|Welcome To The Religion Network!
I'm Lisa Bowman, editor of The Religion Network, a multi-faith Web site. This site provides inspirational quotes through an
exploration of a new spiritual theme every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The Religion network is offered with the
conviction that inspiration can be found in all spiritual faiths, and furthermore, that finding the commonalities
among the world's religions is more healing than pointing up their differences.
Religion as an institution is a precious gift, blessing individuals and uplifting communities. However you choose to
worship, I hope this site enhances your journey. If you'd like to know my story, click on biography.
ON TODAY'S SITE:
Kathy Ganino, Swami Vivekananda, Lenda Honegger, Rumi, Thomas Merton, Eberhard Arnold
There was an excellent response to our last published topic, Defining the Divine, which began with a
retelling of the old story about the blind men trying to describe an elephant.
Patty Johnson sent me
a link to a song by David Wilcox; it's a slightly different, even better version of the elephant story.
Actually, it's a Hindu version and it's wonderful.
w Take a listen: Elephant Story. (It's cut #11)w
Also on today's page is a piece by subscriber/writer Kathy Ganino, in which she shares her ponderings
after reading the elephant story; and truly, sharing our vision of God is at the heart of our spiritual journey,
since in our blinded mortal state we each "see" only small parts of Him. By listening to what others have
been blessed to discover about our Creator, our concepts are enlarged, flung afar to float on fresh waters.
Steeping our consciousness in unfamiliar waters can produce tea that at first tastes strange to sip.
Sometimes it's better to just inhale the fragrance of a different theological view before taking a big
gulp. But if you're willing to stay open, you'll be astonished to discover you can recognize many
familiar aspects of
Him in the kaleidoscopic colors of all religions, philosophies and thoughts.
Photo by Lisa Bowman All rights reserved
How Do I See God?
I heard a story about six blind men who each touched a different part of an elephant and
saw in their minds six different visions of an elephant. Some of each vision was right;
some of each vision was wrong. Together they created a vision of an elephant by they
still couldn’t know exactly how the elephant looked. Before they could appreciate and
experience the greatness of the elephant, they first had to touch a smaller version.
This story made me ponder…………
How do I see God? One day with my eyes closed, I feel the sun beating on me or the
rain or wind against my face. I feel God’s warmth and gentleness. With my eyes open,
I can see birds flying with freedom, trees growing and changing color in the seasons.
I know God’s beauty.
With my ears, I hear those birds happily chirping and water bubbling in the
nearby brook, or waves pounding the shores of the ocean.
I know the music of God.
With my hands, I can touch a small baby and feel the softness of his skin. I can dig
in a garden, loosening the soil and plant a small seed. I know God’s love for me
that I can experience such beautiful things to share with that child as he grows, or
to make something new in producing food and flowers to enrich others on earth.
With all my senses, I am awestruck by the gifts God has given me.
I am then motivated to use the final gift – my voice --
to tell all about what I see, what I hear and what I feel.
And when others tell me what they can see, what they hear,
and what they feel do I realize I saw very little.
I surround myself with excitement.
God is so Great that we have to share as much as we can to completely see Him.
But, like the elephant that was too big for the 4 blind men that they still couldn't
completely visualize his greatness, they had to touch a smaller version.
So God sent a small baby. God sent Jesus. Now, we can all see God.
Where can we go to find God
if we cannot see Him in our own hearts
and in every living being.
Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)
Founder of Ramakrishna Order of Monks
Where Are You?
I cried unto God, "Where are you, Lord?"
The answer came, "Where are you?"
Christian Science writer
Photo by Lisa Bowman All rights reserved
Both light and shadow
are the dance of Love.
Love has no cause;
it is the astrolabe of God's secrets.
Lover and Loving are inseparable
Although I may try to describe Love
when I experience it I am speechless.
Although I may try to write about Love
I am rendered helpless;
my pen breaks and the paper slips away
at the ineffable place
where Love, Loving and Loved are one.
Every moment is made glorious
by the light of Love.
Rumi (13th century Persian poet)
From "The Love Poems of Rumi,"
Harmony Books, 1998
All truly contemplative souls have this in common:
not that they gather exclusively in the desert,
or that they shut themselves up in reclusion,
but that where He is, there they are.
And how do they find Him? By technique?
There is no technique for finding Him.
They find Him by His will. And His will,
bringing them grace within and arranging
their lives exteriorly, carries them infallibly
to the precise place in which they can find Him.
Excerpted from "Thoughts in Solitude,"
by Thomas Merton (1915-1968)
Farrar - Straus - Giroux, 1958
The Last Word:
God does not work by only one method,
paint in only one color,
play in only one key,
nor does He make only one star
to shine onto the earth.
Eberhard Arnold (1883-1935)
Writer, philosopher, theologian
Totally Random Bonus Quote:
Prayer has the power to change mountains into highways.
Wesley L. Duewel
Author; former missionary to India