The Quest


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


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“A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and humility hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge.”  -- Carl Sagan

Our ancestors lived in a world of gods and demons, magic and superstition. Although some try to cling to that past, it is gone - dragons and unicorns, elves and fairies, angels, gods and demons - all gone.

Today our world is stars and galaxies, molecules and computers. Now caught between our own self destruction and exploring the stars - we need new guides, not fading gods and magic thinking.

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?

Science? - cold and emotionless OR exciting leaps over the edge of what we know? As we break free of the frozen worldviews of the past, science can help us restore our humanity, feelings connected not only to the stars, but also to our animal and plant cousins on this planet. Addressing what lies deep in our heart and between our ears - we will also explore the rarity and value of each and every one of us.

Why am I doing this? I am an atheist who agrees with Jesus: “If your child asks for bread, will you give them a stone?” While we want the answer to be no, much of what society and institutional religion teaches us is for their benefit, obviously fabricated and bogus. We are in a compromised position: We can’t survive without society and yet it is killing us. So our work is cut out for us. As a priest and scientist, this is my attempt to provide us with something more mentally and emotionally satisfying and nourishing - plus exciting. 

Take two steps. Like a dance, we will use two steps:
1 - a journey through the science of the last 500 years to give us a shared vocabulary, and
2 - reflection and meditation to consider what our new knowledge means.

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 valuable things 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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Next >>>> navigate using the Site Map or take the next step to The Unfolding

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NOTES: 

Thanks for visiting this website.
Although I did not anticipate it, this seems to be an expanding and never ending project. 

Your input is welcome and encouraged. Help me!
Please email your ideas to garethharris@mac.com
and I’ll start posting comments or contributions.

HINTS:

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it just occurred to me after writing this, that this site follows Joseph Campbell’s outline in
  
“The Hero with a Thousand Faces”:

1 - the call to challenge
2 - the journey of trials
3 - return with the prize or new knowledge 

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Disclaimer:
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Quotation of excerpts here are under fair use doctrine of copyright law.

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