DREAMWalker Group
Where creativity and spirit converge

 

 

 
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DREAMScene
 
The Newsletter of DREAMWalker Group 2008 Issue #2 (March)
In This Issue
1) Noteworthy at DREAMWalker Group
2) A DREAMScene Interview: Jerry Wennstrom
3) From the Archives of the C*NAQ: A History of C*NAQ
4) From the Archives of the C*NAQ: Sexuality and Spirituality
5) Just Ask Gail -- a column by Gail Fonda
6) New Questions
7) We're Seeking Submissions
(Keeping Yourself) Current @ DREAMWalker Group

Although we do everything we can to keep your profile current, it's best if you contact us when you release a new book or have changes you need made to the profile.

DREAMWalker Group is a collective of inspired individuals who are dedicated to the idea that if one person sparkles, a group of people are brilliant.

As proprietor of DREAMWalker Group, it is Michael Walker's desire to express a deep sense of gratitude for all the good that has entered and continues to enter his life. To do this, he has created a site that offers free web profiles to creative people and provides a "one stop" venue for creative information and creative, spirit-based support. Insofar as this is a free site, he is also hopeful that this site will eventually become self-supporting. To make this a possibility, visitors to the site are encouraged to buy at least one item a year through the Amazon.com and other affiliate links.

NOTE: Profile pages can include the following information (or more):
  • Contact information (website and email, if desired)
  • An historical listing of published books (current and out-of-print)
  • An historical listing of published CDs and tapes (when possible)
  • Cross-links to other subject-related books and authors at DREAMWalker Group
  • Links from author's book directly to Amazon.com (the money we make, currently about $400 per year, helps pay for the maintenance of this free site.

Our Pledge to Share

DREAMWalker Group is a free site.  We believe that charging creative people for their profiles is unwarranted.  It is our primary purpose to give back to this brilliant, inspired, and inspirational community for all the wonderful things they've created and continue to create.

Insofar as giving is good; receiving is also a nice thing.  As is the maintenance of a standard of living that is conducive to happy creativity.  So as part of its mission to give and receive, DREAMWalker Group hereby promises the following:

To give back to the community a full 40% of all additional money earned over and above $100,000 via DREAMWalker Group.  (We haven't decided how best to do that just yet, but it will no doubt be in the way of several scholarships or prizes to current and future brilliant, creative folks and to supporting the literary/artistic community in other ways.)

-- Money earned under $100,000 will be used to provide a decent standard of living and for DREAMWalker Group's proprietor (Michael Walker) and to defray the costs of running this site.

-- A full accounting of money earned and given away will be provided at Our Income and Site Statistics page. 

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To recap:  Once we pass the $100,000 mark (per year), DREAMWalker Group will give back to the community a full 40% of all additional money earned via this site. 

This means that:

 

-- Out of every additional $100,000 earned over the initial compensation of $100,000, DREAMWalker Group will give back $40,000.00 to the creative community;

-- Out of every $1,000,000 earned, DREAMWalker Group will give back $400,000.00; and

-- Out of every $10,000,000 earned, DREAMWalker Group will give back $4,000,000.00.  Etc.

Who will benefit most from this?

1.  The brilliant, creative folks who continue to get free publicity and exposure via this continually growing and popular website.

2. Their publishers who can run free ads at the site - once they agree to provide cross links to DREAMWalker Group or free advertising in return.

3. DREAMWalker Group's proprietor (Michael Walker).  Possibly freed from the burden of working a day job, he'll have more time and money to use in maintaining this site.

 

4. Amazon.com - Out of 351 referrals in 2007, DREAMWalker Group earned $304.12 and Amazon.com brought in a whopping $5,756.71).  Just do the math!
 

