The Conversation Develops:
As you take part in The Conversation, your edited remarks will be added here. Let us know what you think!
FROM: Daniel Bushnell, 3/22/99
I happened to catch the tail end of that Larry King Live -- and
liked what I heard very much. Each speaker shared his consciousness and
flavor quite beautifully -- and I thought it was a good mix of differing
viewpoints for each listener to discern for him/herself what rang true. As always, our personal level of awakeness seems to determine which will be our favorite speakers, writers, movies, conferences -- and
vehicles for sharing ideas. So it seems that all forms serve a purpose
-- and dissolve when their time and usefulness has passed. As has been
written in the wisdom, "All Forms Exist To Express Truth." So a forum such as you are creating is quite beautiful, necessary, and exciting! You will attract, I'm sure, a colorful coterie of some of
the most open-minded thinkers around. I admire your passion for
effective networking -- and applaud your tireless efforts to make that
FROM: David Tresemer, Ph.D., 3/22/99
I am intrigued by this conversation. I would like to recommend a book which I
recently wrote with two others, Signs in the Heavens at the End of a
Millennium, which speaks to these very issues. Visit us at www.StarHouse-asc.org.
FROM: Kynthia, 3/23/99
I agree with your New Story. Jesus was speaking of our awakening as he
had -- internalizing the Truth rather than looking for it outside of ourselves.
FROM: Rick Stoff, 3/23/99
There is no more empty feeling than watching stimulating guests being
led in a discussion about important issues by Larry King. He is unable
to get to the crux of any issue, pin anyone to their opinions or even
hold off from interrupting an important answer. Forget the lack
of follow up! That does not answer your query about a proper forum...but it might
explain some of the frustration.
FROM: Harald Walach, Ph.D., 3/25/99
I find a lot of richness in the traditional Christian (that is Catholic) rituals and teachings. It's a shame they are so badly taught and
interpreted. If it were not for my own experience I should not know
what to make of them. I am quite convinced that good teaching, backed by
personal experience, could bring new thrust to the old story.
I must say I hate traditionalists dishonoring other
traditions, since this is the least thing which would be considered Christian. Most traditionalists make the serious mistake of taking the gospel literally instead of seriously. I think that what we need is an evolutionary picture of
Christianity and the gospel. This has been initiated by Teilhard, but
not taken up by scholars widely. The problem is that most theologians
know next to nothing about science, biology, psychology, etc., and most
of them are afraid to make contact with each other. The situation is comparable to that which existed in the 13th century, when traditional teaching came to a dead end, and
only the integration of science, that is Aristotelian thought (in those
days by Thomas Aquinas and others) gave new thrust to the old idea.
Something comparable is overdue these days, which is what I think you are referring to. I don't know who could do that, and don't see anybody currently doing it.
FROM: Ilene Cummings, 3/25/99
How overjoyed I am to become part of the conversation! My own deep
immersion into the Episcopal Church, once again, is interesting to me. I have spent
good piece of my precious time deciding if I wanted to reaffirm my
to Grace Cathedral. I finally made the commitment on Sunday. A great
will happen on the vigil of Easter, and I look forward to it. What
seek is a community, ritual, beauty and prayer. These things make me stop
feel deeply in the heart that yes, the kingdom of heaven is within me. IS
I am more deeply spiritual and religious than ever in my life and it gives
no end of peace and joy.
THE NEW STORY
March 19, 1999
Our news business used to pay matters of the spirit little
attention, and what they did deliver was mostly Christian "church
news." This is according to a recent article in the LA Times by
John Dart, who is retiring after covering religion and religious
issues for the Times for 31 years. Until 1970, the lead
editorial in the paper, in their typical partiality to
Christianity, was a Gospel text of Jesus's birth. Since then,
however, things have been changing, with an especial opening to
new ideas and more reportage in the last couple of years. Many
papers now carry weekly religion sections and give front-page
attention to religious trends and events.
This new coverage is responsive to an evolutionary stream in
which people's eyes have been opening to more than the
traditional faith in which they were raised. Where religion had
become meaninglessness for many, the spiritual interests that are
getting reported on now are coming from a hunger for a re-
connection with the source of life. Unsatisfied with empty
ritual, people long for a vibrancy that is to be found in the
mystical heart of every sacred path. Jesus said those who
followed would be greater, expecting others to make the
connection he had to the Source, and all the core teachings say
it is an illusion to think that we are separate from that.
Indeed, what Jesus knew, that "I and the Father are one," is
becoming known to many now.
How we are doing at becoming one is a developing story that could
be the framing idea for religion pages now. They could be set up
as a countdown to the time when everyone's primary focus shifts
from outer reward to inner, and there is a mass awakening from
the dream of spiritual authority being outside one's own self.
I write this the day after Larry King had Franklin Graham, Billy
Graham's son, on his show (Larry King Live, CNN), along with Marianne Williamson, Deepak
Chopra, Robert Thurman, and a Kabbalistic rabbi named David
Aaron. I actually was jarred into writing by the position Graham
staunchly maintained. Sharing the stage with eminent non-
Christians, over and over he proclaimed that the only way to get
to anything worth living for is through Jesus. In fact, while
the whole program was devoted to opinions about perennial
questions, like what hell is like and why bad things happen to
good people, I thought about what would have been said if
comments instead were addressed to the awakening in progress.
Such a discussion could go beyond being interesting to being
As I look around the Internet, there are well-expressed opinions
to be found, but there is a dearth of formats for deliberation
among thoughtful people. If you are interested in what I've said
here, let me hear from you. I believe that new patterns of
perception get seeded in small hot-spots. May this be one of
them. I hope that my comments and your responses will contribute
to shaping the thoughts we need to hold for the next leg of the