Search Results for 'religion'

If Goddess religion is not to become mindless idiocy, we must win clear of tendency of magic to become superstition. Magic - and among its branches I include psychology as its purpose to describe and change consciousness - is an art. 

~ Starhawk

Link: ThinkExist

Category: Quotations

Tradition: Contemporary Paganism

· magic · psychology · Goddess religion

In future or contemporary Goddess religion, a photograph of the earth as seen from space might be our mandala. We might meditate on the structure of the atom as well as icons of ancient Goddesses; and see the years Jane Goodall spent observing chimpanzees in the light of a spiritual discipline. Physics, mathematics, ecology and biochemistry more and more approach the mystical. New myths can take their concepts and make them numinous, so they infuse our attitudes and actions with wonder at the richness of life."

(The Spiral Dance, p.220) 

~ Starhawk

Link: The Washington Post: On faith blog

Category: Quotations

Tradition: Contemporary Paganism

· science · spirituality · Goddess religion · Gaia · Earth · space

one of the spiritual stories I draw strength from is the story of evolution, the amazing and miraculous account of the earth's birth in fire, of life coming into being and overcoming crisis after crisis with creativity, invention and cooperation. This view of evolution draws heavily from the Gaia theories of James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis, that reveal the importance of cooperation and interdependence in evolution, not just competition. And it's a powerful story of hope for these times of ecological crisis, showing us "...that life by its very nature is a great power of creativity and transformation, a power that will prevail."

(The Earth Path, p.48) 

~ Starhawk

Link: The Washington Post: On faith blog

Category: Quotations

Tradition: Contemporary Paganism

· science · spirituality · Goddess religion · Gaia · Earth · evolution · ecology

On faith

Faith is a state of openness or trust. To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float. And the attitude of faith is the very opposite of clinging to belief, of holding on. In other words, a person who is fanatic in matters of religion, and clings to certain ideas about the nature of God and the universe, becomes a person who has no faith at all. Instead they are holding tight. But the attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be.

~ Alan Watts

Link: dance of the elements

Category: Quotations

Tradition: Eclectic spirituality

· faith · trust · belief · religion

Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life

“Karen Armstrong's 12-step guide to becoming a better human being is a profound and lucid mixture of philosophy, theology and self-help. It's a perfect detox for the a write, she has many strengths: she is spry, eloquent, pacy. Unlike so many proselytisers, she manages to assert her ideas without being pompous or self-important...Crucially, Armstrong has a knack for grappling with complex ideas in the lightest of ways...She also displays an impressive degree of emotional intelligence...She uses her scholarly knowledge not as a blunt instrument with which to embarrass and humiliate the befuddled reader, but as a generous frame on which to lay many soft, welcoming cushions of learning” — The Times, 7 January, 2011

by Karen Armstrong

Link: Amazon

Category: Recommended books

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· Karen Armstrong · philosophy · religion · compassion · life

LGBT Religious Archives Network

Profiles of inspiring Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender spiritual leaders, plus general resources and historical material.

Link: LGBT Religious Archives Network

Category: Recommended websites

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· LGBT · lesbian · gay · bisexual · transgender · history · religion · spirituality

Twelve Concrete Ways To Live A 'Compassionate Life'

Putting the 12 steps to a compassionate life into practice.

Armstrong admits compassion isn't a very popular virtue. "People often prefer to be right," she says. And though she offers these 12 steps, it's not a get-compassionate-quick scheme. "This is a struggle for a lifetime, because there are aspects in it that militate against compassion."

Armstrong says she struggles with compassion, "all the time, every day." She admits to a sharp tongue, and "like everybody, I feel I've suffered, I feel I've been damaged, I meditate unpleasantly on my enemies and feel this corrosive sense of anger."

But her religious studies kept guiding her back to the theme of compassion. In histories of Jerusalem, God, even fundamentalism, compassion popped up again and again. And that's what frustrates her.

"The religions," she says, "which should be making a major contribution to one of the chief tasks of our generation — which is to build a global community, where people of all opinions and all ethnicities can live together in harmony — are seen as part of the problem, not as part of the solution."

The golden rule, a commonality throughout religion and guiding force for compassion, "asks you to look into your own heart, discover what gives you pain, and then refuse under any circumstance whatsoever to inflict that pain on anyone else." It's tricky, because each situation and individual must be evaluated differently.

