Thursday, December 08, 2005


Surrounded by the unseen

"One of the reasons why religions seem irrelevant today is that many of us no longer have the sense that we are surrounded by the unseen." -- Karen Armstrong, A History of God

Do you like this quote and find it to be meaningful?

This sort of sounds like the account that some folks give of God as the cause to explain everything that science can't account. Following that account, God has become less and less relevant as science has progressed. I might be off base, since I don't have the context.

If my account above is correct, then I am not a big fan of the quote. Religions give us mythological frameworks to understand our world (physical and spiritual). To the degree that science has a more sophisticated and correct view of the physical world, that part of religion is no longer meaningful (unless you are a fundie in the bible-belt). But religion's domain was greater than just an account of the physical world, and it still can give us an account of the care of our spiritual life that is meaningful and valuable. Science of mind can help to augment this understanding, but the nature of the subject is such that it cannot be a subject of quantifiable empirical data, so science is not the best tool for understanding the spiritual life. No amount of real science can really make us understand why we should be have kindness and compassion towards other people (and really all sentient beings), and why we are benefitted by this.

Going back to the quote (again assuming my interpretation is correct), I guess you could say that the unseen was once used to account for the operations of the world, physical and spiritual. The physical accounts are not relevant any longer, but our spiritual life is the same as it was when religions were formed, and religion can be as relevant then as now.
I think the quote is right. We're so busy doing a zillion things all day long that we don't need a 'God' as often as in past times.

Being a nomad, sitting in the desert, with only the sand, the stars and the moon around you ... that makes you think about the world and the unseen!

Not sitting in front of the TV.
Yes, a kind reminder of our natural curiosity.
i don't agree with this quote....i feel we are living in mysterious times...i wonder whats out there.
This quote reminds me of Carlos Castaneda's writings. How Don Juan used to caution Carlos about the over-reliance on his rationality, how it could distract and kill him. Perhaps my pineal gland is percolating tonight but the unseen remains hidden from all those except who seek it. In the end rationality will meet its match, and we very well may meet our makers. People may be easily convinced of their three dimensions but the seekers are seeing more, and once sparked its never forgotten.
We are continuously surrounded by the "unseen", but many of us just don't think much about it.

What is outside your door right this instant? It's probably unseen. What's on the other side of the world? The unseen. What's in the center of the earth? The unseen.

Now, some of these examples are more mundane than others. It can be argued that some of those things might be seen, but just not by you at that instant.

Still, even in those instances you have to rely upon the accounts of others to grasp hold of the "unseen". And it will always their accounts and not the "unseen" itself that you grasp (the map is not the territory).

Of course, there have always been a variety of accounts of the "unseen". These days the accounts might be different, and the beliefs engendered by these accounts may be different. But that does not eliminate the "unseen" from the world... and probably never will.
Sounds like Prince Phillip talking.
It's an understatement and a vague statement at the same time! Vague - as in not all facts are shown.
Religion is more relevant - politically that is!
The quote is totally correct. We are surrounded by the unseen. Scientists have proven our eyes are capable of seeing very little of light, not to mention what might be there that doesn't come under the definition of light.

We see a minute portion of what is around us.
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