This is more of a personal post not really tech related, so be warned.
I just got done doing my Easter celebration. I went for a run with my dog while the moon was still shining over the bay and the sun was just starting rise. After so much foul weather the beautiful Spring morning in freshly scrubbed air felt sacred. But I was also listening to a discussion on my IPod from one of my favorite NPR programs Open Source Radio. My IPod lets me time shift lots of audio content. There. That’s my tech talk for today.
Specifically, I listened to a discussion of the book “What Jesus Meant” with the author Garry Wills and others. It was an ‘enlightening’ discussion and gave me a great deal to think about regarding Jesus and religion in general.
I am a recovering Catholic. That is, I was raised Catholic, attended catechism and Catholic summer school with the nuns (there was no regular Catholic school in the small town were I grew up). But for many years I have been among what polls have indicated is the small minority of people who do not consider themselves to be Christian in this country. I am surrounded, then by people who take the Christian faith seriously. My wife and daughter belong to a large evangelical church. Even so, I remain highly skeptical of organized religion of any kind.
On the other hand, I have always been highly curious about spirituality and the history of religion. I have read widely on a variety of Eastern and Western religions and spiritual practices. I’m not a scholar by any means. More of a dilettante. Regarding the Christian tradition, though, I have read enough about the history of the bible and the formation of the religion to understand how much human politics have muddied the waters in attempting to appreciate the teachings of Jesus.
But on days like this (not religious holidays, necessarily, just days where the world and my soul feel united if only for a few moments) I feel connected to something spiritual. I feel it physically and I feel a lifting and brightening of what I can only describe as spirit. And that is enough for me. Except for this post (which is highly uncharacterisitc for me) I do not talk about my spirituality with others, and feel highly uncomfortable with public displays of religious beliefs (as when I occasionally attend a church service).
So, this brings me roundabout back to the show on “What Jesus Meant” – and did not mean. According to Wills, Jesus was about transcendant spirituality. He was not about using religious affiliation as a political cudgel. And it is only in this private and transcendant tradition that can I feel a direct connection to Christ on this day that celebrates his personal transcendance.