The dot!

In a blog post a few entries back I discussed the imagery of the circles on the cover of A None’s Story. Each color represents one of the faith traditions I explored, and the shading variations within each circle speak to the unique way individuals may understand or practice their beliefs.

You may recall that I made a special request to the publisher that somewhere on the yet-to-be finished back cover at least one circle show a splash of all the colors. I felt such a Technicolor dot could be the rough equivalent to my thinking as I emerged from this journey, for I had come to hold in high regard aspects of each of the religions I explored. I was going forward with the intention of incorporating facets from each into my everyday life.

I am happy to announce that my book jacket has been printed with one such colorful dot and that finding it was about as exciting as zeroing in on a well-hidden Easter egg back when I was oblivious to the message dyed eggs and candy placed throughout a park conveyed of hope and new beginnings (though perhaps feeling it on some instinctual level).

Just as I hadn’t realized the importance of a multi-colored circle until I didn’t see one on the early version of the cover design, I’m starting to understand how hopeful I am that my book sparks multi-faith dialogue, and not only among people like me with no religious affiliation (though I’m happily anticipating that). As I move further along on this path, I am increasingly interested in inter-faith exchange.

Which is why I am thrilled (and terrified) that the Interfaith Amigos have agreed to join me at my book event in Seattle. For those who haven’t heard of these Amigos, they are a Jewish rabbi, Muslim imam, and Christian minister who have joined forces to give talks and make presentations together. They have their own website. They’ve even given a TED talk and, in 2009, the New York Times wrote a story about them.

It is a bit surreal and perhaps a little hilarious that soon I will be sharing a panel with them participating in a discussion about faith (or the lack thereof). I have no idea what to expect—what, if anything, I might add to the conversation or if I will simply smile mutely as I wonder how on earth I landed among them.

Will this be the first of many interfaith discussions I might have the honor of joining…or a total train wreck? Can I really have a meaningful conversation with three religious leaders? If so, what will that look like?

All three of the Amigos will be reading my book shortly so there’s still time for them to back out!

Until then, here is the information in case you or anyone you know would like to plan to attend:

May 22 at 2pm
Seattle
University Bookstore (with Interfaith Amigos!)
4326 University Way NE
View Facebook Invite

He drew a circle that shut me out

 

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15 thoughts on “The dot!

  1. It’s your perfect place to be. It’s not by accident. You have explored and beautifully demonstrated something that other Nones are talking about these days although not well known: Take the best and use it and join with others who are attempting to do the same with equanimity. It, calls for increased inclusivity and acceptance of diversity. I am so hoping that your wonderful book does well and am glad to hear that you are part of the Amigos for this discussion. You have much to share from having shared it on a first-hand basis. Congratulations. I am passing your book on to a friend who is so struggling at the suggestion that she is indeed traveling the None’s road. With your book she will see that she is not alone as she thinks she is now.

    • Thank you for the vote of confidence, Frank. I have time to think long and hard about what I might say when I am with the Three Amigos so there is time to prepare. I feel lots of responsibility to represent my point of view articulately and with as much love and acceptance as we hope to see in the world. Thank you for sharing my book with all who might benefit.

  2. What a shame the “interfaith” panel doesn’t include at least one rational skeptic, since the obvious question needs to be asked: what’s so great about having or demonstrating faith?

    Because as a rational skeptic, in my book, ‘faith’ is operationally-defined as “believing in stuff for which you lack sufficient evidence or justification”.

    You might as well believe in pixies, too, if it makes you feel happy….

    • Hi Feeferoni, I like to think of myself as a rational skeptic and I hope everyone present will be discussing the topic, “what’s so great about having faith?” This is really just a big discussion with everyone who is in the audience as well. My guess is that there will be an immense range of points of view, which is very exciting because it’s representative of our diverse humanity. I think the interesting thing will be to see how a conversation like this unfolds. My hope is that we can get through it and come out the other side with a greater understanding of the other points of view. I don’t know. We’ll see! You should come if you can.

