Originally published in the South Jetty Newspaper
The more I learn the less I know. My spiritual journey is driven by curiosity: this desire, placed in my heart by God, to learn and explore the world continues to lead me deeper into the way of unknowing described by the 14th century English (anonymous) author of the Cloud of Unknowing. It is an approach to prayer that invites God's ineffable presence to so surround us that we might see the Mystery at work in all the world. The Spanish mystic John of the Cross wrote of God as "Nada" or "No-thing." This approach of leaning into the perpetual and mysterious presence of God is called Apophatic Theology. It begins by acknowledging that if God is God, then God is beyond our human comprehension. It is a way of trusting the mystery of God. Jesus, in St. John the Evangelist's Gospel, explains this sort of letting go of certainty when he yells at his disciples, "The one believing in me does not believe in me but the one having sent me." (John 12.44)
In the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer's Eucharistic Prayer C, we pray: "God of all power, Ruler of the Universe, you are worthy of glory and praise...at your command all things came to be: the vast expanse of interstellar space...And this fragile earth, our island home...from the primal elements you brought forth the human race and blessed us with memory, reason, and skill. You made us the rulers of creation. But we turned against you and betrayed your trust; and we turned against one another."
At Walt H. Sohl's funeral, I said I wanted to continue an unfinished conversation he and I started about humanity's place in creation, and how science and religion might remember their more harmonious relationship. On May 23 at the Gaff, in Port Aransas we continued this conversation. It wasn't a debate, but a celebration of the harmony between the two. It is one of the gifts given to me by my mentors, and I'd like to share the perspective. It is one that trusts both the scientific method to explore and understand, and the wisdom teachings of my religion which has taught me to experience the mystery of God's presence in all things, seen and unseen.