ON A RECENT CHRISTMAS POST, there was a small case of mistaken identity. A few dispeptic souls mistook me for someone else—a sort of religious fundamentalist, perhaps, while others thought me more of a stone-hearted reductionist. Of course both were wrong. But in order to avoid further confusion, I will do this. I will tell you, my friends, exactly what I believe—although I think it has been pretty well implied in my books, songs, and writings. Here are the basics:
I believe in things seen and unseen. I believe in the courage and curiosity of Seekers, and I believe in the respect and devotion of those who tend the fires of Tradition. I believe in sunshine and rain, in darkness and in light. I believe in literature and art. And in math, although I poorly understand it. I believe in Spirit. I believe in living—as Dickens said—in the Past, the Present, and the Future. I believe in picking on bullies, and in being fierce for those who are not as strong. I believe with Longfellow that, ‘All things are symbols: the external shows of Nature have their image in the mind.” I believe in trees and I believe in chickadees. And turtles. I believe in children and in elders. I believe in Jesus and in his command that we see ourselves in one another. I believe in Lao Tse and his sacred Tao. And I believe in the Buddha and his single lotus blossom. I believe that every flower, as the poet says, “enjoys the air it breathes.” I believe in White Buffalo Calf Woman and the sacred pipe of indigenous Americans, and in the Dreamtime of Australian aborigines. I believe in Albert Einstein and his General and Special Theories of Relativity, in Science and its challenging of dogmas (including its own) in the eternal quest for truth. I believe in love, family and friendship. In warm embraces and warm kittens. I believe that we all walk the same path under the stars, and that we’ve all gotta give each other room.
But maybe that’s too much. I could just boil it down to… This is what I believe:
That we belong.
That everything matters.
That everything is connected.
That the universe is more than we know.
That what is beyond and before and behind the universe is more than we know.
The world is more than we know.
Our lives are more than we know.
It’s all more than we know.
And it is good.