How my Mind and Heart Have Been Changing: How Over a LIFETIME My Relationship With THE DIVINE (G–, the Divine Spirit, Jeshua, aka Jesus) HAVE BEEN CHANGING (Deepening, Broadening): Plus How YDS Fits into that LIFETIME Progression.

EPIGRAPH
“I was a good Christian; born and bred in the bosom of the infallible Presbyterian Church. How then could I unite with this wild idolator in worshipping his piece of wood? But what is worship? thought I. Do you suppose now, Ishmael, that the magnanimous God of heaven and earth–pagans and all included–can possibly be jealous of an insignificant bit of black wood? Impossible? 

But what is worship?–to do the will of God–that is worship. And what is the will of God?–to do to my fellow man what I would have my fellow man to do to me–that is the will of God. Now, Queequeg is my fellow man. And what do I wish that this Queequeg would do to me? Why, unite with me in my particular Presbyterian form of worship. Consequently, I must then unite with him in his; ergo, I must turn idolator.

“So I kindled the shavings; helped prop up the innocent little idol; offered him burnt biscuit with Queequeg; salamed(sic) before him twice or thrice; kissed his nose; and that done, we undressed and went to bed, at peace with our own consciences and all the world.”

Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, chpt. 20 “A Bosom Friend.”  Ishmael (1st person narrator) deliberating with himself re: Queequeg (a noble South Sea Island prince, now harpooner on a whale ship, traveling the world for ideas on how to improve his native land.)
* * * *

Age 1-16
ASSOCIATE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: MOM (Teacher & Mother, Faithful Correspondent & Church Goer) and DAD (Business Man, Father, Sports Enthusiast, Hunter & Gardner.) Union ARP Church (Richburg, SC)–Mom’s and her family’s home church. First ARP Church (Charlotte). Bonclarken (the ARP Church Conference Center, in western NC–the Montreat for ARP’s, incidentally where I first kissed a girl.)

Age 16
SOUTHERN PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, PCUS. A congregational majority of First ARP (Charlotte), which was located in an ever more industrialized section of the city, morphed into Westminster Presbyterian Church (Charlotte), PCUS (1951). I was president of the high school youth group at the time, and helped the architectural committee to choose a central aisle sanctuary for the new building.

Age 18-22
SOUTHERN PROTESTANTISM (esp. Methodist): Duke University (History Major)., The motto for Duke University is “Eruditio et Religio.” Duke Chapel, Westminster Fellowship.
A couple of trips to Montreat, NC. (Presbyt. Conference Center in the montains.)
Also to nearby Asheville, NC to visit the home of Thomas Wolfe—unknowing at that time–that I would later write a Ph.D. dissertation on “Thomas Wolfe,” my ticket purchased from UNC-Chapel Hill 1964-‘68 to enter the train to a 2nd career in the academic world, punched at Ohio University (Athens) some 11 years after that 1st visit to Wolfe’s home in the mountains of western NC.

Age 20
NASCENT ECUMENICAL CHRISTIANITY: Being a bellhop at the huge old hotel in Chautauqua, NY, began a life-long love for my “Mecca,” to which I assigned myself– spend at least one week a year there, if possible. Four summers later I got field work credit from John Oliver Nelson (YDS) for being Assoc. Dir. of the College Club there. I helped plan off-duty activities for 400 students working as waitresses, chamber maids, bellhops, students taking classes, residents. Probably been there for a week or more, 30 summers since 1955.

Age 20-21
Spent my “Junior Year in Munich” (1955-56), 2nd year for such a program.
GERMAN PROTESTANTISM: Often attended an Evangelische (Lutheran) Kirche Deutschlands. Found an evangelical Bible study group, not by accident.
EUROPEAN CATHOLICISM – European Protestantism – Judaism – Nascent Greek Orthodoxy — Nascent Islam. From extensive and intensive EUROPEAN TRAVELS within: Germany, Italy, the European Continent; also Greece, Israel, plus several of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries (Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Turkey.)

