Flirtations with the Divine

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Eric Weiner describes tackling our most pressing spiritual questions: Where do we come from? What happens when we die? How should we live our lives? His book Man Seeks God: My Flirtations with the Divine is the story of his search and his travels—from Nepal, where he meditates with Tibetan lamas, to Turkey to China, where he attempts to unblock his chi; to Israel, where he studies Kabbalah, and to Las Vegas, where he has a close encounter with Raelians.


Eric Weiner

Comments [10]

Ed from Larchmont

Thanks to Leonard Lopate for running interviews like this, they seem to make
him uncomfortable. A good man this Lopate.

This man had what he thought was a near-death experience, and quite naturally he wanted to know the nature of reality - is death the end, is God real, how should I live? I admire his search but it doesn't sound like he found an answer. Let's hope he is still looking.

Some today would say that one can't know the truth, but this is a denial of Revelation.

(And how does one know so much about the truth to say that it's unknowable? - Chesterton)

He probable stayed with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in NYC.

Dec. 14 2011 08:16 AM
Peter Talbot from Harrison, NJ

Mr. Weiner's project seems to have been to carry his "skepticism" into the shules, maddrassah and seminaries of the world in order to inject his view of humour into his own confusion regarding "religion", "spirituality", and such.

I was left feeling humorless and cross, like a comedian to whom a lugubrious plumber repeatedly explains a joke. Get it? Weiner's unattributed epithet: "religion is spirituality mixed with politics" was especially smarmy. I can make the same quip about journalism.

Mr. Weiner's obvious central contention that spirituality is not logical is neither newsworthy nor persuasive of the superior position of logic as a source for ethical behavior or even the merely appetitive "feeling good". His vision of God/holiness/immanent transcendance, etc. is like that of a reformed Rabbi playing Santa Claus while refereeing a media debate, but his most "worshipful" intentions seemed to be gnostic and his approach to the potential for the divine completely atheist. Wonder who his potential audience is? Sufi master posers with exit visas and return tickets to California?

Eric: I didn't learn much and the humour I expected didn't come through today (drum roll, laugh track titter, fade).

Dec. 13 2011 04:38 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Religion is just man's organized and communal response to God.

Dec. 13 2011 12:59 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Religion is not about our relationship with God. Religion is about our relationship with each other. God doesn't need anything from us. God wants his "children" to care for each other. Cain asked, "Am I my brother's keeper?"

Your guest knows nothing about God.Just another suburban secular who understands nothing about faith, nor why it exists. Just a seeker and book writer, with nothing really important to say.

Dec. 13 2011 12:57 PM
John A.

'Your own personal god' sounds like a trinket you can collect, but some, probably most use it to mean a belief that you have come to on your own instead of what was given to you, EG from your parents or used straight from someone else's words. People reinterpret things deep like this philosophical stuff, for themselves.
John A.

Dec. 13 2011 12:56 PM
Ken from Soho

Religious implies organized religion; spiritual does not.

Dec. 13 2011 12:55 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

I'll tell you what is religion "at its best." It's exemplified by the TRUE CHristians who risked death and torture of their whole family by saving 4 Jews, including my mother, from the Nazis and their collaborators during the Holocaust, by hiding them in a pit in their field for nearly 2 years. That was the TRUE test of faith. Nothing compares to when you are actually prepared to lay down your life to save another!

That is the essence of the meaning of Jesus. It should be remembered by not only Christians, but by Jews this Christmas season.

Dec. 13 2011 12:53 PM
Ed from Larchmont

It's not so much a story of our search for God, it's more a story of God's search for us. And there is only one, we don't have our own for ourselves.

Dec. 13 2011 12:48 PM
Shain Ferguson from Malkus, Universe

I hope he studied Kabbalah under a rabbi associated with respectable Kabbalist scholars, and not the "Kabbalah Centre" shysters.

Dec. 13 2011 11:31 AM
Ed from Larchmont

In all his travels, did he happen to notice the largest spiritual project in the world, the Catholic Church?

Dec. 13 2011 08:22 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.