I've spent the last 50 years or so steeping myself in the world's religions, and I've done my homework. I've gone to each of the world's eight great religions and sought out the most profound scholars I could find, and I've apprenticed myself to them and actually practiced each faith.
Human intelligence is a reflection of the intelligence that produces everything. In knowing, we are simply extending the intelligence that comes to and constitutes us. We mimic the mind of God, so to speak. Or better, we continue and extend it.
Exclusively oral cultures are unencumbered by dead knowledge, dead facts. Libraries, on the other hand, are full of them.
Poetry is a special use of language that opens onto the real. The business of the poet is truth telling, which is why in the Celtic tradition no one could be a teacher unless he or she was a poet.
The faith I was born into formed me. I come from a missionary family - I grew up in China - and in my case, my religious upbringing was positive. Of course, not everyone has this experience. I know many of my students are what I have come to think of as wounded Christians or wounded Jews.
God has to speak to each person in their own language, in their own idioms. Take Spanish, Chinese. You can express the same thought, but to different people you have to use a different language. It's the same in religion.
Science is like a flashlight in the hands of people living in a huge balloon. They can illuminate anything in the balloon, but cannot shine it outside the balloon to see where it is floating - or if it is floating at all.
I am critical of modernity giving science and technology a blank check as if it were the fountain of all truth. That is not true. And I think I may have introduced a word which has now caught on quite a bit, scientism. Science is good. It simply reports a discovery.
Science is empirical, all about physical senses that tell us about the world. But physical senses are not the only senses we have. Nobody has ever seen a thought. Nobody has ever seen a feeling. And yet thoughts and feelings are where we live our lives most immediately, and science cannot connect with that.
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