Age 21-22
Back to Duke for a senior year, a much more mature and wiser person and student.

Age 22-26
WORLD PROTESTANTISM: Yale Divinity School, (1957-61).
DOUBTS: ex. my sermon “Hopeful Agnostic.’’ Elaborate
ruminations & ponderings in a journal, plus copious notes and sketches, and outlines.

In 2, plus later a 3rd year at YDS, I was Dipped repeatedly in the rich dyes and hues of Neo-orthodox Christianity, et al As well as in serious Biblical Exegesis, Interpretation, and Application. My own specialization was in a grouping designed for Biblical Study, for a possible academic career (either the Campus Ministry or Teaching). We students, from multiple and diverse backgrounds, had Many Out-Standing Professors with varying degrees of balance between “Faith AND Intellect”—the YDS motto.
[There is a whole book that could be written on my and my 1961 graduating-year classmates’ responses to our professors. Hopefully we all can discuss such matters in our now imminently approaching Reunion/Convocation in New Haven, Oct. 9-12-2011. Dick Teaford has eloquently linked his connections with various influential professors as “defining moments, in His Blog for our 1961Reunion Website.}
The motto for Yale University is Lux et Veritas. Light and Truth. On that university’s seal, these Latin words are reiterated in Hebrew (on two side-by-side pages of an open book.)
{Not that I can even read the Hebrew alphabet any more, or pronounce its sounds any more.}

Field work those three years in New Haven included: Interim Youth Minister at Milford, CT Presbyt. Church, Yale International House (Assoc. Program Dir.), and Yale Psychiatric Clinic (orderly, one third-shift/week. Basically interrupted my biological sleep rhythms each week that 3rd/ senior year. But I did cut down one suicidal pt. about 3:00 a.m. one night, saving his life.)

I had one summer of Clinical Training, Raleigh, NC State Mental Hospital (Dorothy Dix Hospital, 1958.) Excellent experiential training in mental illness, incl. alcoholism and drug addiction. We had superb weekly seminars–plus social activities– to discuss what our mixed group of 16 in the Institutional Service Project were experiencing on the various wards.

Age 25-26
“LIBERAL THEOLOGY” and “WESTERN NATURALISM/ TAOISM” (Different from Biblical/Revealed/Neo-Orthodox Theology, a la Karl Barth). University of Denver–as Danforth Foundation Campus Minister INTERN, incl. Iliff Seminary at the Univ. of Denver. (1959-60) Had my best boss ever: Chaplain Bill Rhodes, Ph.D., Yale Univ; plus a B.D.

ECUMENICAL CHRISTIANITY: NSCF (National Student Christian Federation), also World SCF conference in Athens, OH (Christmas vacation 1959). Met M.L. King, Jr.; experienced the most ecumenical high-church worship experience of my life; many international clergy joined in, without permission from their respective denominational authorities: “Bit the bullet,” “Took the plunge.”

AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHURCHES & COLLEGES: Spring vacation, 1960–“Interracial Study Tour” from Univ. of Denver. (Exact same spring as the first “Lunch Counter Sit-Ins”): Visited: Little Rock, AR; Jackson, MS; and New Orleans, LA. (Staying in African-Am. college dorms.)

Age 26-28
SOUTHERN PRESBYTERIANISM, PCUS. (Deeper Vision.) AMERICAN PROTESTANTISM, Esp .Episcopal Church (mostly through Bruton Parish in Colonial Wmsburg, VA.

Presbyterian Campus Minister, the College of William & Mary (Williamsburg, VA, 1961-64: three years). Examined, Ordained, and Installed in Norfolk Presbytery. Travels all around VA. Montreat, NC (3 summer workshops for all Sou. Presbyt. Campus Ministers.)

Progressive Presbyterian/Reformed Churches, a Study Tour in Washington, DC. (organized by Bruce Douglass—mature president of our Wm & Mary “West-Fel.”)

My three years at Wm & Mary, and in Wmsburg, VA constituted a SHORT AND HAPPY CAREER.