Outside Links to DREAMWalker Group

Added Brilliance

From January 1, 2008 through March 10, 2008, we added profiles for the following brilliant people:

Al Karasa, Alex Grey, Ali Smith, Allen Raymond, Amjeed Kabil, Amy Cohen, André Aciman, Andrew Morton, Anita Diamant, Aoibheann Sweeney, Barry T. Klein, Bett Norris, Bob Dole, Brad Rader, C.E. Murphy, Carson McCullers, Chieh Chieng, Chris Beakey, Chris Van Allsburg, Christopher Kelly, Clara Nipper, Corrina Wycoff, Cris Mazza, Dale Pendell, Dan Gilgoff, Daniel Edward Craig, David Allyn, David Sosnowski, Deborah Eisenberg, Dennis Kucinich, Don Domanski, Dorothy Dunnett, Douglas Bauer, Elizabeth Gaskell, Elizabeth Knox, Elizabeth Whitney, Emma Darwin, Eric Alterman, Erica Spindler, Ethan Nadelmann, Ph.D., Faith Sullivan, Father John W. Groff, Jr., Francis Huxley, Gail Godwin, Gary Charles Wilkens, Gary Indiana, Gary Zukav, Geoffrey Young, George Eliot, George McGovern, Gerald R. Ford, Glen David Gold, Gloria Steinem, Grant Naylor, Gregory Corso, Gwyn Hyman Rubio, Gypsy Rose Lee, Henri Cole, Holly Farris, Ian Spiegelman, Ira Levin, J. P. Harpignies, Jack Finney, James Bennett, James Morrison, James Schuyler, James St. James, Jane Harris, Jane Smiley, Jean-Francois Revel, Jen Wright, Jennifer Harris, Jennifer McMahon, Jennifer Parello, Jerry Wennstrom, Jim Kelly, Jim Nason, John Kenneth Galbraith, John Mohawk, Johnny Diaz, Karen Joy Fowler, Kathleen (Kat) Harrison, Kemble Scott, Kenny Ausubel, Keri Hulme, KG MacGregor, KI Thompson, Larry Coles, Laura Chester, Laura Z. Hobson, Lee Smith, Leonard Cohen, Linda Francis, Lionel Shriver, Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Lorin Gaudin, Luis Eduardo Luna, Ph.D., Mac Hyman, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Mari SanGiovanni, Maria V. Ciletti, Marian Seldes, Mark Helprin, Mark R. Probst, Mark Yakich, Marlon James, Mary Doria Russell, Mary Karr, Matthieu Ricard, Maurice Shadbolt, Michael Eric Dyson, Michael Frayn, Michael J. Eardley, Michael Luongo, Michael Quadland, Misha Defonseca, Myriam Gurba, Nadine Gordimer, Ned Sublette, Nigel Jenkins, Nina Newington, Norman Levine, Norman Vincent Peale, Pamela Binnings Ewen, Pat Nelson Childs, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Paula Morris, Paula Offutt, Peggy Scott Laborde, Perry Moore, Peter Orlovsky, Philippa Gregory, Phillipa Ashley, Piers Anthony, Ralph Nader, Rebeca Antoine, Richard David KennedyRobert W. Cabell, Roberto C. Ferrari, Robin Reardon, Roddy Lumsden, Rosy Thornton, Royston Tester, Ruth Stafford Peale, Sarah Goodyear, Shonia L. Brown, Simon Mawer, Skyy, Stacey Levine, Stephen G. Post, Steve Pierce, Steven Stanley, Stevie Davies, Sue Miller, Thomas Hardy, Tom Harpur, Vincent Quinn, Wade Davis, Walter M. Miller, Jr., William Bronk, William F. Buckley, Jr., Wislawa Szymborska, Yosano Akiko, Yukio Mishima, Zadie Smith, and Zbigniew Herbert

*Note: some profiles may still be under construction.

 
 

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Namaste.  Welcome to the second 2008 issue of DREAMScene -- the electronic newsletter of DREAMWalker Group.  In this issue, we'll bring you up to date on some of the things happening at our site.  Things like:

We hope you'll enjoy this issue and anticipate more frequent updates in the future!

Michael Walker

Proprietor

 dreamwalkergroup@me.com

Missed an issue of this newsletter?  Click here to view old issues online

 

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1) Noteworthy at DREAMWalker Group

For a list of all general topics of interest, go to the General Community.  For a similar list of topics related to other communities, go to that specific community*.

To date, the communities include Arts, Disability, General, GayLesBi, Literary, Recovery, Seniors, Spirit-Guided, and Transgender.

