SS: The “Book of Bob”

Dr. Nik Richers in an email: “I am still trying to decipher your stance on religion, humanism, and these sermons …  Some day I hope to figure out the Book of Bob (BOB).  :).” Nik and I haven’t met in the real world yet, only via electronic messaging. Some day we will tip a couple of pints and sort all of this out. In the meantime . . .

Here are links to two of the many talks I have given at the Nanaimo Unitarian Fellowship. (a very friendly place by the way)

  • Grow a Soul

    • “One of the attractions of the UU approach to religion and life is caught in the assertion that divinity and spirit are to be found not through blind faith but through finding and sending down roots to the deepest part of one’s unique self. As is true in botany, those roots spread out into the wider community and can nourish us and give us a healthy life. How do we know when we are living in the best place for those roots to grow? In so much as we do indeed “grow a soul” we should consider carefully the garden in which that soul  grows.”

    Tell me a story  Bob_preach

2 thoughts on “SS: The “Book of Bob”

  1. Best to read Sunday sermons on Wednesdays! I must say I tremendously enjoyed reading the PDF of your talk about story telling and the use of literature to find a path through life. Stories and story telling are always performative, in much the same way that I find working through philosophical problems performative. It’s a quintessentially human activity. Story telling makes sadness go away and replaces it with joy.

    There’s something about Camus’ stance on suicide that has always rubbed me the wrong way (I like absurdist philosophy, I really quite like Camus, but I find his views on suicide to be off). Wish I could remember why! I know the issue irked me enough that I once wrote about it, but the paper is long gone. I’ll have to rethink this through at some point.

    It’s possible I cracked the nut about your sermons … The Unitarian Fellowship is not what it might seem to the unobservant observer. I have a blind spot towards organizations like this, not out of malice or dislike, but simply because I am baffled by the idea of a near-religious organization with no creed. It’s the same reaction I had when I read a reference about “secular humanism” recently. Isn’t all humanism secular? No, of course not. That said, I agree the Unitarian Fellowship seems like a very decent group of people!

    My stance towards religion was summed up neatly by the man with the big walrus bristles who wrote:

    I find “free-thinkers” of diversified species and origin, but above all a majority of those in whom laboriousness from generation to generation has dissolved the religious instincts; so that they no longer know what purpose religions serve, and only note their existence in the world with a kind of dull astonishment.

    Not quite a T.S. Eliot moment when I first read this, but still followed by a good slap to the forehead. Of course!

    To end with a story of my own: The sum total of my religious upbringing is captured by talking my way out of religion class on account of being Lutheran and not Zwinglian Protestant, which was the dominant religion where I grew up. I didn’t mention that I had never been baptised or that the differences were an exercise in minutiae. The ruse worked and I decided to use the extra hour to go to the outdoor pool early. The outdoor pool in those days was THE place where friends hung out in the summer and collectively we must have spent a lifetime there. Just one downside: It was a very lonely hour each week, as all my friends were still stuck in the same religion class. In hindsight, I should have started a revolution and led all my friends out of the dull, soporific lectures on those warm Wednesday afternoons so long ago.


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