Welcome to this special place on the path to spiritual reality. Here, you will find wisdom, insight into the nature of spiritual authenticity, and the encouragement to think for yourself and form a centered, rational, informed perspective on spirituality and religion.
William Edelen has spent his life in courageous pursuit of the historical truth about religion. Basing his research on facts, not popular opinions or religious dogma, he stands for accuracy.
Bill was a Marine Pilot for 12 years during WW II and the Korean War, where he learned his love of reading and scholarship. Earning advanced degrees in anthropology and theology, he taught at the university level, where his classes were always popular. Among his many learned friends were Buckminster Fuller, Walter Annenberg and Joseph Campbell. It was Joseph Campbell who recommended to Bill that he keep pointing people “Toward the Mystery.”
You will find many surprising historical truths in his inspiring lectures and columns, such as the fact that the first six presidents of the United States were not Christians – they were Deists and Humanists and were against the church being involved with government.
Join William Edelen as he presents the documented origins of religious beliefs, mythologies, traditions, and ceremonies, as well as introduces the stimulating spiritual philosophies of some of the world’s greatest minds in modern times and throughout history.
June 16, 2013
In a study of religion and anthropology among primal peoples you find that many believed in “magic.” Magic is defined as belief that supernatural forces can be controlled, influenced and manipulated by executing a ritualistic formula, either physical or verbal. We still today, in a more fashionable way, utilize superstition, prayer wheels, magic, sacrifices and elaborate doxologies to induce God to favor our requests, grant our wishes and perform miracles upon demand.
Minister, rabbi and priest are expected to offer prayers on behalf of the desires of their congregations. Does this not make God a divine magician? And does this not make the minister or priest a magician’s apprentice, if this is your view of prayer and how to influence God?
How many times have I been asked, as every minister, “Pray for my husband, he is so ill.” I say, “Certainly I will,” and I do. But I think, can my prayer mean anything as compared with the depth and sincereity of a prayer the wife could articulate. What kind of a God would heed me when he had the eloquence and the passion, the need and the pourings of the heart, mind and soul of this wife who loves her ill husband so?
God has even been associated with “winning” and “success.” If you know God (and Jesus) you win, and if not, you lose. Or in other words, God plays favorites. It is Roger Staubach yelling to a Jesus Fair crowd in Dallas, “I’m telling you that loving Jesus is just like a football game, you work to put yourself in scoring position. Loving Jesus puts you in a scoring position.”
But then we were left hanging as to whether loving Jesus was going to be worth a three-point field goal, a six-point touchdown with a noe- or two-point conversion, or what? To illustrate the absurdity futher, let us imagine that the football team of John Doe State College is praying for victory 24 hours a day over their forthcoming game with the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are never going to beat the Steelers, even if the entire team of the Steelers are devout atheists. And suppose God actually heard a prayer from both sides to “do one’s best,” an took an active part in answering that prayer. More…