The Quest

I am a deeply religious non-believer.     This is a somewhat new kind of religion.  
— Albert Einstein

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CreationAdamMIchaelangelo

Michaelangelo’s Creation of Adam
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Our ancestors lived in a world of gods and demons, magic and superstition. Although some still try to cling to that past from thousands of years ago, it is gone - dragons & unicorns, elves & fairies, angels & demons, gods & goddesses - all gone.


footprintsonthemoon

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Today our footprints are on the MoonOur world now is a world of stars & galaxies; DNA & computers. Now our science is far beyond any magic of the past. Caught between our own self destructive behavior and exploring the stars - we need new guides, not fading gods and childish thinking.

What do they have to tell us - our starry companions through time and space? Did they see the iron pounding in our blood forged in the stars before our sun? Did they find lucky little Earth hiding in a quiet corner? And did they see the cosmic winds wandering among the stars like sowers with bags of seeds -- sprinkling down upon Earth the beginnings of life?

HUBBLE-DFUV-900

The Hubble Deep Field view, a portion of the sky smaller than a fraction of our Moon.
These are not stars but galaxies, each containing hundreds of billions of stars.
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Come with me and let’s re-view our new world together. My own personal quest for Einstein's new kind of religion has led me beyond science, religion and society.  I’ll try to share where I’ve been in hopes it will help you on your way.  As children say when playing doctor: “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.” Of course they are talking about their private parts, but then our heart is our most private part, isn’t it?

Why am I doing this? I am an atheist who agrees with Jesus: “Is there anyone among you who would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread? Or would hand him a snake when he asked for a fish?” The answer is still the same: People’s hearts and minds are just as hungry today just as they were in Jesus’ time. And true, society and religion are still for the reward of the privileged. But we can return to Jesus’ mission, now ours, armed with modern tools, rescuing our valuables from religion and becoming more human. 

Obviously we are in a compromised position: We can’t survive without society and yet it is killing us. Are we still like the scared little monkeys running across the plains of Africa, trying to tell the difference a bush and a lion? - or is there more for us today? Thus, our work is cut out for us. As a priest and scientist, this is my attempt to provide us with something more  nourishing for our hearts and minds today.

Here our appeal will not be to authorities of the past, magic or the supernatural, but to what nature herself has to show us. While we will rescue some valuables from the religions and thinkers of our past, this is a journey of fading gods, of mileposts and shores left behind - a journey not for the faint hearted. As Columbus said: 

"You can never cross the ocean   . . . 
until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.

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Come, my friends, ’Tis not too late to seek a newer world. 

Come, my friends,

’Tis not too late to seek a newer world.

Push off, and sitting well in order smite

The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds

To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths

Of all the western stars, until I die.

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:

It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,

And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’

We are not now that strength which in old days

Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

  --  Tennyson

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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© Gareth Harris 2014       --------        Contact email: garethharris@mac.com        --------         see also: GarethHarris.com