(Feel free to email us and offer suggestions for new topics or topics related to your own avocation or genre.)

*Note that a topic may be under construction. 

  • Check out Richard David Kennedy's new blog, The Portfolio, at http://rdkpf.blogspot.com.  He describes it as a repository for writers of all genres.  Visit his site, complete the author submission form, and begin sharing to your heart's content!
  • Writer, director and producer Jim Tushinski is seeking tax-deductible contributions for his next project, Dirty Poole.  This is the story of the influential, pioneering filmmaker Wakefield Poole, whose films changed the face of adult gay films and of American independent and underground cinema.  If you have an interest in the art and culture and history of the 1970s or in gay culture in general, consider helping out by visiting htttp://www.dirtypoole.com.
  • Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose  is the new Oprah's Book Club Pick.
  • New releases at DREAMWalker Group:

1. The End of the World Book: A Novel by Alistair McCartney (Watch video)
2.
High Risk by Rick R. Reed
3.
Desert Cut by Betty Webb

If you have a new release you'd like us to notice, drop us a line at:

dreamwalkergroup@me.com.  

Advance copies gladly accepted c/o:

Michael Walker
2039 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington, DC  20009

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2) A DREAMScene Interview: Jerry Wennstrom
Jerry Wennstrom is the author of The Inspired Heart: An Artist's Journey of Transformation which tells the extraordinary story of his daring exploration into the source of his creativity.
 
At the age of 29 artist and author Jerry Wennstrom let go of his identity by destroying his large body of art and giving away all of his possessions. After living a deliberately simple, spiritual life for 15-years he eventually moved to Whidbey Island, married his life partner, Marilyn Strong and began doing art again. He now has a large, new body of art, travels nationally teaching, lecturing, and presetting his art and the films that were made about his life. He continues to do his art and writes a monthly column for Inferential Focus a New York City think tank and consulting firm.
 

DREAMWalker Group:

As a culminating creative act you destroyed your large body of art, gave everything you owned away and lived this way for over 15 years. This pivotal act shifted the focus of your life and took you away from your identity as an artist/painter. What meaning did you find in this radical shift?

Jerry Wennstrom:

I found all the meaning in the world! The shift itself continues to be the most important and meaningful experience of my life. I am convinced that high art and the cutting edge of the creative human experience can only be accessed through a direct relationship to the source. The absence of any interface and trust in something unseen are required of this relationship.  

It is in our willingness to courageously turn and walk into those areas of our lives where our identity, as an ego, might come undone that we find inspiration. It is in this undoing that we find our true identity, separate from any limiting, known reference point in the world. As our controlled, ego creation begins to diminish, a unique creative expression begins to emerge.

Most of us seek some kind of individual expression in the world, and we do so, mostly, in insignificant ways. These ways often reflect or slightly improve on what others might already be doing. To fully inhabit one's individual expression, without reference point to the known world, is a very lonely business. It is this inherent loneliness keeps most of us from fully exploring the territory.

It is the nature of the ego, bent on control, to fear change. The ego interprets any radical departure from a personal or cultural fix as sure death to its existence and it is entirely correct in this assessment. Something old and calcified must die for anything new to be born. It is in the metaphoric "dying" that the inspired possibilities for our lives come alive. There is a quote by Yogananda that alludes to this strange paradox, "To set out on any holy purpose and to 'die' along the way is to succeed." Most of us are too busy "surviving" to open ourselves to the unreasonable requirements of this paradox.

DWG: How did death lead to renewal for you as an artist?

JW: Seeing the pitfalls of denial and fear in myself as a young artist, I saw no alternative but to face the metaphor of death and open myself to the potential it had to influence and enhance my life. If art is to deliver all of one's reality onto the solid ground of a more meaningful and inspired life (which is what I believe it should do) then it was the gift of death that did this for me. As a path of discovery, I believed in art with all of my heart and soul, producing an enormous body of work.

This path took me to an edge where I could do no more with my will, intelligence or good intentions. I was experiencing the death of everything I most identified with as an artist. It was here that two choices became clear to me. I could back away in fear or I could trust the path of art right to the very end and surrender to something unknown, which is what I did.

