Medieval pilgrimage was meant to be a cure for violence
but in the Crusades it became a consecration of violence –
if we believe God is only on our side
now we can kill in God’s name
and believe killing infidels is God’s will.
Religious violence comes from hubris –
proudly thinking we know all about God and God’s will
but for theologians like Meister Eckhart
God is better apprehended by negation than affirmation
God is an unspoken word/ineffable/
a light shining in silent stillness
which can be found in all religions
if you dig deep enough.
Hinayana Buddhism, the Lesser Wheel,
regards the Buddha as a human hero/a supreme sage/a saint
but Mahayana Buddhism, the Greater Wheel,
goes deeper and sees him as a world savior/an incarnation
of the principle of Enlightenment: silent light shining everywhere.
In Christianity, the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965)
reunited spirituality and theology so much
that its treatises are spiritual theology
and can be read as “lectio divina” – “sacred reading/sacred light.”
Jonathan Edwards, a Protestant philosopher and pastor
considered one of America’s most important
philosophical theologians, tried to discern
true religious affection from delusion.
He condemned both emotionalism and intellectualism
in religion because true religion
consists in “holy affections” from the heart
a unitary faculty of love and will
which cures the spiritual hubris
of thinking we can feel what God feels (emotionalism)
and think what God thinks (intellectualism)
which leads to religious violence.
“My ways are not your ways
and my thoughts are not your thoughts”
says the True Lord (Isaiah 55:8-9).