|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:
Abraham J. Heschel, Richard W. Chilson, Wayne Teasdale, John C. Haughey, Ernest Holmes
You may be familiar with the story of the six blind men who encountered an elephant for the very
first time. They stood in a circle around the pachyderm and attempted to describe it. The first blind
man, who was at the back end of the elephant, reached out, felt the tail and said, "An elephant is a
tall creature with two legs; there is no face save for a long thin nose that waves in the air." The next
blind man said, "No, an elephant is but a long column that is wider at the top."
The third man concurred,
"Yes, he is a one-legged creature." The fourth blind man added, "With large toenails on the one foot."
The fifth blind man ventured, "Surely we four agree." But the sixth blind man, at the elephant's head,
exclaimed, "You are all blind with your hands as well as your eyes! What nonsense you make! An
elephant is a tall, two-legged animal; one with eyes, mouth and an extremely long, articulate nose."
We are all "blind" when it comes to accurately describing God. How can we identify the Divine?
Knowing to Whom and for What we pray becomes a significant concept to ponder if we are
serious about discovering our identity, our purpose and our place in the Universe.
Photo by Lisa Bowman All rights reserved
How do we identify the divine?
Divine is a message that discloses unity where we see diversity,
that discloses peace when we are involved in discord. God is He
who holds our fitful lives together, who reveals to us that what is
empirically diverse in color, in interest, in creeds--races, classes,
nations--is one in His eyes and one in essence.
God means: No one is ever alone; the essence of the temporal is
the eternal; the moment is an image of eternity in an infinite mosaic.
God means:Togetherness of all beings in holy otherness.
When God becomes our form of thinking we begin to sense all men
in one man, the whole world in a grain of sand, eternity in a moment.
Excerpted from "Between God and Man,"
by Abraham J. Heschel
Simon & Schuster, 1959
The Christian theologian St. Anselm defined God as "That than
which nothing greater can be thought." God is the Ultimate,
The One without whom there is no other. The word "God"
refers to the only one Reality...
God is at the same time totally transcendent and totally immanent.
God is beyond all attempts to encompass God and at the same
time closer than your breath. God is Lord of Creation and
the most intimate Friend or Lover. To describe God both
of these poles must be kept together in tension.
Even then God easily escapes our grasp. St. Thomas Aquinas
spent most of his life writing a book gathering together the best
we could know about God. One day he did not appear at his
writing bench. His disciple finally found him in the chapel. He
had had a mystical experience. He had met God face to face.
All he could say when his disciple asked him to return to his
writing was, "It is all straw." He never wrote another word.
Excerpted from "Prayer,"
by Richard W. Chilson
Sorin Books, 2006
Photo by Stephen Bowman All rights reserved
It is fascinating to see how science is catching up to mysticism in its
understanding of this fundamental unity. As we have seen, quantum
physics has contributed to a new understanding of identity...
British physicist David Bohm, (an) important voice in quantum theory
and mathematics, has developed a new paradigm to advance this under-
standing of interconnectedness. In his groundbreaking book Wholeness
and the Implicate Order, Bohm shows that the universe and all reality
is both enfolded or part of an implicate order, and that this
implicate order unfolds through time...
Bohm conveys his understanding of the total order of wholeness through
the hologram. When a holographic image is fragmented, each fragment
contains the whole image. The image is never divided or broken. This
suggests that the total order is present in every part. Everything reflects
and implies everything else, and each thing is intimately part of every-
thing else...All are part of the web of existence, and nothing is excluded.
Excerpted from "The Mystic Heart,"
by Wayne Teasdale
New World Library, 2001
When the Spirit comes It touches those to whom It is sent
with subsistent Love. It brings men in some way into the
actual presence of Love, the Love that exists between Father,
Son, and Spirit. Depending on their receptivity, the Spirit em-
powers men to become the reality they are being touched by:
lovers, in other words. Through the Spirit, one's eyes can come
to perceive, hesitantly at first, murkily for a long time, but
unmistakably, nonetheless, new vistas and undreamed-of
panoramas of reality, "for the Spirit reaches the depths of
everything, even the depths of God" (I Corinthians 2:10).
Excerpted from "The Conspiracy of God: The Holy Spirit in Men,"
by John C. Haughey, S. J.
Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1973
The Last Word:
...All through the ages those who have been truly
spiritual, no matter what outward form their
conviction took, have had this in common:
they have believed in something greater
than they were, and a something that
responded to them.
Excerpted from "Can We Talk to God?"
by Ernest Holmes
Health Communications, Inc., 1992
Totally Random Bonus Quote:
If you could get rid of yourself just once,
the secret of secrets would open to you.
The face of the unknown, hidden beyond
the universe would appear on the
mirror of your perception.
Rumi (13th century)
Persian mystic, poet