In retrospect, I find it paradoxical and a little comical that "dying" of my identity as an artist has done more to bring my artistic expression into the public light than years of painting in the studio ever did!"

DWG: How does the artist's personal experience, like you describe, ultimately have an effect on society?

JW: We are in a transitional period in our world and many of us are intuiting the need to stop and look more deeply at the way we live our lives. A deeper inquiry has the potential to tap into and express the zeitgeist, (the spirit of the times). It is our individual connection and quiet response to the zeitgeist that ultimately effects social change.

As a result of my own response, I left behind the discipline of active doing (painting) and opened my life to a new kind of discipline-the discipline of conscious being. Being took me into a more formless relationship with inspiration. An inspired moment will always expand our small ideas about our world and ourselves. I gave myself to exploring the holy science of an inspired moment, separate from any form-art or otherwise.

The choice to leap into the void as I did was not a choice based on reason, so a rational explanation is inadequate to describe its effect on society in any literal way. It was an intuitive decision and one can only intuit the meaning as one would a dream or a myth. I sensed this single act would set in motion the right conditions that would require me to look to the source of inspiration for everything I did. My intuition proved to be correct and life began to unfold in ways I never would have imagined. The new life that I gave myself to involved creatively tending all aspects of life with equal attention.

DWG: You have had quite a positive response to your book and the Parabola documentary film that was made about your life and art. Why do you think you are getting this attention and why are people responding the way they are to your unusual story?

JW: I think there is something in my story that has found a resonance in the hearts of others going through similar experiences. It gets back to the zeitgeist. When any expression strikes a chord in the heart of culture it usually does so because the creativity of the person doing the expressing has tapped into something universal-something we all recognize and identify with as our own. When we have been inspired by an experience or an idea we feel we have found what we have been looking for.

There is a joy and a freedom that comes through that has the potential to reawaken the desire to live more fully. The interesting paradox about this phenomenon, however, is that most of us identify with an inspiring experience and treat it as our own even if we have not found the courage to meet the requirements of such an experience. At some level this identification is justified, in that the emerging mythology belongs to all of us. However, as individuals we must find the courage to move forward into the reality of our own inspired experience and allow it to transform our lives.
 

DWG:  Your current interactive sculptures are both powerful and whimsical. How did your new level of creative exploration inspire these unusual "beings"?

 

JW: In retrospect I see that my sculptures are an expression that developed organically, out of my exploration into the metaphorical death I experienced. The greatest gifts are easily overlooked in the life-experiences that challenge or frighten us-the experiences that look like death to the ego! By continually facing my fears some essential template of understanding crystallized for me. First and foremost was the initial, terrifying experience of jumping into the void. I then gave myself to the challenge of looking for the gift in every experience that came up naturally in life, especially those experiences that frightened me.

 

The art I am involved with now reflects this same challenge.

 

Recently, a man visiting from St Louis was standing in my studio, surrounded by many of my large coffin-like sculptures. He said, "You know-if someone was not in a very good state of mind they might be a little frightened by your art!" Clearly, there are some people who see my sculptures as spooky and death-like. Paradoxically, for those who can go beyond their initial fear and interact with the pieces, they walk away joyful, inspired and bearing gifts.

 

DWG: How do you balance the impersonal elements of metaphor and death and with the personal daily task of maintaining human relationships?

 

JW:  One's true understanding of the creative power of death becomes the basis for the renewal of all things-including relationships. In trying to maintain a healthy relationship, we must do our best to be kind, compassionate human beings. However we will inevitably come to the limit of even our best intentions. It is here that we feel our powerlessness as human beings. Fear and control are often the way that many of us react to this powerlessness; however, the only real and effective option to this dilemma is surrender. It is this final act that holds all that we love in place in the world. The paradox of this impossible situation can only be resolved by keeping in mind that doing our best in relationship is never quite good enough. It is wisdom to know that it is not completely in our power to hold what we love in place. If you have a spiritual sense of things you might call the unseen glue that holds our world together-grace.

 

DWG:  With such a major journey behind you, what are your hopes and dreams as an artist at this stage of your life?

