A deep insight or a flight of fancy

a deep insight or a flight of fancy by the early awaking mind….(one is never quite sure at 4:45 in the morning):

The language of the Christian revelation is deeply–very deeply–disturbing and frightening to some.  Those who use it among liberals, including Friends, run the risk of alienating some whom we wish to reach and touch.

The language and images of unarticulated ‘spirit’ and new age understanding are easy for me to judge as incomplete and impotent. The authority is given to a God who seems to me no greater than ourselves.

But the God I sometimes try to relate to is so all powerful and distant that he can’t touch us (me?) in our (my) hearts–where we (I) live.  That leaves Him ineffective for rendering real change in us (me).

The stories we tell ourselves and the images we use to render our perceptions of the divine on the canvas of our souls are very important.

I want to relate to and grow to understand a God who is transcendent–and also immanent.  If I tell myself that my insights are from spirit, then I risk not knowing what spirit and may have diminished my understanding of authority so far that I’m in touch with nothing outside myself.

If I accept only the teachings of a heavenly Father, then perhaps all I will ever see is a stone tablet or a book with paper and ink.  This may please my mind, but leave my heart unchanged–still chained to the shadows of my soul.  When I use these images with those who’ve been hurt by them in the past–or by earthly fathers–then I may hurt my Friends again.

The way out for me is through the full Christian understanding.  At the core is a person who is divine.  Christ admits no illusions or mistaken leadings from my own thoughts.  He’s too identified with God for that.  He’s not a distant heavenly force, he’s my best friend and older brother.

3 thoughts on “A deep insight or a flight of fancy

  1. “If I tell myself that my insights are from spirit, then I risk not knowing what spirit and may have diminished my understanding of authority so far that I’m in touch with nothing outside myself.”

    I’m curious about this statement. I find myself in the group that is uncomfortable with the word “God” and more comfortable with “Spirit”. For a while I’ve been trying to figure out what about the word bothers me. This passage helped at least a little. I think I am most uncomfortable with the notion of “A” God, and not a “transcendent and immanent” God. I am slightly more comfortable (though not completely) with the notion of a spirit that surrounds us at all times. I don’t identify with a singular being located in some far off place, no matter how loving He/She/It is.

    I am most curious about your thought that there are multiple spirits that one could identify with or(hence?) give authority to. Do you speak of a god-like and a devil-like spirit, or more than two? My thoughts on this have always considered only a lone “spirit” that unites/surrounds us all.

    -EMT

  2. Thanks for the comment, EMT!

    Our language includes multiple spirits: school spirit, patriotic spirit, the spirit of fun. I even understand Santa Claus as a spirit.

    In order to be clear about what spirit we are acknowledging or invoking, I’m most comfortable if folks would modify or articulate it somehow. “The Holy Spirit” works for me. As long as we’re coming out of a mostly Christian culture, we might as well draw on the best of its traditions.

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