Every 12 years or so I create a new book. My latest one, The Death and Resurrection of God: From Christianity to the New Story, has just been published.
To give you a taste, the rest of this column is a quote from the introduction.
“A new paradigm – the group of assumptions that create a container for our thinking and acting – is springing up from everywhere. A fundamental transformation at the foundation of our living and being is in progress. Call it spirituality, quantum thinking, or the Age of Aquarius, a yearning for a deeper connection with and a fuller appreciation of life and universe is emerging. The collective unconscious is stirring. Psychic energies are rising. A new story is taking shape.”
This book explores our present reality, outlines how we got here, presents my version of the new story, glimpses where we might be going and invites us to carry on with the journey.
I begin by stating some assumptions.
One: We live in an Armageddon time. The forces for life and the forces against life are in deadly combat. And the outcome is uncertain.
Two: There will be no divine intervention to rescue us.
Three: No scientific or technological breakthrough will save us from ourselves.
Four: The only way out of our present dilemma is for us as a human family to become more whole, aware, compassionate, and communal-minded, and all those values that make us truly human. In simple terms, we must grow up.
Five: Our energies, individually and collectively, must now be focused on making the necessary leap in consciousness. If we are to avoid the looming environmental and humanitarian disasters we must become sufficiently mature to live together in harmony with one another and Mother Earth and all creatures.
Six: We are in the process of doing that. Within this wondrous universe we are creatures with self-reflective consciousness. We are able to ponder ourselves, our world, our universe and wonder what it is all about and what our purpose and place in it might be. We have the capacity to be fully mature humans, but learning how to be what we can be has been and will continue to be a long and arduous task. We have now come to the place where we can shape or destroy our future. We have the necessary intelligence, knowledge, and skills. Do we have the wisdom?
Seven: Not easy for the Western mind to grasp is the universe yearns, in whatever way the universe yearns, for our wholeness. The universe itself is in the process of becoming conscious and needs creatures with self-reflective consciousness to achieve its goal. The universe is on our side but offers us tough love.
Learning How to be Human
My theme is the new story as the evolution of human consciousness. It is the story or myth we are now putting together from the best scientific and spiritual knowledge presently available.
Each religion and cultural tradition is one group’s attempt to become the human creatures we are capable of being. However, many of us now know we have burst the bonds of our particular religions and that each religion is a particular tradition’s spiritual story within the big story of an evolving universe and a growing consciousness.
This does not mean that we abandon our traditions. It does mean that we now see and experience them in a whole new light. They are not the containers of ultimate truth, but they are reservoirs of wisdom and insight. There will always be different understandings and a variety of approaches but we will all know ourselves to be part of the one great story of emerging consciousness within our universe and Earth. It is the universe story.”
I invite you to a book launch next Saturday, March 1, at St. Andrew’s United Church, Truro, from 2 to 4 p.m. I will give a short talk on the book at about 3 p.m.
I will be happy to see you next Saturday. And invite your friends.
Don Murray is a retired united minister. He lives in Shortts Lake.