Adrift. Alone. Without A Home.
Since the beginning of time, human beings have turned to faith, religion and spirituality as a refuge during the world’s storms, a pathway through personal struggles and a roadmap to navigate when life’s darkness descends.
Today, however, when we find ourselves, individually or collectively within the storms, many of us (perhaps the growing majority of us) are left feeling alone, adrift on the ocean without a religious connection, a divine direction or a ship to call our spiritual home.
Traditional religion can feel dogmatic, legalistic, and outright stifling – leaving us no room to express doubt, disbelief, anger God or rage within our heart. So, we discard the old ways for new age. New Age spirituality, and the quest to avoid the dark emotions and rush to embrace love and light, feels contrived, unrealistic and simplistic. Worse yet, it can leave us feeling victimized, flawed and confused.
We feel hopelessly adrift. We feel profoundly lonely. We feel cut off from faith and without a spiritual home.
Forgetting Religious Rigor & Spiritual-Lite
Personally, I’ve wandered aimlessly through the landscape of new age “love” and spiritual-lite “light” alternatives. I’ve also sat stifled within the narrow confines of traditional religion, unable to breathe or believe.
I’ve lived with it all. I’ve lived with none of it. In the end, what I wanted, needed, and have returned to is some of it.
I have reclaimed the authentic pieces, rediscovered the open-hearted parts, and returned to the inspirational places – no politics, no division, no hierarchy; just the divine stuff. It’s taken decades of seeking, searching and sifting; years of filtering, purging, forgetting and forgiving. But it is do-able, it is possible, not a one time find, but a daily grind, one which I found my way, not back, but forward to, yesterday, today, and with faith, again, tomorrow. This what I’ve come to know as, “outRAGEous Faith”.
Forming An Outrageous Faith
Outrageous faith is not some simplistic, pietistic, God-fearing faith. Nor is it new age narcissism, darkness-denying-spiritual by-pass faith. It’s not Jewish, not Christian, not denominational, not parochial. Rather…
- It’s the faith that comes from personal failure after failure, profound mistake after mistake – and yet somehow finding the strength to get back up, dust yourself off and move forward with humility and hope, again and again – this is outrageous faith.
- It’s the faith that comes from betrayal: betrayed by spouse, by friends, by colleagues, by family – and yet, still seeking relationship, still willing to be vulnerable, still ready to commit – this is outrageous faith.
- It’s the faith that comes through despair: stripped of a loved one by death; battered by grief with no end in sight; abandoned in loneliness amidst the dark night of the soul – and yet, still finding meaning, still fulfilling a purpose, still choosing to live not in spite of it all, but because of it all – this is outrageous faith.
- It’s a faith that emanates not from fear, but awe; not from desperation, but inspiration; not from guilt, obligation or expectation, but from an insatiable longing for spirit, a primal compulsion for divinity, a wild desire for intimacy, for connection, for faith – this is outrageous faith.
Outrageous Community & Core Values
Outrageous faith is not Jewish, not Christian, not Buddhist, Hindu or an “ism.” It is not a synagogue or church; there are no pews and no dues. It is not bound by a single space or geographical place.
It is an open door, for open-hearted people seeking open-hearted community. It is a conscious community, consciously coming together to expand in consciousness and conscientiousness. It is a community committed to responsibility, service, and self-transcendence – committed to commitment that comes with an outrageous faith.
It is a faith which is rooted in the past: turning to ancient wisdom texts, drawing on timeless mystical traditions and grounded in eternal values born through the adversity, victories and experiences of our ancestors.
It is a faith which engages best spiritual practice from wherever it comes from: ecstatic chanting of Native Americans, disciplined meditation of the Buddhists, heartfelt personal prayer of Christianity, soulful silence of the Quakers and probing conversations of the Jews.
It is a faith which reveres thinking, rejects blind obedience, encourages bold questioning and demands holy chutzpah – the audacity and necessity in standing up to people, to life, and to God to demand justice, truth and compassion.
It is a faith which abhors the status-quo, opens all closets, embraces the shadows and dives deep into the darkness in search of the Divine. It is elegant and edgy, gracious and gritty, unapologetically masculine and unrelentingly feminine.
It is a faith which can’t be defined, only described; can’t be replicated only initiated. Mine is uniquely mine. Yours is uniquely yours. It’s never the same, not even to ourselves as we are constantly changing, it is continuously evolving. It is not linear. It is round and round, up and down, but it is cyclical, steadily progressing as we stumble elegantly forward in our lives.
It is real. It is possible. It is not out there, but in there, in here, in you. It is you. It is ready to be realized. It is raring to be released. It is time to let out the rage, and let in the light – the real light. It is time for an OutRAGEous Faith!