Religion, Philosophy and Spirituality
My love and God's Light be with you in all that you are and in all that you do.

I am a member of the Tahlequah, Oklahoma of the Unitarian - Universalist Church. Their acceptance of a wide range of spiritual paths, kindness toward all seekers and the use of reason to try and understand our spirituality is very appealing to me personally. Also their community is wonderful and inspiring lives of passion, compassion and community.
THE WORLD'S NEED. 
So many gods, so many creeds, 
  So many paths that wind and wind, 
While just the art of being kind, 
  Is all the sad world needs. 
Custer and other poems. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
W. B. Conkey Company Chicago, Ill. (1896) 

Religion

I was raised a Presbyterian and have attended Lutheran and Catholic services though I have not joined either church. I spent quite a bit of time in Sunday School as a child, and in Bible Study as a teenager. Of course I have also gone on to studying meditation, New Thought, Theosophy, Zen, and Chivalry (which in its way is very religious). My quest for a deeper spiritual understanding lead me to becoming ordained in the Universal Life Church. I was part of a local congregation from 1994-2000. My main activities there were Thursday evening men's group meetings and organizing our annual pilgrimage on May 23rd, the Feast Day of St. Andrew Bobola.  I have studied and read a lot about many religions and philosophies as part of my quest for understanding myself. This has lead to everything from Christian Bible studies and Catholic mass to tarot cards and astrology! I find post-Jungian psychology and mythological archetypes fascinating as well.



Pilgrimages

I believe that life is in many ways like a pilgrimage and so during many times of my life, I've gone on physical pilgrimages as a way of experiencing and expressing my spiritual pilgrimage.

In addition to our local annual "St. Bob" [Saint Andrew Bobola] pilgrimages, I have also gone on pilgrimages to holy sites.
 


Temple Church
London, England.

Fitzalan Chapel
Arundel, England.

Tower of London
London, England

St. Mary's Abbey
York, England

York Minster
York, England

The Shrine of 
Thomas Becket
Canterbury, England.

Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury, England


Next to the plague of Saint Christopher at the spanish mission in Carmel.

Which sites are next? Would you believe Oklahoma? Hopefully a return to England, perhaps with side trips to Wales and Ireland and a pilgrimage to my ancester's lands (the Mannings) on the South Downs.  As a writer and biographer, I also plan to travel to the birthplace of Ella Wheeler Wilcox (Johnstown, WI) and her homes (Windsor, WI and Short Beach, CT). And as an SCA Knight, I hope to make it one day to Pennsic War (in PA).



New Thought

Often described as "The Practice of the Presence of God for Practical Purposes" New Thought and Theosophy have become increasing valuable to me as a part of my spiritual journey. Ella Wheeler Wilcox's The Heart of New Thought introduced me to the Theosophical Society. Here are links to the New Thought Home Page. I enjoyed Ella Wheeler Wilcox's thoughts and poems on religious ideas so much that I've devoted a large part of my time as volunteer service developing The Ella Wheeler Wilcox Society to help share her writings with others.

Other Thoughts

I have found many stories, books and tales of different spiritual paths that have brought greater understanding to my life. One of these are the stories about the hindu diety, Ganesha, Lord of Obstacles. It's said that he places obstacles in our path to keep us from going in the wrong directions and also removes obstacles to help us along the right path. Either way it brings a new way to look at problems, not as difficulties to hate, but as either steps along the right road or helpful detours. Ganesha home page.  As Ella Wheeler Wilcox said, "Whatever is--is best."

The book which started me on the path of post-Jungian psychology and male archetypes is King, Warrior, Magician, Lover : Rediscovering The Archetypes Of The Mature Masculine by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette. I also have read many other books by James Hillman, Thomas Moore, Richard Bach and Robert Moore. A few years ago I attended a talk by Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul.

I am an ENTJ personality type on the Myers-Briggs test. My top "spiritual gifts" taking the Easum "Discovering our Place in God's World" workbook were Administration, Leadership, Knowledge, and Wisdom. Makes sense given the nickname for the ENTJ personality type, "Fieldmarshal"!
 

Help is available!
Books on the web which have been useful during difficult times for my friends and I include:
The Bible [many editions] How to Survive the Loss of a Love.
Love 101 : to love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. How to heal depression.
For an uplifting daily word, try Silent Unity's Daily Word


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Madeby
: Rich Edwards
E-mail:edwardsr@evergreen.edu
Last modified: 1/31/2001