Tools for spiritual explorers
Fed up with being told how you should believe? Click around Explore Faith, a toolbox to help you find not only what you believe, but how you go about it.
One tool is a 10-question “spiritual profile” that places you in one of six categories — believer, lover, seeker, maverick, thinker or companion — then suggests more reading, linked from other places around the site.
The writers deal with matters like grief, forgiveness and how to learn from your dreams. They offer tips on keeping a journal or walking a labyrinth. They also have at classic questions, like “Why does God let bad things happen in the world?” and “Isn’t searching for the God within just an excuse for narcissism?”
The site takes an Episcopal point of view, but the contributors couldn’t be more varied. They include Bruce Feiler, author of the Walking the Bible bestsellers; Marcus Borg, a maven of the revisionist Jesus Seminar; Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh; Sylvia Maddox, a retreat leader in San Antonio, Texas; and Ram Dass, a 1960s-vintage guru who blends yoga, Buddhism, Sufism and Judaism. Also here are evangelical Christians like Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project.
Their writing styles and talents vary, of course, and they add up to a pretty wordy site: few pictures, no videos, no Flash effects. The animation, actually, is in your own mind and spirit. After all, you’re the explorer.
STARTING SUNDAY: A week-long look at Buddhist Web sites.