But making space for the other "in our minds and our hearts and our policies" is essential to Armstrong. "We are always talking about the importance of democracy. But I think in our perilously divided world, we need global democracy, where all people's voices are heard, not just those of the rich and the powerful."

For example, it's hard to love your enemies. We are driven by our legacy from our reptilian ancestors, Armstrong says. It "makes us put ourselves first, become angry, [and] when we feel threatened in any way, we lash out violently."

Link: NPR books

Category: Spiritual practices

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· Karen Armstrong · philosophy · religion · compassion · spiritual practices

Short history of medicine

"I have an ear ache."

2000 B.C. - Here, eat this root.
1000 A.D. - That root is heathen, say this prayer.
1850 A.D. - That prayer is superstition, drink this potion.
1940 A.D. - That potion is snake oil, swallow this pill.
1985 A.D. - That pill is ineffective, take this antibiotic.
2000 A.D. - That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root.
2005 After the planned supplement legislation: That root is BANNED! Take this combination of pills and antibiotics! 

by Anonymous

Link: The Open Hand Foundation

Category: Spirituality humour

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· humour · religion · medicine

Interview with Karen Armstrong

by Al Jazeera

Link: YouTube

Category: Videos

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· Karen Armstrong · philosophy · religion

Suffering and the Power of Compassion

by Karen Armstrong

Link: YouTube

Category: Videos

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· Karen Armstrong · philosophy · religion · suffering · compassion

Bringing the Wisdom of Socrates to Modern Dialogue - Karen Armstrong

by Karen Armstrong

Link: YouTube

Category: Videos

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· Karen Armstrong · Socrates · philosophy · religion

It matters what we believe

Some beliefs are like pleasant gardens with high walls around them. They encourage exclusiveness, and the feeling of being especially privileged. Other beliefs are expansive and lead the way into wider and deeper sympathies.

Some beliefs are like shadows, darkening children's days with fears of unknown calamities. Other beliefs are like the sunshine, blessing children with the warmth of happiness.

Some beliefs are divisive, separating the saved from the unsaved, friends from enemies. Other beliefs are bonds in a universal brotherhood, where sincere differences beautify the pattern.

Some beliefs are like blinders, shutting off the power to choose one's own direction. Other beliefs are like gateways opening up wide vistas for exploration.

Some beliefs weaken a child's selfhood. They blight the growth of resourcefulness. Other beliefs nurture self-confidence and enrich the feeling of personal worth.

Some beliefs are rigid, like the body of death, impotent in a changing world. Other beliefs are pliable, like the young sapling, ever growing with the upward thrust of life.

It is indeed important what (humanity) has believed. It is important what we believe.

(From Today's Children and Yesterday's Heritage

More about the author

~ Sophia Lyon Fahs

Link: The Journey of a Thousand Miles

Category: Quotations

Tradition: Unitarian

· belief · spirituality · tradition · theology · liberal religion · religion · inclusivity

The Abraxan essay

The Congregation of Abraxas was an order of Unitarian Universalist (UU) ministers and lay people, created after the 1975 Buck Hill Falls UU Ministers Association (UUMA) Convocation. Abraxans saw worship as the center of our liberal religious life and work, and joined together to develop liturgical materials through a collegial process. Drawing on Eastern and Western religious themes, the group was concerned with the forms and content of both public worship and private devotional discipline. Friends received mailings from the group. General Members participated in collegial writing and decision making. Ordered Members took upon themselves a special discipline of work and sharing. Membership in all levels was for a year at a time.

This essay, originally a pamphlet (1976), appears on pages 22-26 in the 207-page 1980/81 volume, The Congregation of Abraxas Worship Reader and Supplement: Essays in Worship Theory from Von Ogden Vogt (1921) to the Unitarian Universalist Association Commission on Common Worship (1980)


  1. What Does Worship Mean?
  2. Public Worship
  3. Worship in the Age
  4. The Unitarian Universalist Embrace
  5. The Unitarian Universalist Opportunity
  6. Our Work


by Von Ogden Vogt

Link: UUA Worship Web

Category: Recommended websites

Tradition: Unitarian Universalist

· UU · spirituality · worship · religion · theory