Is Internet Altering How People Perceive God and Creation?
BY: MARK EPSTEIN
Jun 23, CHICAGO (SUN) The Internet may be subtly changing the way people perceive the relationship between God and Creation, according to a provocative new book, "In the Same Breath," by former Chicago Tribune reporter Jean Latz Griffin. New concepts in physics have been pointed to for years as a force altering our vision of reality enough to make a immanent God - encompassing everything and everyone - seem more likely than the transcendent, remote God most Western religions have embraced for centuries. "In the Same Breath" suggests that the Internet - something much closer to everyday people than theoretical physics - may be doing the same thing.
Downers Grove artist Christine Tobias created more than a dozen illustrations that evoke the essence of the readings of "In the Same Breath" and the times in which they occurred.
New concepts in physics have been pointed to for years as a force altering our vision of reality enough to make a immanent God - encompassing everything and everyone - seem more likely than the transcendent, remote God most Western religions have embraced for centuries.
"In the Same Breath" suggests that the Internet - something much closer to everyday people than theoretical physics ¬ - may be doing the same thing.
"When one can be connected to people all over the world, all at once, every minute of the day, it can have an effect on one’s idea of what the universe might be like," Griffin said. "That experience may help people think more about how a Spirit could be everything and how consciousness could be the basis of reality,"
A major insight of the book is that many spiritual and secular writers in the 20th and 21st Centuries have expressed ideas about the unity of God and Creation more like those written during 2,600 years ago than anything that has gone between.
In seeking explanations on how this occurred, Griffin began to see how the growing interconnectedness of the world could be one of the forces that was taking spiritual and secular writers across the globe back to earlier concepts of a unified universe.
"When one’s philosophy is built on dichotomy, a separate, remote God makes the most sense," she said. "When that philosophy focuses more on interconnections, the Upanishad’s sparks flying from the same fire can become part of our belief system again."
Griffin began collecting scripture readings from all traditions that explored this train of spiritual thought about ten years ago when she experienced a strong sense of the unity of God and Creation while sitting in a park near a stream in Springfield, Illinois. As she continued to research the concept, she learned how complex and nuanced it was, and how women and men across times and spiritualities had experienced what she came to call "aha moments," when they "felt in their bones that Spirit and Creation were one."
Mark Epstein, author of Thoughts without a Thinker, Going to Pieces without Falling Apart, Going on Being and Open to Desire, had this to say about the book:
"Jean Latz Griffin's In the Same Breath is a beautiful book. It reminds me of Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy, one of my favorite works of all time. I am sure that this book will open its readers to the world's wisdom traditions, just as Huxley's did for me."
In the Same Breath, by Jean Latz Griffin, illustrated by Christine Tobias
152 pp. Index, Bibliography, Glossary, Timeline, two 8-page full color inserts
3,000 first printing; 6-city tour
Pub date 4/21/06 Publisher: CyberINK