Monday, November 30, 2009
Operators are Standing By
I pray every day, and though my prayers don't conform to any recognizable religious format, they are nevertheless sincere. Once upon a time I avoided the word "prayer" like the plague. Indeed, based on what came up when I googled that word, prayer is a heavy, awful thing that made me feel oppressed and frightened. Yikes! Reading some of that stuff made me feel like I couldn't breathe. My goodness! No wonder people shrink away from any mention of the process.
As far as I'm concerned, prayer is not particularly religious. Instead, for me at least, prayer is a dialogue between me and Mystery. Here I am, creature of earth, of definite shape, corporeal, manifest, following the arrow of time through my life, and yet, through prayer, I can relate to the unformed potential of the brilliant light of the unknown. Cool, eh?
I like praying. It's a part of my relationship with God, God being (to me) not the sociopath of the Torah, nor is God well represented by the deities of any of the great dramatic pantheons of myth, but rather is best described as the mystery of the way in which, as Aristotle said, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. You know what I'm talking about? When I listen to a string quartet playing Mozart, for instance, that sound can become way more than notes on a page, stringed instruments and human beings. It's not always more than that, or at least sometimes I can't sense the divine in music, but sometimes, listening to music or gazing at art, or a sunset or feeling my love for someone, or cooking or experiencing the drama of weather (or any other thing) becomes way more than meteorology, pigment, music, or kinship. To me, that Way More Thing is God. And yeah it is a mystery, utterly unknowable, unshaped, not manifested, completely transcendent yet utterly immanent, too. It is miraculous to me that I can be in relationship to the Way More Thing.
A lot of the sites that came up when I googled "prayer" have sections devoted to making prayer "more effective." So that's an interesting concept, eh? I wonder what they mean by that. Any ideas?
I'm thinking about this today because someone I know has asked me to share thoughts about prayer. Also, a long time ago a blog brother asked me if I could think of another word for prayer. I tried, but I can't think of a better word. These days I love the word 'prayer' - it's soft and graceful, like a light breeze, like a whisper.
I find the topic endlessly fascinating and could continue writing at length, but I will spare you. After all it's Monday morning following (in the U.S.) a long holiday weekend.
Happy Monday to all. Onwards and upwards to December.