I have always had a love/hate affair with organized religion. At times, the church’s graciousness takes my breath away. Other times, it is the church’s arrogance and ignorance that seems overwhelming.

Malcolm Forbes once wrote, “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” Unless we constantly free our minds of habitual patterns we will live as thoughtlessly as crows. To paraphrase Jesus, “Birds have nests, foxes have holes, but true human beings have nowhere to lay their heads.” Having the faith of Abraham does not mean that we believe the same crude things he did, it means having the same courage to strike out into an uncharted future.

When Einstein sought truth, his mind was relatively uncluttered with old answers. Only his core commitment to truth gave him the courage to sail out on uncharted seas. One can hardly say his mind was empty. Years of discipline allowed him to soar occasionally into the realm of freedom. It was his commitment to truth that defined his awareness. He did not try to fit reality into an ideological mold.

True religion must have the same fundamental commitment to reality. We must not worship any dogma or sect. We must seek the sacred in reality itself. The truth cannot be found in any self-contained system of ideas. Truth is found in loving and in actually relating to reality. This truth is unbounded by human thought. It is the only truth that can set us free.