Like the Force, but without the lightsabers
Jerry has a post (how does he do it while on the road admiring the beauties of Banff?) about a reader who reports on one path out of theism, from the literal kind to “the ground of all being” to the gleaming port of gnu atheism. I seized the opportunity to ask this reader what that meant to her/him, explaining that I always wonder what people mean by it. The answer was both informative and amusing.
When I was in the “ground of all being” stage, I thought of it as a representation of some mystical spiritual energy which imbued the universe with intelligence and purpose. Looking back, they were basically filler words to represent a concept I didn’t want to think about too deeply for fear of losing the sense of community I found in the church. When I did eventually begin to think about it honestly, I realized it sounded a lot like the Force from Star Wars, but without the cool lightsabers (I still want one of those).
I don’t know what authors like Tillich and Spong really mean by it, even after reading four or five of Spong’s books. I guess that’s why it was such a short hop to reading The God Delusion and thinking, “This makes so much more sense!”