Another book of note to readers of Sam Harris is Meredith Jordan's "Embracing the Mystery: the Sacred Unfolding in Ordinary People and Everyday lives," which encourages readers to totally revise their image and understanding of who or what "God" is. Jordan's book uses stories from everyday people to illustrate that God is the best of us, emerging from within, and not some outside being or force that can be invoked to impose rules, dogma, doctrine, or harm on anyone of any religion.
She says some of the same things in a readable, accessible way for people who are beginning to re-imagine what this presence we call "God" might be, if it's not an old man in the heavens, directing the movie we live here on earth.
Theologian Marvin Ellison says this of "Embracing the Mystery", "You will likely rejoice, perhaps weep and maybe even laugh out loud at this fine new book from Meredith Jordan. If you are looking for someone who is wise in the ways of Spirit, this is your book!"
What most of us need is some way to make the transition from believing in a God-who-makes-rules that we are to follow, to an indwelling spirit of justice-love. Sam Harris is right on the mark to be saying the Emperor has no clothes and we all need to look at our complicity with a myth that says he does. Meredith Jordan offers another way to understand that the Mystery at the heart of all life, has been misrepresented/misunderstood to the detriment and even harm of many.
It's time for us to grow our religions and spirituality up, and find another way to talk about that-which-is-sacred without making it a sacred cow.
Thank you very much for your post, I will be ordering the book. I have been in a real weird position for the last 15 years, as a recovered alcoholic in AA, who is also an atheist. AA, of course, is very much god, or at least higher-power centered, and I have never been able to swallow either concept. For my first few years, I faked it.
A few years ago, I started practicing Zen meditation as a means to help place myself in the moment. What I have discovered is very hard to put into words. The best way to describe it is a feeling of connectedness to everything else on the planet. I also feel a strength that I do not possess myself. For years, this has been my concept of a “higher power.” It is, of course, not a god in the generally accepted sense, for I don’t accept that concept, and I do not believe in the supernatural.
I cannot explain what I tap into when I am in the moment, but it can come whether I am meditating or not. I just have to “be there” in the Zen sense. So, I am looking forward to reading the book, and I will let you know if she nails what I am talking about.