By John Eichrodt, EUU member
Questing for the Infinite Spirit of Life is a life long process. I went through several stages, as I grew conscious of the powerful role of our personal spirituality in guiding and sustaining us in our decisions, in who we become, and what we do in our lives. I owe a great deal to so many who have been part of that quest, the UU communities, many wonderful persons who have shared with me their own intimate spiritual quests, and several spiritual heroes. These spiritual heroes include Albert Schweitzer, who led me to understand the central force of the respect for life, Rebecca Parker, who put together a coherent systematic theology that I could accept, William James, who enabled me to understand the universality and importance of our inner spirituality. There are so many others, but these have been the most important, along with theologian Lytta Basset, who gives the readers the gift of the testimony of her own spiritual growth in her book, My Quest for the Infinite Spirit of Life. Given her immense erudition, she enables us to relate our lives more closely to the centuries of theological and philosophical questing.
For me, I have come to understand the presence of the Infinite Spirit of Life in the world and in myself: that it was present when I was born, that it was present when I struggled to grow, that it was present when I made decisions, that it was present when I married Cornélie, and my children were born, that it was present especially in times of doubt, despair, and illness, that it helped me become the person I am, that it was present when I cried at UU services, that it helped me follow through in living life fully for myself, my family and others. In fact, I have become more aware that it is ubiquitously present, not only in me, but in others, in the world, and its presence is experienced in multiple ways. It has been a major blessing for me, and has helped me make sense of myself, my life, and how to engage myself in and with this world. So I repeat my thanks, that I owe so much to so many who have helped me to accept that the infinite spirit of life is present.
The infinite spirit of life’s origin as the term for God came after a full night’s discussion among representatives from UU’s around the world, when they founded the International Council of Unitarian Universalists.