FIRST MARRIAGE (1962). “The seed of our destruction will blossom in the desert.” -Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeward, Angel
{There is another whole book here, with several chapters, one which I will not take up here.}

VOCATIONAL CRISIS: during Gestalt workshop. 1963, organized by the Presbyterian General Assembly– Comm. on Christianity and Health (held in Atlanta). Topic was “PAIN” wherein participants were set up in Oedipal groups with a father and a mother figure. Discovered Mom’s unfulfilled unconscious desire to be a minister’s wife.

Three of us four brothers became ordained Presbyerian ministers, and ironically all finished seminary the same year: Brother Bill and I from YDS, and Brother Betts from Union Theological Seminary (Richmond, VA)–now Union Presbyterian Seminary). {The Beecher Lecturer at this year’s YDS Convocation/Reunions–2011–is president of that seminary in Richmond.} Bill’s three year hitch in the Navy, and my one year Internship cast us by Providence to slow down and to graduate with Betts’ class of 1961.

The fourth brother, John, is the most evangelical of all of us—in his quiet & loving way. After careers as pharmaceutical drug salesman, then activities director at a retirement community in Carlsbad, CA, John currently lives much like a monk.

I find it impossible to discuss my spiritual pilgrimage without at least hinting something about “the Huntley Boys,” so significant is our configuration as a four-part mandala. One teacher who had four of us described us as “Variations on a Theme.” (Another book here. Speed on, Reid.}

Further boost in ECUMENICAL CONSCIOUSNESS: 2nd NSCF Conference (Held Christmas 1963, again–ironically considering my future–in Athens, OH.

Active in CIVIL RIGHTS those years, ex. helped integrate the one theatre in Colonial Wmsburg, fortunately with little fuss: threatened to write the NY Times, et al. if there were opposition; the authorities of “Colonial Wmsburg” quietly accepted it. I also helped to integrate Williamsburg Presbyterian Church, where my office was located, by having inter-racial gatherings in our “West-Fel” Meeting Room, without asking permission from Wmsburg Presbyt. Church. I was active with the inter-denominational campus ministers, as well as with Wm. and Mary faculty and staff, students in general, and local residents.

Peacefully, after a short and happy 3-year career in Wmsburg, I applied and was accepted by re-application of an earlier admission to graduate school. After the summer of 1960–between Intern year in Denver and final year at YDS–I had been accepted at UNC-Chapel Hill in the English Dept. And so, there I went, four years later.

I was succeeded as Presbyterian Campus Minister, Wm & Mary College, by Tony Sherman, B.D. and S.T.M., YDS ’63, ’64.

Age 28-33
GRADUATE SCHOOL IN ENGLISH DEPT, UNC-CHAPEL HILL. (Four Years, 1964-68)
As a History major in college, I had–back in the summer of 1960–Before final year at YDS–taken 4 English courses to build up the equivalent of an English major. Providence provided by serendipity: synchronistic hints for ideal housing in the Chapel Hill area: large 5 room Log Cabin in the woods ($75/month). Destiny also prepared ALL the other apts and houses I have rented or owned since then.

NEW VOCATIONAL QUEST, and SPIRITUAL DOUBTS. Very little church. Finally occasional church worship at Presby. church in Chapel Hill, or back across the Piedmont, NC road/now highway to Duke Chapel, et al.

JOY, my 1st Wife, along with other major differences, was anti-Church (more a Quaker), which influenced our marriage, and my vocation(s). We do have two now mature and independent children from that marriage of 16 years.

Age 32
After passing all courses, comprehensive exams on Major & Minor, and 4 languages in philologically demanding UNC-Chapel Hill, I took off the summer of 1967, was SUMMER SUPPLY MINISTER in my hometown of Charlotte. The Mecklenburg Presbytery’s Executive Presbyter arranged the church, named after its one major benefactor, which was located in a “transition neighborhood,” where the whites were being replaced by “Black” residents. I worked on trying to integrate it. Found out later it had been sold to a Baptist Church.

