mdok — COVENEND to replace REVEREND…. By Cov. O’Kelly
Covenant is at the core of my writing and conceivings of Poetries of a New Spirituality. Immanence is at the core of this writing as well as opposed to Transcendence. ( See note on Plato vs Existentialists below.) I have been a “Liberal Religious Humanist Minister” since my M. Div. Degree in 1966. As the years and events have evolved in my life, I find the title Reverend to be fake….for me. Yes, a “non-truth” in the context of all the other religionists of that title who believe in God, Jesus, Salvation from Hell to Heaven, Life after Death, Biblical Revelation, etc., etc. — and who rightfully have the title of Reverend because it is integral to the tradition/concept of Church & Christianity. I cherish their right to their beliefs, but bear in mind, as I say this, that I have found all the so called “Christian” values, morals, virtues — to exist naturally in the natural world: goodness, love your neighbor, ethical-moral behavior, be the best you can be, realities to believe and have faith in, help others, live beautifully, die meaningfully, etc. They exist in human presence everywhere. And the evil and the bad, the terror and horror all there as well with their weave in the fabric of life. The belief/faith/worship regarding a deity/savior transcendent of this world and life — and active within it with immortality in the mix — is not my experience. I’m not alone in this. I have witnessed how the “spiritually but not religious” orientation has grown over the years to a bold category. The “movement” called New Age Spirituality is all over the map of embedding the old of religions into the new realities our time. With its motivational break from old dogmas, there are still those who can manipulate the “alternantive holistics” to manifest “Christian spirituality.” My emphasis is the primal covenantal WE ARE and the poetries to express and conceive it.
And I have searched/researched in both the “spiritual” and “religious” dimensions with dedicated diligence and desire. I went into the UU Ministry to help “religious liberals” with the meaning of life and to serve such community with celebrations that enhance and preserve the meaning of life and give credible advance to “freedom of thought and ritual” in religion’s quest. Also, I sought to grow personally in comprehending the nature and promise of our existence. All said and done in that context, my spirituality is not in line with the title of Reverend. Therefore, I no longer use it personally, even though it is still the way I’m referred to by the UU Denomination and other sources. Also, when I survey the advances in thought&humanness ( with more to come ), I am moved to concentrate more on “spirituality” than “religion”: individual enlightenment over institutional endowment.
The point is, I know inside myself and my own authenticity and honesty, that the title Covenend is very real and meaningful, whereas Reverend is but partially “my” truth. I am both inside and outside that tradition. However, the concept of covenant and the covenantal relationship of humanness with the powers and beings of this planet has a tradition long before the term/title Reverend or todays Deity/Christian Worship came into being. It has been motivating spirituality of relationship in all cultures –ancient to modern — from the day-one we became “consciously proactive” for our own “prosperity” on this Earth. Many liberals conceptually/religiously follow the meaning in Schweitzer’s “Reverence for Life”(“that” sense of REV), but that is not the meaning behind Reverend — which is Reverence ( as in worship of God) — not the Life Force Presence of a Herd of Hippos. If I use the title Rev. before my name — 999 of a 1000 people will think I’m a God believer/worshiper as in all traditional Ministers of Religion. And, for some UU’s this is no problem. Indeed the title is used ubiquitously. If you’re a Minister you are a religious-dutied Reverend: clergyperson-pastor-parson-priest of the Cloth. I covenant with the Hippo-Happenings — such are real. God-Happenings are interpretive beliefs: interpretations, for many, worthy of faith&trust. For many others the evidence is not there. I do not want to just dream of someone to hold hands with — I want the hands to actually hold. That happens in this life. When I am asked to define “Spirituality” and “Poetry” — I begin with “covenant” and end there. They join hands as one. I COVENANT — THEREFORE, IAM– gives the dynamic of Cogito ergo sum — Respondeo ergo sum: consciousness of self and one’s response to existence implies a primal-ontological-axial “covenanting” — as in how one’s feet feel the ground and can path the trail. The quid pro quo reciprocity of thought-body & place-time — is the covenantal launch-pad of all things good, true, and wonderful on this planet. Just as Michelangelo releases the spirt/presence in the stone.
Well, the REV tradition works for some and many, obviously. I am, however, a Minister (quite retired, now), who is a Covenend. I am not/was not the same as the Reverends of all those denominations. Twice in my ministry, I had to have Ministerial Associations reword/add to their membership by-laws — words inclusive of my denomination/ministry not labeled “Christian.” Will this revolutionize the minister concept in the liberal religious world, or elsewhere. I don’t think so. COV I’ve got, but CLOUT — none in evidence. However, COV is 100% true ME in the Poetries of a New Spirituality, wherein the concentration is our covenant within an earthly immanence. The great ministry is to enhance the existential being relationship and promise of planet and people — somehow caught together in a magical theatre — outside of which is a vast unknown that shows no interest in anything like us and this earth. My overriding rationale in this — is that we are as we are because of where we are and our ability to covenant with it all to manifest a thriving WE ARE — WHO KNOW HOW TO COVENANT AND WORK-WITHALL THAT ENHANCES OUR WE-ARE. — In Covenanting, I Trust. Proudly, I put COVENEND in my Glossary and in front of my name. — Surely you can hear of Covenantor-Covenanti-Covenatian-Covenantion. — Animus Covenatus Spiritus Mundi — all with an echoing resonance throughout.
Yours Truly, Covenend O’Kelly. But, if you notice, I’ve increased the manifest by simply putting POET “after” my name since its PassageOwlOfEpiphanticTang hoes&harvests&hopes for wisdoms in the same garden.
[Note: Plato put essence prior to existence, yet perplexed by the fact existence was the only area to visage essence: thus the cave of shadows from some light from somewhere. The existentialists perceived and expressed, directly, our essence from the shadows and real sunlight of our daily existence. The quid pro quo pendulum-reciprocation-oscillation of existence&essence-A-essence&existence is the theater-drama we are in up to our WUNTSUNODION world-life-ion of WondersThatShouldNotDie. The true E/E domain of LifeInDeath-A-DeathInLife — is an EE to which add E for the Earth. — In physics there has been manifest the Principle of Complementarity, which by simplest surmise is that electrons are sometimes waves and sometimes particles. Then, add DarkMatter&DarkEnergy to the mix with that reality known as Gravity, which seems to everywhere. The forces to attract and the forces to repel — seem reciprocally engaged, even to the working-concept of Entanglement, even at a “spooky distance” apart. Well, we are still on the trail of so much yet to be comprehended, but, for now, for me, all of this entails our earthen dynamic of covenant as the tertium quid of active prosperity manifested from the interplay of contraries/polarities. Life is everywhere predatory and procreative — singularly here and millions of light years away in far-out galaxies and black-hole/big bang singularities. Plato would be amazed by our much more informed (and infinitely cluttered) existence and its mindboggling scientific-covenantal-data regarding the inter-entanglement-play of both essence and existence. This complementary-covenantal becomes the manifest of prosperity — bacterium as well as humans: we are just more in control. We know our WE ARE and its ever-conscious covenanting. — Alas, the pendulum oscillates/swings ever placing each, like space-time, within each, and never without, the other. — The interplay–ever un/en-folding, at least on Earth — as ever to the next Intentionally Sung Intensity’s Song of Our Covenantal Existence As Humanity’s Afflatus Love Song — the ISIS-OCOVEAHUMALOSO. O to find the gist of our mutterings of Utterances from/of the Uttermost. Hey, Michelangelo. Could use some help here. A consortium report from the sciences of earth and universe would be good, too.]