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Ep. 13: Jesus, Santa Clause & Religious Belief

Listen to this episode on Spotify here, or Apple Podcasts here. 

The key points in this "speaking":

  • Why our age doesn't "get" religion (including religious believers).

  • Do religious beliefs inhabit the same epistemological sphere as scientific or historical facts?

  • Even today's non-religious spiritual movements (like many forms of witchcraft) are often shrouded in supernatural thinking.

  • God as “Santa Claus" vs. the God beyond atheism, theism, and all categories of belief or disbelief

  • Jesus as archetype, incarnation of love, and non-dual teacher (and so, so much more, as the meaning of Jesus—like the meaning of every great person or event— changes in every age).

  • Anything true is already here, always present, and always happening. Religious truth claims should not be essentially historic or predictive.

  • Can there be religion beyond historical claims to authority?

Other Notes:

In this episode, I mentioned Richard Rohr's wonderful work, including his phrase that "God is the face of reality," and the meaning of Jesus as a universal blueprint or archetype. Check out more of his work here, and his book The Universal Christ here.

I also mentioned John Dominic Crossan, a Biblical historian whose work I recommend, along with the wonderful John Shelby Spong.

Some of the thoughts I shared are expressed in greater depth and breadth in a lovely interview I had with Suma Gowda. Check it out here.

Listener Insights: 

Do you think religious belief is misunderstood? Do you believe religion is largely helpful or something society should move beyond?

If you want your insights to be shared (with your name or anonymously), comment on this blog post, email me, or answer the Spotify questions attached to the episode.

15 views3 comments


“The age of religions is over.” Sri Aurobindo (the following is roughly paraphrased by memory). One day, every human being will have their own religion; not in the sense of a belief system, much less a private set of rituals. Rather, they will each represent one of the infinite, unique potentials of a fully individual ray of Divine Light, Love and Power to reflect, apprehend and love the infinite Divinity in their own way.

Replying to

I love this way of thinking! I'm always impressed with the Sri Aurobindo quotes you share. I'm very curious how the individual may (or may not) carry forward those pieces of truth found in traditional religions.

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