Age 33 – 70 (37 years)
PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH, OHIO UNIVERSITY (ATHENS). (1968-2005) Teaching primarily American Lit. and Great Books, plus Writing (mostly Advanced Composition). Esp. British and Am. Romantics & Transcendentalists. And Great Books of the Western World. I added some Eastern World texts, ex. Confucius and The Bhagavad Gita, to more sharply highlight and to contrast, AND COMPARE the tenets, of the plethora of various cultural traditions. I also created an average of one new self- designed course each of my final 20 years teaching at Ohio University. O.U. has a sweet arrangement, whereby a prof. can create any course, if he can draw enough students to sign up to pay his/her course payment… For example, I cooked up “Films on Visionaries” which incl. Whitman, Gandhi, M.L.King, Jr., et al. Another course I created was: “Literature of Mysticism,” which course attracted as an audit the lady near Athens whom Nancy Reagan telephoned occasionally to consult about personal and political matters.

I continued my interest in ART all these years,, incl. religious themes in All Arts, which interest began in Munich (age 20). That interest incl.: painting, architecture, sculpture, music, and slowly coming on ever stronger– photography.

Age 40-41 – A highly significant interlude ! !
(1975-76) FULBRIGHT VISITING PROFESSOR in INDIA–primarily Madras (“Chennai” now). {Remember Madras plaid, which dye often used to run.) I Lecturied in AMERICAN LITERATURE, also all over India: 14 universities and colleges, incl. Bombay, Calcutta, and New Delhi. In Madras, I taught two mornings/college at a HINDU girls’ college, and a MUSLIM men’ college; once at an excellent South India CHRISTIAN girls’ college. In addition to teaching at these two colleges, I lectured two afternoons/week at the Univ. of Madras (by the Indian Ocean).—British system where 2 to 4 private colleges send their grad. students to the Big University in town. Most ofl my teaching was usually to first year M.A. students, who had never had a course in American lit. Mostly English majors, they had primarily studied British Lit. So, I found myself opening new terrain where ever I went, around and across the subcontinent of India. It was fun, entertaining, and I think educational for them. Being a Christian in the minority was highly instructive to me !

Visited several Neo-Vedantist & Progressive Hindu ASHRAMS: Tagore’s in Shanti-Nikitan, Aurobindo’s in Pondicherry, and Ramakrishnan’s in Calcutta. In addition to lecturing at the Univ. of Calcutta, I wrote and read a short story about an Appalachian poor fellow from KY who got a scholarship to Harvard, and his life and troubles thereafter.. This story I presented at a Fulbright sponsored seminar on Contemporary Indian Artists, one which featured practicing artists from diverse arts, and thereby met many major contemporary Indian artists from all over the country.. I also at the US Consulate in Madras, joined a group of directors of Indian films, who were interested in American films. Went once to the “Ballywood” of Madras, to meet some of the South Indian actors & actresses on film sets.

Age 42—to the present age 76. . . and rising . . .,
DEVELOPING MY “TEMPLE OF THE DIVINE SPIRIT” (BODY)
Hatha Yoga – since 1974 (when I first discovered “my inner voice.” I now think it is G—‘s whispering, urging, trying to get through—if I but surrender, and trust those quiet communiqués.
Breathing Exercises (Pranayam) – since 1975 (in India)
Transcendental Meditation (TM) – since 1977, incl. the “Sidhis,” (advanced techniques.)
Daily walking–a life-long activity. I no longer run, nor play much tennis.
Columbus—a fitness center – since 2003—2-3 days/week. Was machines, then arthritis aquatics classes in the Hot Pool, now. . .
Tai Chi (begun June 2011, after developing a skin rash from chlorine water in the hot pool. Excellent for creaky joints, and stiff muscles. My gimpy leg has disappeared. Feel fantastic, “top of my game.”
Even after “re-tire-ment” I still like the Biblical injunction: “Six days you shall do all your work.” is not bad. . . (well, maybe 5 days). Even in the Garden of Eden, BEFORE “the Fall,” in the 2nd account of creation, we humans had responsibilities aplenty: “to subdue the earth, and have dominion over (all living things).” So we should stay in shape.
My DIET? Mostly, the “good stuff,” fruits and vegetables, etc. “Well, nobody’s perfect.”
But, “We ARE what we EAT !” . . . what we READ. . . .what we DO..