 

JW: My dream has always been to touch the world in some significant way as an artist. I am at a place in my life where my art and life are reemerging in the world in a way that seems to have taken on a life of its own. There are events unfolding just as they should and I wouldn't know how to better direct the process. My dream is to remain watchful and see what the next moment might bring and how best to respond to what comes. I hope to stay open and aware enough to allow the spirit of the time to flow freely through everything I do. If I can accomplish this, I believe all else will come with the territory.

 
© 2008 DREAMWalker Group. All rights reserved.
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Jerry Wennstrom is the author of The Inspired Heart and the subject of Parabola and Sentient Publications videos, In the Hands of Alchemy and Studio Dialogue. The tower that he built on his property on Whidbey Island, along with his life's story is featured in the book, Holy Personal by  Laura Chester. Jerry has published and/or done over 50 articles and media interviews. For more information or to see his new large interactive sculptures please visit his web site at http://www.handsofalchemy.com.

 

Jerry Wennstrom can be reached at: soluna@whidbey.com.

 

His/Her profile at DREAMWalker Group is located at http://dreamwalkergroup.com/bio/j/jerry_wennstrom.htm.

 

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DREAMWalker Group topics related to this article:

 

Art & Artists   Arts Community   Biography and Memoirs   Creativity   Inspirational   Literary Community   Meditation   Motivational   Nonfiction   Religion & Spirituality   Self-Help   Spirit-Guided Community   Visual Arts

 

Do you have something you'd like to share?  Let DREAMWalker Group interview you -- or let us know of someone you'd like to interview for us.  We can't pay (we're a free site) but the exposure is priceless!  Write us as
dreamwalkergroup@me.com.

 

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3)  From the Archives of C*NAQ: A History of Christian*New Age Quarterly
Catherine Groves is Editor of Christian*New Age Quarterly: A Bridge Supporting Dialog, a journal of interfaith dialog, ministering to  and celebrating the spirituality of both traditional Christians and New Agers, in an atmosphere of mutual respect and goodwill.
A quality periodical published since 1989, Christian*New Age Quarterly examines the differences between and common ground of traditional Christianity and alternative spiritualities often umbrellaed under the term "New Age." Though somewhat peripheral to our central focus, secular humanists are also often participants in the exchange of ideas. Dedicated to dialogue, we do not assume underlying unity, but instead affirm that mutual respect is necessary to fairly explore the beliefs of the other. Ours is a vital resource for any who wish to understand the diversity of religious thought in the Western world, especially as a cultural expression of spiritual worldviews, whether in agreement or clash. A lively journal with regular columns and feature essays, C*NAQ consistently offers high quality writing, sound scholarship and the sparkle of heartfelt camaraderie.

When Christian*New Age Quarterly premiered in January 1989, an almost palpable tension existed between traditional Christians and New Agers. Back then, most Christians, if they had heard of the Movement at all, equated it with the occult, black arts, magick, deception, etc. -- surely something to be shunned if not exposed as evil. Most New Agers, and most had grown up as Christians and rejected Christianity as a spirit-stifling, authoritarian, patriarchal force that had wrought many of society's ills, dismissed Christianity as a wholly unenlightened, unevolved, ignorant relic of a bygone era. Hence, Christian*New Age Quarterly was born as a vehicle that invites both Christians and New Agers to see the issues between "the camps," to address the misunderstandings each held about "the other," and to replace mutual distrust with genuine goodwill.

Fast-forwarding to today, it's a wholly different environment. The New Age Movement has largely dispersed itself into the larger, socially progressive areas of general society. While interest in spiritual phenomena remains, the focus today is more on unitive spirituality, inner awareness, planetary and personal health, global consciousness. Today, New Age ideas are widely known and largely embraced. Those segments of Christianity that continue to hold alternative spirituality in contempt are increasingly limited to a fundamentalistic, conservative -- though very vocal -- bent. Similarly, those New Age circles that continue to distrust and denigrate Christianity are increasingly limited to the fringe.

