Sunday, November 7, 2010

Experience Vs. Belief

It's been a month since I've last shared with you. Since early October, I've attended the UUCF Revival in Dallas, visited a local United Church of Christ congregation, met with my church needlecraft ministry, spent an afternoon tending to a friend after her first colonoscopy, biked on a new walking/biking trail near my home and felt hot Summer turn to crisp Fall.

Experiences of God. Encounters with the Transcendent.

In their book "The Knitting Way: A Guide to Spiritual Self-Discovery", Linda Skolnik and Janice McDaniels write:
You don't have to believe in the Transcendent to encounter it. Ideas and beliefs don't bring understanding. Honoring and participating in the craft of life does. (pg. 51)

This is the essence of Unitarian Universalist spirituality, and it resonates deep within me.

The authors go on to share ideas surfaced at a 1995 National Institutes of Health meeting which focused on spirituality and religiousness as factors that affect an individual's health (pgs. 50-51). The first statement of the meeting included the clarification: "Spirtuality is concerned with the Transcendent, addressing ultimate questions about life's meaning, with the assumption that there is more to life than what we see or fully understand."

At the end of this chapter (pgs.51-52), the authors present a scientific research scale that can capture the depth of a person's daily connection with the Transcendent and possibly relate the results to health or treatment outcomes. The scale is called the Daily Spiritual Experience Scale (DSES). Because the scale is copyrighted, I will not copy its 16 items here, but point you to an original paper and encourage you to look it up in "The Knitting Way" to get a feel for how it might be helpful in personal spiritual practice.

How deep are your experiences, how often do you encounter the Transcendent?

1 comment:

  1. Greetings and Blessings.

    Thank you for your kindness. A small group of us at UU OuterBanks have met twice so far and the spirit has been warm and loving. We are blessed with three beautiful singers in our group - in our closing they each give us warm music, one after the other.

    We will be meeting on the 28th to begin Advent.

    Blessings to you.