      • Hi Corinna,

        Thanks for your reply, and perhaps I misunderstood your excitement at locating a multi-colored dot on the cover, which you say represents your views? Doesn’t that dot suggest a syncretic blending of various ‘flavors’ of faith (which is also found in the banner of your blog: mining various faith traditions to glean the good ‘bits to live better’)?

        And combined with your appearance with the 3 Amigos INTER-FAITH panel, it seems you view yourself firmly in the ‘faithful’ (vs ‘faithless’) camp.

        Hence my question: what’s so good about ANY flavor of faith, esp now, in light of the recent terrorist mass murders in Brussels, Paris, San Bernardino, etc?

        Those acts were ALL carried out by adherents of a quite-ancient faith tradition, all who truly believed an ultimate reward awaited them in Heaven for killing “infidels” in the name of Allah. Killing infidels is NOT “living better”, in my book.

        Now I suppose some Xians might make the case their faith helps them to find comfort, feel safe, and alleviate stress, but I’d ask at what cost (esp. when it’s only a placebo effect, necessary to mitigate the anxiety created by the possibility of being murdered at the hands of other adherents of a different ‘flavor’ of faith)?

        I read about your work at a marijuana dispensary, so perhaps you have some insight into answering this question:

        What is it about stone-cold sober reality that scares some people witless, such that many cannot face reality head-on without resorting to some anxiolytic pharmaceutical or endorphin-mediated ancient fantasy?

        • I appreciated Feeroni’s comments. I feel challenged to explain my “faith” as an atheist. My “faith” is in the natural world, including we humans. Yes, there will be earthquakes and tsunamis and floods, as well as dishonesty and betrayal and hate, but I experience something mysterious when we gather together to find meaning in service and services, meditation and singing. Perhaps we can find another name for the “faith’\” experienced sharing meals and sharing trials. I belong to a congregation that does not require that “we believe alike to love alike”- attributed to Hungarian Ferenc David) and encourages each person to discover his or her own spiritual journey.

          The continuous renewal of the natural world, recognized by most religions, is a reality that provides hope for whatever devastation comes.

        • Hi Feeferoni,

          The multi-color dot is symbolic of my “faith” in that this path I’ve been on has taught me that there are aspects of each of the ancient faith traditions I explored that I believe offer good and positive teachings, lessons, examples, etc. Some of them are very private, personal ideas like finding love for one’s self when so often our default setting is self-destruction or perhaps it is the reminders peppered throughout the day to focus on gratitude or to return to the present moment. Other teachings are bigger, expanding out to humanity. This is all in the book, and much of it here on the blog. I feel that these bits of wisdom are important and I personally think we need to hold on to them as we march into the future. I realize that I will be accused by some people of “cherry picking” through faith beliefs…and I must say that if that’s what I’m doing, so be it. I will take the teachings about love, about appreciation, about kindness for ourselves and others and I will leave anything else that speaks to destructive motives. Some people might say that I just want to take all of the “fun, easy” stuff with none of the hard and to that I say, I think there is nothing more challenging than to find a way to love ourselves and others and recognize our deep connectedness. It’s much easier to hate and divide. If this makes me “faithful” to some and not faithful according to others, so be it. I’m not trying to convince anyone else of how to think or feel, I’m only sharing my journey.

  3. I wish I was going to be there! I think it sounds like an interesting discussion. I know you’ll have valuable contributions to the conversation, too!

  4. Very nice post, Corinna! I know you will be great at the book event. Make sure to send us any recording that results.

    With warm wishes

    Wendy

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  5. Congrats about the multi colored DOT 🙂 I so wish, i was able to be there in Seattle . That sounds amazing and you will be a perfect addition. Be open and continue your journey so we can come along with ya.

  6. Thanks for introducing us to the Interfaith Amigos. The TED talks are so positive. I expect your joint appearance will be a joyful event.

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