Still, some of the old "prejudices" exist on both sides of the coin. And C*NAQ provides a vehicle, as well, to address the issues in a way that can provide a sharpened understanding of the theological/ideological questions and dilemmas that underlie the issue. In other words, questions about one's own beliefs and theology are very often sharpened when seen juxtaposed to a different and contrasting belief and theology.

Here at C*NAQ, it's an often startling awakening to those principles we've simply assumed as the basis of understanding when we meet with other, very different bases of understanding. Dialog exacts from us how our own assumed premises, too self-obvious within a given belief system to even see, are in fact belief choices that are not universally shared. In that realization lies a myriad of questions and wonders as to what, indeed, we can know and what, instead, are reflections of the beliefs we simply assume are truths. With every hurdle passed, a new terrain opens up ahead!

© 2008 Christian*New Age Quarterly. All rights reserved.

From the Archives of the C*NAQ.

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DREAMWalker Group topics related to this article:

Christianity   Christian Fundamentalism   Meditation   Metaphysics   Occultism   New Age   Self-Help/Self-Improvement     Spirit-Guided Community    Witchcraft

Do you have something you'd like to share?  Let DREAMWalker Group interview you -- or let us know of someone you'd like to interview for us.  We can't pay (we're a free site) but the exposure is priceless!  Write us as
dreamwalkergroup@me.com.

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4)  From the Archives of C*NAQSexuality and Spirituality
Catherine Groves is Editor of Christian*New Age Quarterly: A Bridge Supporting Dialog, a journal of interfaith dialog, ministering to  and celebrating the spirituality of both traditional Christians and New Agers, in an atmosphere of mutual respect and goodwill.
Sexuality and spirituality! How's that for a rousing topic? Most contemporary readers likely would not so much as blink at the suggestion that sexuality might have something to teach us about spirituality. Any few raised eyebrows would be worn, I'd suppose, by readers drawn to traditions that treat the two as mutually exclusive. For those inclined to such disciplines, the path to spirituality is the renunciation of all things worldly, all things fleshly. Accordingly, to be spiritual is to disentangle one's consciousness from the snares of our material entrapment.

But I'm not about to argue for or against that vantage. Instead, I wish to expand upon a comment I made in my April-June 1993 editorial for
Christian*New Age Quarterly.1 In that piece, I concluded that "'inspired by God' cannot factually hold more ... than 'inspiring to us.'" There is, as I see it, a disparity between belief and reality -- a disparity of kind that forever sets a chasm between our most acute observations and reality as it is.

Yet I also remarked that "to realize that need not dampen the inspirational power." But how can that be? Could I seriously have meant that the significance of inspiration so exceeds factual considerations that to detach it utterly from the realm of actuality would not diminish it? That's exactly what I meant.

Over the past century, our culture has been steeped in admiration for the rational, a paradigm that leads us to express human experience as a result of its facts. We look to psychology -- or astrology, or our past lives -- to explain our behavior. We look to genetics to demystify our proclivities, be they sexual orientation, psychopathic urges, or psychic ability. We look to anthropology -- or sociology, or perennial philosophy -- to make sense of that bent of our species toward religious imagery. Even while we attest to the magnificent enigma of the human experience, we tend to assume the enigma can be explained by carefully reasoned observations. In short, we can be distilled down to our facts, even if we have yet to discover the precise system that renders our human nature wholly intelligible.

Sure, such zeal for locating the facts behind human experience has produced methods and models quite useful for social and self understanding. But I wonder, can human experience be so easily reduced to the logic of its components? Trends in religious thought often seem to suggest it can. We can cogently reconstruct the factors that led to the rise of the Christian Church -- or the New Age movement -- and can even delve into the psychology of its proponents. We can look at the biographies of mystics and saints to learn what character traits -- or psychoses -- underpinned their transcendent awareness. The dynamics of religious experience has been analyzed -- some would say ad nauseam -- sociologically, psychologically, even physiologically. True, we grant that this is a highly speculative science, and yet the very avowal of its limitations presupposes the esteem we have, if not for the specific theory, at least for the methodology that gives rise to such theories.

Now, as fond as I am of any good bit of reasoning, I'd be the last to gainsay it. Still, reason comes up empty-handed in its grasp of the "meaning" within human experience. At core, the experience of meaning is quite other than that which lends itself to a factual -- and hence analyzable -- basis. It's just not the stuff of rational method.

