I attended a presentation this weekend by Dr. Ana-Maria Rizzuto on the subject of Understanding Religious and Spiritual Issues During Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. There was much in Dr. Rizzuto’s talk that gave me a lot to thinkg about in terms of how we form our respresentation of God (a term she prefers to image because it underscores that we are not talking about something that is solely visual) and things that interfere with the formation of that representation and about the difference in the terms “religion” and “spirituality” from a psychoanalytic standpoint.
In response to a question relating to her own religious experience, Dr. Rizzuto repeated a line she heard from a philosophy professor when she was 16, that she said profoundly affected her. Her professor said that any truth – no matter where it comes from, no matter what shape it is, no matter what its purported source, no matter what it looks like - belongs to the Holy Spirit. That statement is one that she said has influenced her entire life – intellectual, personal/spiritual, analytical.
That seems to me a good line to remember. Truth can be found in many places. It can be expressed in different words and with different images. But, it if is truth, it comes from God. If we could remember that, we might have fewer fights about religion.
Update: After I wrote the above this morning, I was reminded by a line in a poem by St. Thomas Aquinas, titled We are Fields Before Each Other. The last lines in the poem read:
How can we live in harmony?
First we need to know
we are all madly in love
with the same