DEVELOPING A PRAYER LIFE: a life-long pursuit
Daily devotions–as long as I can remember(around the dinner table, with Mom’s encouragement.)

The Upper Room & Our Daily Bread – to this day Also The standards: John Baillie, C.S. Lewis, Buber, The Prophet by Gibran, Barrie Shepherd: Seeing With the Soul (YDS, ’62), Edwina Gateley: A Mystical Heart, etc.

Just today (Oct. 1) began Daily Readings from Spiritual Classics: Contemporary Devotions Based on Texts by Augustine, C.S. Lewis, and Other Writers (Augsburg Fortress, 1990).

T.M. – which I see as silent prayer, similar to “centering prayer”: not talking, but rather listening.

A devotional book bought at The Indian Festival (Columbus) some 4 years ago: Tagore poems on Mon. – Sat. Gandhi clips on Sun.
I’m now going through it for the third time.
Now “LARGE PRINT” Editions for devotional books.
Centering Prayer: silence Lectio Divina. At Covenant Presbyt. Church (Columbus, OH) were I attend, since stumbling on? (finding) at a Sciota Valley Presbytery meeting some 4 years ago.
Sharing worship services with practicing Jews, Sikhs, Muslims, Baha’is. (See Melville quotation.)

Age 42
UNITARIAN FELLOWSHIP (ATHENS): 1977, on return from year in India, I volunteered to lead an experiential series on “How I Practice My Religion.” Each session included actual worship/meditation by PRACTITIONERS of the following Eastern and Near-Eastern Religions/Philosophies: Hindu, Jewish, Muslim; Buddhist, Zen-Buddhist, Shinto, and Taoist.

Age 43-47
EPISCOPAL CHURCH (ATHENS): Attended regularly and was active for four years. I was trying to bond with my Episcopal friend/wife.
Later, about age 55, I attended a 4-day Episcopal Cursillo (short course), (aka Cum Christi, Walk to Emmaus, Via de Christo, etc.); we met Sunday afternoons at my home in Athens for two years (“Fourth Day.”)

Age 48 – present
CARL JUNG, JOSEPH CAMPBELL, AND MYTHOLOGY: During a two-quarter sabbatical designed for something else, in the middle I shifted my focus of study to Mythology, esp. as treated by C.G. Jung and Joseph Campbell. I became an avid student of the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (the MBTI) and their organization (the Association for Psychological Type), getting qualified to administer it, and giving papers at local, regional, and national/international meetings. It revolutionized my teaching, and my understanding of the diversity of human personalities. E.g. deep archetypal patterns in life, shared universally, albeit differently. After applying the MBTI to my teaching methods, and testing techniques, I began to win major Teaching Awards. This has led to a 25 year connection with the C.G. Jung Assoc. of Central Ohio, during which time I studied archetypes, the Shadow, the collective unconscious, was in three dream -interpretation groups, had a solo photography exhibition at the Jung Haus.

Incidentally, I have had 25 solo exhibitions at various venues, organized or participated in probably 20 group exhibitions, sold maybe 30 photographs. So far.

I will be bringing 3 Fold-out Presentation Boards with a few highly sel. Photos from YDS: 1957-61, prior reunions in 1986 & 1992, and 3rd, the “Cluster Reunion” of 2007 (classes of “61, ’62, & “63.

Age 50
(1985– till the Removal of the Berlin Wall and shredding of the Iron Curtain in 1989.) CHAUTAUQUA INSTITUTION IN WESTERN NY HAS SPONSORED 5 SIGNIFICANT CONFERENCES ON U.S. – U.S.R.R RELATIONS. I attended 3 of these. On the 4th (in 1988) I went as a Citizen Delegate to Leningrad/St. Petersburg, Tbilisi, Soviet Georgia, and Moscow. Among many other activities, I worshipped in Georgian Christian Churches, and Russian Orthodox Churches, plus visited the seminary in Leningrad (now reverted back to its original name: St. Petersburg.).

