Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ocean of Life

In his stirring sermon entitled 'The Art of Life,' Rev. Galen Guengerich submits that as humans we must decide on the type of ocean in which we want to swim throughout our lives. Much as fish easily (and figuratively!) waste away their lives without ever taking notice of the water in which they live, so too we humans have a tendency to accept our ways-of-being as fixed and unmalleable - unaware of the dynamism in environment and social structure that shape our beings. In contrast, the art of living speaks to our capacity to craft and mold our attitudes towards the people and places we encounter daily.

The Sri Guru Granth Sahib describes the ocean in which we have our being as one of divine proportions:

ਸੁਖ ਸਾਗਰੁ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾਇ
The Name of the Lord is the Ocean of Peace; the Gurmukhs obtain it (29.2).

What ocean do we construct when we orient ourselves towards and attune ourselves to, according to Forrest Church, the "mystery that dwells within and looms beyond the limits of our being" (Lifecraft, 105)? What if we were to paint an expansive, generous and compassionate imaginary?

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