God as an Oasis in the Heart
Ramadan and Process Theology
The Two Hopes of Process Theology
The Two Hopes
Those of us influenced by process theology have two hopes. One is that, with help from others and in community with others, we can become wise and compassionate individuals who are inwardly strong and outwardly generous, surrendered to the living Spirit of God who is within us and yet more than us. One of our authors, Patricia Adams Farmer, calls it becoming a fat soul. See her What is Fat Soul Philosophy?
Our second hope is that, as we grow in this way, we help build communities that are creative, compassionate, participatory, ecologically-wise and spiritually satisfying, with no one left behind. Another of our authors, Bob Mesle, points out these communities will be animated by relational power not unilateral power. See his Relational Power.
The Qur'an teaches us that these two hopes are God's will for us, too. Not only for God's sake but also for our own sake, God wants us to be inwardly surrendered to the Spirit so that we can find peace in our hearts and help build just and sustainable communities in which people take care of each other and the earth.
From a process perspective the idea of divine Guidance makes very good sense. We believe that all human beings carry within our hearts fresh possibilities from God which are God's will for us and, deep down, our will for ourselves, too. These fresh possibilities are not simply abstract ideas; they are inwardly felt lures for feeling and actions. We speak of these possibilities as the "initial aims" and say that they are God's way of acting in the world. Their particular content changes from circumstance to circumstance, but always they are for goodness. Never are they for violence.
It would be nice if we lived in a world where people always followed initial aims. But this is not the world we know. In process theology as in Islam, God does not coerce us into following these aims. Moment by moment, day by day, we make decisions for which we are responsible, and in so doing we exercise our creative potential in ways healthy and unhealthy, wise and unwise, compassionate and cruel. In making these decisions we typically give our lives to finite urges, good in their own right, but which too easily become gods of our life: eating, drinking, sleeping, and a desire for sexual satisfaction. Ramadan is a time to remind ourselves that we can live beyond these gods, in deeper and more respectful ways. Maha Elgenaidi, founder and trustee of ING makes a case for this in the following article, republished from the ING website:
Meet Maha Elgenaidi and and
Why Fast During Ramadan?
Reposted from Huffington Post: Ramadan Reflections for 2014
Originally posted 06/28/2014 9:03 am EDT
It can help us become kinder and gentler people.
Ramadan Is A Gift- Qasim Rashid
It can help us welcome strangers into our midst.
Closeness Of The Divine- Ayesha Mattu
It can send out energies of love.
Energies Of Love- Shaikh Kabir Helminski
It can help us examine ourselves.
A Spiritual Gym- Abdullah Antepli
It can help us reconnect with our bodies and the Earth.
What It Means To Be Human- Qamar Ul Huda
It can help us become more patient and present.
The Fruits Of Patience- Sarah Sayeed
God as an Oasis in the Heart: