Sunday, July 6, 2014
I have finally ploughed through all the things that had gone unattended while Annie and I were gone on our vacation and am now ready to update this news column.
It has probably not been apparent, but I have been updating the focus form on the Opthē page in small ways quite regularly as a part of the ongoing process of keeping the wording as sharp and too the point as possible. This is important because if the form is used as designed, recited every day as a part of a disciplined praxis, the words will become part of a conceptual and emotional construction through which one will interpret the data of experience. That makes constant review and revision the form an essential spiritual task.
You may notice that I have changed the Opthē logo. This is something I have been working on for a long time and I finally came up with one that I like. I coined the word "Opthē" as a combination of the prefix Opth- (vision or seeing), and The- (meaning or god). One of the key concepts behind my spirituality is the tension between the part of our brain called the neocortex and that part made up of the hypothalmus and thalmus. Pat and I speak of the effects of these two necessary but often conflicting brain areas as the Butterfly (neocortex) and the Reptile (brain stem). The new logo contains an suggestive representation of the side view of an ascending butterfly. The logo design is still in process and suggestions are very welcome.
It is good to be back and I must say that while I it will always be a work in progress, I have become much more confident of the value of my spiritual work and convinced of the need for a new spirituality that is grounded in scientific thinking and based upon the welfare and well being of everyone and thing on the earth if we are to survive our own behaviour. I am looking forward to presenting this spiritual thinking and the model for its praxis in the coming months.
Hikers are very conscious of landscapes and the subtle differences between them. One of the joys of hiking is the experience of passing through a variety of landscapes. Each landscape offers a particular geography, geology, flora, fauna, and other elements all of which exist in an interdependent relationship with each other. Those of us who take the time to investigate the world around us on or off the trail, aided by guide books, interpretation by knowledgeable people, our own past experiences, and a keen desire for new discoveries, find our sense of awareness, understanding, and connection to life's landscapes richly expanded.
Our physical surrounding is but one of many landscapes in which we live out our lives: psychological, social, political, economic, geographical, and spiritual, to name a few. Some of us wander around these landscapes absorbed in self-concern and pay little attention to where we are. Some of us spend most or all of our lives trying to stay in familiar areas of our landscapes and have little curiosity or knowledge of what lies beyond the territory we know. There are others of us who are born with a curiosity and appetite for exploring every inch of our landscapes and for discovering whatever secrets they may contain.
Those for whom the horizon represents the point where adventure begins; where the jagged crumbling lip of a towering precipice is an opportunity to reconnoiter; where curiosity and imagination calls them to go even farther: these are Trekkers.
We know the names of some of the great Trekkers who committed their lives to the exploration of one or more of the human landscapes in which they lived: Lao Tsu, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Yeshua ben Yosef, Paul, Di Vinci, Siddhartha Gautama, Hypatia of Alexandria, Muhammad, Copernicus, Francesco di Bernardone, Voltaire, Michelangelo, Galileo, Gandhi, Marx, Newton, Elizabeth Anscombe, Bach, Mozart, Van Gogh, Einstein, Simone de Beauvoir, ML King, Alan Watts, and the Dalai Lama to name but a few. Each of these Trekkers, packing all their gifts and foibles, stepped out into unknown territory, answering that call to seek more, learn more, love more, share more, and be more. We also know that these Trekkers did not set out alone. They began where others ended their journey and with the knowledge and equipment they inherited. Trekking is an altruistic activity. It is done for the education and edification of everyone. They invited others to join them in order to enrich everyone's experience and to be more effective in their combined mission and commitment to the common good.
So what is TheoTrekking? It is how my friend and collaborator, Pat Genereux, and I refer to our work as innovative theologians; exploring the landscapes of the human need to make meaning in search of the sacred!
Theologians critically examine human behavior in relationship to those things in which we invest our trust and which in return provide our lives with significance (gods). This is done as part of the ongoing effort to understand and live life with as much emotional and intellectual authenticity and integrity as possible.
We view life as an ongoing trek of discovery. It is our experience that knowledge and understanding, including the meaning we make of them, are always incomplete. While on this journey, we encounter and celebrate new discoveries about ourselves and our world. If we have the courage to honestly investigate them, these discoveries can take us beyond the edges of our social, cultural, political, and religious maps.
You are invited to explore this site and the experiences, discoveries, and ongoing theological explorations recorded here. If what you find on TheoTrek.Net moves you to want to comment or contribute to the conversation, please contact us (see the contact form in the sidebar). We are eager to hear from you.
The content of this site is intended for the theologically curious and those who seek meaning for their lives that they have not been able to find in what is offered in our culture. It is NOT for the theologically dogmatic. If you find the questioning of commonly held beliefs about God or the existence of the supernatural to be offensive or theatening, please exit this site immediately; there is nothing for you here.