Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Addendum to God and Comfort

Alfred North Whitehead, no slouch of a philosopher, is someone I don't mind having on my side. I found a couple of passages this morning that support the ruminations in my earlier post, God and Comfort:

"Above and beyond all things, the religious life is not a research after comfort."

"Apart from it [the religious quest], human life is a flash of occasional enjoyments lighting up a mass of pain and misery, a bagatelle of transient experience."

"The worship of God is not a rule of safety -- it is an adventure of the spirit, a flight after the unattainable."

From Science and the Modern World (Lowell Lectures, 1925), Mentor, no date, pp. 171-172.

Gloss: Religion is a quest into the Unfamiliar, not a flight to the familiar. What we seek is not mundane comfort, but transcendent truth, and with it, transcendent comfort, the peace that "surpasseth all understanding."