Why do we eat? We are physical beings, dependent upon ingesting the nourishment found in plants and, some would say, animals. Our bodies have evolved into efficient systems for replenishing the nutrients our cells require. Even our tastebuds, the growls of our stomach, and the urgency that accompanies a plummet in blood sugar prod us toward the food necessary for survival.

But that doesn't describe my sense of eating! Sure, when hunger strikes I typically reach for foods that meet the specific demands of my body. Yet what of the lasagna that oozes with hot strings of mozzarella peeping out of noodly blankets, all smothered in alluring red sauce? To eat, is this simply an act of survival ... or is it something rich and wonderful and fraught with something more, something evocative in the human experience? Is it mere biological imperative? That one extra forkful when my tummy is full says that it is not.

And what of sexuality? As we look to the animal world, we recognize our sexual activity as part and parcel of something we share with other lifeforms, the drive to perpetuate our species. While it is perfectly within our ken, as many couples can attest, to have intercourse for the express purpose of procreating, does the biological imperative even begin to describe human sexuality?

If it did, wouldn't our gutter-talk run, "Whoa ho ho, get a load of that babe! What a seductive way she has with nutrients! Fancy all that vitamin-rich milk she'd have for nursing my offspring!"

Or, "Check out the genes on that one! He simply oozes high IQ! Couldn't you just die for a squeeze of those brain cells?"

If anything, the practice of human sexuality pokes fun at its analysis time and again. Hardly are we attracted to one another on the basis of DNA profile. We do, after all, as deeply cherish the "genetically challenged" spouse as we would the pinnacle of our breed! Indeed, we as a species invest untold resources into preventing pregnancy -- a whole lot more, I'd wager, than we do in promoting or prolonging fertility. If human sexuality can be distilled from its factual, biological basis, how come the antithesis is so clearly the norm?

Now few would seriously contend that sexuality should, in practice, be stripped of all but its biological function. It's pretty prima facie that human sexuality would become impoverished of its beauty, delight and compassion were we to view only such facts. Clearly, mating gives way to meaning, a meaning that isn't confined to its components.

Furthermore, who would even think that the two need correspond? We can revel in the findings of biogenetic research and find no less fire in the touch of an appealing partner, regardless of his or her procreative potential. When it comes to sexuality, we know that the facts don't make the meaning. Indeed, that was never the point!

What does lasagna and lovemaking have to do with spirituality? In the human experience, why we do what we do has little relevance to the riches of the act. Sure, we eat for the survival of our persons, we have sex for the survival of the species, but neither of these "whys" hold our story. While new realizations may strip our beliefs of their formerly supposed factuality, that does not compromise the meaningfulness we meet in believing.

Indeed, the deep, vast magnitude found in believing unfolds precisely as we realize faith infinitely exceeds any anchor to reality we could wish for its content. No way is the significance of inspiration diminished should we recognize "inspired by God" cannot factually hold more than "inspiring to us." If the human experience of meaning is more -- so much more -- than feasting on a nutrient or caressing a gene, why would we dream it "a must" that our spirituality be the stuff of facts? Isn't the sacred more meaningful than that?

1Catherine Groves, "Through the Editor's Eyes," Christian*New Age Quarterly 5:2 (April-June 1993).

Reprinted and revised with permission, "Sexuality and Spirituality" was originally published as "Through the Editor's Eyes" by Christian*New Age Quarterly 5:3 (July-September 1993). For more information on Christian*New Age Quarterly, write to Catherine Groves, Editor at PO Box 276, Clifton, NJ 07015-0276 or visit http://christiannewage.com.

© 2008 Christian*New Age Quarterly. All rights reserved.

From the Archives of the C*NAQ.

***

DREAMWalker Group topics related to this article:

Christianity   Christian Fundamentalism   Meditation   Metaphysics   Occultism   New Age   Self-Help/Self-Improvement     Spirit-Guided Community    Witchcraft

Do you have something you'd like to share?  Let DREAMWalker Group interview you -- or let us know of someone you'd like to interview for us.  We can't pay (we're a free site) but the exposure is priceless!  Write us as
alter_mike-dreamwalkergroup@yahoo.c.

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5)  Just Ask Gail -- A Column by Gail Fonda
Gail Fonda is an online freelance writer. She graduated from Kent State University's School of Journalism, and has been writing on a variety of subjects over the past 30 years. When she discovered the world of the Internet, she found she could be more selective in her writing choices, as opposed to being "assigned" stories to write about. Keep reading her column at DREAMWalker Group to find out what's ahead!
 
Democrat or Republican: Just Vote!

I usually have a pretty good idea of whom and what I am voting for since I've had the same feelings about things since childhood.

I want people to let other people alone. I want people to mind their own business. I think people should be allowed to do whatever they want to do, within reason, as long as no one else gets hurt.

I am pro-choice. I don't think women should be forced to have children if they become pregnant. I hate guns and I think the Constitution is being misinterpreted in that regard. I know others want their guns, but, unfortunately, they've ended up in the hands of really bad people, and gun violence is rampant. Is it too late to fix?

I hate cigarettes. Cigarettes kill people, just like guns, it's just a slower death. I think nicotine should be outlawed.

I don't think we should start wars with countries unless they've attacked us first. I understand there are dictators around the planet.

But we can't police the world without bringing back the draft.

I think billionaires should pay higher taxes because they make more money then the middle and lower classes. They have more money to spend. They should stop the selfishness.

I think the government should supply health care to all Americans, regardless of whether they have a job.

I think gay people should be allowed to marry, even though it's not everyones' definition of a genuine marriage. Who are they hurting by being together?

Billionaires who make money off of war products, including oil, should get out of the way of progress. Money should be spent on medical research to solve and cure diseases afflicting millions of Americans. Money should be spent on driving our cars without filling up at gas stations.

Money should be spent on eliminating obesity in America. Money should be spent on preserving the American family. About 70% of marriages end in divorce.

Yes, we were attacked on September 11, 2001. And I would never minimize the significance of that event. We sent troops to the wrong country. Yes, we have global warming, but the ball needs to move in the right direction, the one Al Gore started.

I have my opinions and you have yours. Children must learn, starting from kindergarten, that they must attend college in order to compete in the global workplace.

I don't know how to deal with the fact that most of our products are made in China, a communist country. I don't know how to deal with the fact that the U.S. is trillions in dollars in debt, to China.

I don't know how to deal with the fact that we run our cars on a product from countries run by dictators. I hope our future president and other politicians work on that issue someday. Better now than never.

Most Americans do not vote at all. In some countries, guns are put to the heads of their citizens to force them to vote for dictators. I don't know how fair our elections are these days, especially when the Supreme Court decides on who the President is, but ... if you don't vote at all, you have no right to express your thoughts.

Just vote, and start acting like a citizen in a democracy, the kind Mr. Bush wants to spread around the world!

 © 2008 Gail Fonda.  All rights reserved.

***

DREAMWalker Group topics related to this article:

Abortion   Al Gore   Gay and Lesbian Marriage   Gun Control   Health Care   Military   Military Drafts   Politics   Pregnancy Issues   Pro-Choice Issues   Smoking Issues   Taxes and Taxation   U.S. Presidents   Voting   Women's Issues

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Q: I've purchased several books from Amazon.com through your site -- and you've never written to thank me.  What's up with that?  Are you ungrateful?

 
A: Actually we're more grateful than you can ever imagine.  Unfortunately, for your own protection, Amazon.com doesn't share the names of buyers with us.  We wish they could -- but in lieu of that, you'll just have to know that a million thanks and blessings go out to you each time you make a purchase through our site!

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Visitors to our site love to read ... so we're looking to sate their virtually unquenchable appetites.  As such, we have opportunities for you on several fronts:

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  • Publications -- Have a book coming out you'd like to market?  Why not let us know beforehand and we'll notice here at the site and in this newsletter (Noteworthy at DWG).

So give me a holler at dreamwalkergroup@me.com if interviews (giving or receiving) are your bag!

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Remember that DREAMWalker Group  encourages and depends upon your creativity.  Please keep on creating! 

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