Later that same year, I wrote a 3 page poem “The Time Has Come,” had it translated into Russian ($100), then had it hand delivered to Gorbachev, by a Georgian official/friend when he debriefed with Gorbachev after that 4th conference. The poem encouraged the Russian Premier to tear down the Berlin Wall, a year before Reagan made the same suggestion. Many people had been making the same suggestion for 30 years before. The poem also praised Gorbachev for his unilateral dismantling of many of the Soviet nuclear weapons, when the world hung on a precipice. It also praised Gorbachev’s introduction into Russian politics of glastnost (openness)and perestroka (re-structuring).

I took three courses on the Russian language, audited two on Russian history and literature. I secured an invitation to teach Am. Lit. in Tbilisi, for one semester. But Georgia got too tempestuous, had most of their energy (heat) cut off by Russia; and I was going through a period of depression. So I scrubbed that plan, and shifted my project to mythology. That cold winter quarter I stayed with my Clearwater, FL brother Betts and his family. They were back from 20 years on the mission field, mostly in Kwangju, South Korea.

My final ten or so years teaching at Ohio Univ., I frequently taught a senior seminar on “Mythology in Literature and the Other Fine Arts,” covering many of the deepest themes, archetypal images, and plots in all literature and art. Much of the Hebrew and of the Christian Bible is mythology at its best.

Age 50 – 76 (and rising)
I continued teaching at Ohio University till age 70, am enjoying my children as they matured:

David, now 46, is an I.T. specialist with Abbott, spent two years in Singapore, opening a new plant there, is a Unitarian-Universalist in spiritual sensibility, practices Reike, is single, is doing well.

Maria, now 41, is a homemaker, created a cross-stitch company with her myriad designs, has patterns being marketed internationally. In spiritual ways Maria is close to being a native American i e. Indian). See thestitcherhood.com.

Her husband, my other son, 42, has his own web-site design company, EdenMarketing.com Hires several employee helpers.. Roman has organized 5 rhythm and blues bands. Is as good a father and husband, as Maria is a mother and supportive wife. They have two children, my grandchildren, Jessica (18) is in nursing school full-time & working half-time. Jayne (12) is in the 6th grade, and taking 6 different dance classes after school.. Jayne could have been the understudy for the movie: “Little Miss Sunshine.” Both granddaughters are singers, dancers, and actresses; they have performed in many summer theatre and other drama productions. LIFE IS GOOD.

I continue to be grateful for all those rich blessings which G– has graciously showered upon me, and many of those I love, and know.. Others in my neighborhood and among my acquaintances are unemployed or underemployed, or aging, or sick.. I am active in an amazing, spiritually mature, talented, progressive Covenant Presbyterian Church here in Columbus, OH.

My taproot IS in ARP/ Presbyterian soil. But I am very involved in so many of those other groups and practices mentioned above, including several INTERFAITH ACTIVITIES. I describe myself as a “Presbyterian Plus,” and “lower-case C-catholic” (that is universal). Am in quite good health, for an aging fellow. Taking many photos, giving them away, and donating time for photo-taking (my favorite charity). Also I am reopening my HuntleyPhotography.com business: it may not yet be operating till about Thanksgiving.

There is SO VERY MUCH to be grateful and thankful for. “From those who have many talents, much will be expected.” I am trying hard, and also exulting, humbly, for all of G—‘s bounty and providence, and grace abounding.

If ever your path finds you in or near Columbus, OH, please call ahead, and come share a room, and Huntley Southern/Mid-Western hospitality.

G– bless all of us, God’s children around the globe.

Reid Huntley, YDS ’61 M.Div.

Oct 1st, 2011 (First day of the final quarter of 2011 anno Domini.)
(614) 459-0751
2781 Lymington Rd, Columbus, Ohio 43220
huntleyreid@hotmail.com

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