I had a nice chat with our new Spiritual Formation director at Grace today. Her name is Amber Maples. She asked to meet with me which is flattering and very nice indeed. I’m hoping that she and I will become colleagues. She borrowed a couple of books.
I finished Siegel’s Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human. He ended the book with a summation that drew on stuff I have seen him present on YouTube. I am still processing this book and these ideas. Siegel has some clarity around thinking about mind and presence. I like the idea that our minds are not only inside us but between us.
Many of Siegel’s notions have left me in a different place thinking about religion. If mind exists between people, then people who are having religious experiences (such as conversion experiences) could be conceptualizing these experiences as part of their faith when there is scientific evidence that when people collaborate (linking and differentiate) the resulting integration could be a lot like the religious experience.
This is weird for me since I have spent a lifetime viewing Christian experiences with extreme skepticism. I am still quite skeptical and dislike emotional manipulation in any form. But I have known Christians and others that I thought somehow had integrity inside these religious experiences. Siegel helps me with that.
Speaking of Jupe getting religion, I listened to part of a fascinating presentation on YouTube this morning. It was a 2013 Harvard Divinity School colloquium called “Have Mercy: The Religious Dimensions of the Writings of Toni Morrison” This particular session was about sermons in Morrison’s work. Several people read from her work and commented. Some excellent stuff. I haven’t made my way through it yet but if you like Morrison or are interested in some fine ideas about preaching I recommend it. Morrison apparently finishes the session with a Q & A.
Siegel and Morrison made me think of this song. I listened to it as I cleaned the kitchen this morning.
I found this searching for a video of this song. Cool.
Finally I’m about half way through Cory Doctorow’s Radicalized: Four Tails of Present Moment.
I like his work and am looking for fiction and nonfiction to help me through through present insane times.