Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A New Earth

Sunset at Drum Bay, near Galveston Texas
(c) 2005 Wendee Holtcamp

So today was one of those crazy mixed-up-rotten-all-wrong-inside-out-everything-goes-wrong-days. But honestly nothing major. Plans just kept changing like a million times! Ah well. mama told me there'd be days like this...

I took my friend Marian Haddad, who I met at the 2006 University of North Texas Nature Writers Symposium where we both were invited speakers, to the airport and she is on her way to SYRIA! That is her native country, where her parents were born, but her first time visiting. She is blogging about it for the San Antonio Express News so you can check that out and follow along her journey!

I watched the first video of Oprah and Eckhart Tolle last night for the global "Summer School" and it was an hour and a half! It was kind of humorous because he was talking about how we should live in the now, live in the moment, and be fully present. So many people are mult-tasking so instead of fully listening to someone, you are also checking your email, or instead of paying attention while brushing your teeth, your mind is off somewhere else (and I am the queen of multi-tasking). It's a very Zen thought to be in the moment. But the video was so long I was checking my email and replying... kinda ironic. But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.

I liked that at the very beginning, the first question Oprah got on the video webcast was from a listener who wanted to know how Oprah reconciled her Christian beliefs with A New Earth which seemed at times to use wisdom from other spiritual practices or apparently contradict with Christianity. She said that with 6 million people, she did not believe that Christianity is the only path to God. She said it's her path and her tradition. But A New Earth is more about the spirit than about a "religion" per se. It's actually quite brilliant and philosophical. I am loving it.

Of course I must add James Dobson would probably, certainly, accuse Oprah of "distorting the Bible" as he did to Obama. That man is out of his mind! I have a great deal of respect for a lot of what Dobson has taught about Christian living but when he starts to muck with politics, or science, that starts to raise my hackles. Jesus is not a White Anglo-Saxon Republican!!!! Plus, I tend to agree more with Oprah than Dobson on these matters of faith when it comes to other religions and that I am opposed to fundamentalism and extreme literalism. However I believe something that is a little bit different than Oprah - or maybe she didn't get into it in the time she had to answer the question. I believe that although there is wisdom and there are central truths in other religious traditions, still Jesus came to bring a new message that is not present in other religions, and that is grace, mercy, forgiveness & the message that we can not "work" our way to God or achieve God's favor through our own efforts. I'm not saying Oprah doesn't believe this because she surely does if she's a Christian.

I don't know the totality of her beliefs, so I'm just making my own comments here, but though much of his teaching throughout his earthly life IS shared by other traditions, I believe that there is a new order, a new covenant, a new message - good news - from Jesus life and death nd resurrection that is not present in the other religious traditions. It's there - He is there - to pull the world toward a better way of living (and Tolle quotes Jesus frequently in his book). Though all the wars and hate would make you think it hasn't made a difference, I do believe it has, and it is. I know that in my very most personal life I daily continue to see God's love and life in action manifested through the people He brings into my life and the way they show their genuine, continual, grace-filled, merciful love for me. Truly it is a miracle.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wendee, I've watched your posts on Ecolog for some years now. You've raised some excellent issues there and I think you are tuned into some important vibes in the American psyche.

I've started a fishing/conservation blog that you might find interesting...

...and a related nature blog that you may enjoy as well.

I've especially been pushing "The Philosophies of the ISA", a conservation credo for a smallmouth bass fishing and conservation group in Illinois.

Stop by some time if you can. You'd be a welcome voice.

Tim B. Smith