Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bridge of Sighs

"The word religion stems from the Latin roots re, meaning again, and ligare, meaning to bind, bond, or bridge.  Religion means, then, to bind together again.  It can never be affixed to one of a pair of opposites.  To think that one way of action is profane and another sacred is to make terrible misuse of the language.  There is no such thing as a religious act or list of characteristics.  There can only be a religious insight that bridges or heals...

"The religious faculty is the art of taking the opposites and binding them back together again, surmounting the split that has been causing so much suffering.  It helps us move from contradiction -- that painful condition where things oppose each other -- to the realm of paradox, where we are able to entertain simultaneously two contradictory notions and give them equal dignity. 

"Then, and only then, is there the possibility of grace, the spiritual experience of contradictions brought into a coherent whole -- giving us a unity greater than either one of them."

-- Robert A. Johnson

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