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Clean Living

By: Rev. Leo Booth

Reverend Leo Booth is a recovering alcoholic and a spiritual consultant to a number of treatment centers. He will be blogging for Renew about spirituality and recovery. You can also connect with him on Facebook under Reverend Leo Booth or visit his website www.fatherleo.com.

The divinity within

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Sep 09, 2014

My journey has brought me from traditional Christianity to a metaphysical philosophy that recognizes a powerful divinity existing within each person; affirming that we were created to create. We don’t need to get spirituality, rather we need to discover it.

Now I’m on my journey. I thought it started when I was at theological college, studying the arguments between Saint Augustine of Hippo and Pelagius, but maybe it started earlier when I was a teenager and was introduced to Jabal-al-Din Rumi, known to the world as Rumi.

Rumi was a Muslim, a thirteenth-century poet who believed that divinity is within nature, as well as outside it, and he expressed his celebration of life with dance. His poetry made ideas come alive; divinity was made real. With Rumi, it is always a journey beyond words into ideas, and we never know where these ideas will take us. For me, they would take me beyond religious dogma into metaphysics; beyond belief into experience.

In a sense, we are all on a journey toward God, and because we have different ideas and experiences, our paths will be ever-changing. Rumi expressed his point of view in challenging poetry:

            Where am I going on this glamorous Journey?
            To your house, of course.
            (From Love Poems from God by Daniel Ladinsky)
 

This was also the message of Pelagius, a monk who was living around the fourth century, who was less poetic, yet who wanted to emphasize the potential perfection of the human being. When Pelagius was in Rome, he reacted against Augustine’s theology that made all of man’s activities dependent on God’s grace. Augustine seemed to leave no place for human choice and moral responsibility. Pelagius believed that Augustine’s doctrine of grace was a threat to human freedom. Ina similar way, Rumi suggested that through imagination we not only experience the divine, but we express it. Pelagius, theologically, suggested the same.

Reverend Leo Booth is a recovering alcoholic and a spiritual consultant to a number of treatment centers. He writes for Renew about spirituality and recovery. His latest book, The Happy Heretic, explores his movement away from traditional Christian beliefs and introduces the idea of religious codependency. You can also connect with him on Facebook or visit his website www.fatherleo.com.

 

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