘Atheism’ tells me what I am not, and I yearn to know what I am. What I am has a spine, it’s a thing I must be true to, because otherwise it evaporates into the air, dirt and water of the hard world.

Maybe I — we — need to start small, rebuilding gods that we talk to, and who talk back. Or just one whom we can plausibly imagine, our invisible friend. Maybe part of our problem is that we don’t actually want to talk to the voice of Everything, because Everything has gotten so unfathomably huge. George Fox, the founder of Quakerism, didn’t have to think about light years, let alone billions of light years. The stars now are too far away to be our friends or speak to us in our need. Maybe we could talk to a god whom we imagined in our house. Maybe we could ask what is wanted, and hear what is needed. Maybe that god would tell us not to tramp over the earth in armies, pretending we are bigger than we are, and that dying is OK, because it’s just something that happens when your life is over. Maybe we would ask for help and comfort from unexpected places, and often enough receive it and be thankful for it.

—Nat Case, “I contradict myself”

http://aeon.co/magazine/world-views/im-a-quaker-but-i-dont-believe-in-god/

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Welcome to Polygnostic Ways

Polygnostic Ways is a blog dedicated to transforming the collective understanding of divinity, and empowering those who have a sense of divinity to navigate the confusing potpourri of concepts, institutions, and claims surrounding the divine in the world today.

This blog does not claim to have absolute answers regarding the nature of the divine, or regarding the natures of specific divinities.  This is an agnostic venture which seeks to explore the ways in which people observe, understand, and interact with the divine; because while the absolute nature of the divine cannot be known, it is also true that many people have personal gnosis— personal knowledge of the divine gleaned from experiences and contemplation.

For some, divine connection and knowledge are crucial to fulfillment.  One need only to look at the vast history of mystical experiences and deep religious devotion to understand that people are capable of varying degrees of such connection, and that people seek it in earnest.  That has not changed today, and it should not be expected to change even as scientific research has made it clear that many holy books’ narratives are unlikely to be literally true.  The yearning for the divine is more than dogma or superstition.

As such it needs to be addressed in a responsible way, just like any other yearning.  Furthermore, it is important to note that it is a yearning which can be satisfied.  What seekers in this vein chase after isn’t nonexistent, because such people also find what they are looking for, and more often than one might think.

Whether you are such a seeker, or someone who has found your divinity, or someone who is hoping to gain a better understanding of what people seek in the divine and why, welcome!  May this be a valuable resource for you.