Increasingly I am emboldened in my faith, finding the courage to allow this experience to extend deeper into my heart and into the whole of my life. As I do so I feel empowered to speak and write from my heart, realizing that if you speak from any other source you are merely using what Carl Jung called “directed thinking.” Directed thinking was his term for thinking which is designed to mesh with a social and cultural context, a type of thinking which is very important, but not if it disallows a more genuine, authentic vein of thought.
Often as I “hold forth” here I experience a tinge of guilt as I am approaching faith in a way that is contrary to the way I was taught in my youth, contrary to “the faith once delivered unto the saints.” But this guilt is a core issue and reflects the residual enslavement to the “guilting into” religion that I was subjected to as a child. That “guilting into” dimension of faith is not as bad as it sounds as it is merely part of enculturation and a part that can be discarded as we grow up, allowing a more genuine experience.
Another dimension of angst I experience is, “What will they think?” There are family members and people from my youth who probably have ventured into this literary venture of mine from time to time and they will certainly lament, “Oh, he certainly has ‘departed from the faith once delivered unto the saints’ or perhaps, ‘He went out from us because he was not of us.’” There is residual guilt for having ventured from the beaten path at this late point in my life. But, as Jesus put it, “What shall a man profit if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul” which is what happens if we obsessively trek onward on that “beaten” path and never allow authenticity to flow from our lives. It is the fear that Henry David Thoreau had when he “went to the woods” and there sought to delve into the marrow of life and not come to the end of his life and realize that what he had lived was not life at all.
Still another critical concern I have is the residual notion, “If I’m right, they are wrong.” In the linear thinking that I was enculturated into, right and wrong are clear and distinct categories so that the vein of spirituality that I share here must mean that those who I have “left behind” don’t have it right. In that same vein of thinking it would mean that “I’m saved” and “they aren’t” unless they believe as I do. That is certainly true if one is enslaved to linear thought but not in the least if one has found freedom from that prison. I now see the Christian story as an expression of cosmic truth, a story of love and grace that has been written into the hearts of mankind from eons past which found one beautiful expression in the person of Jesus Christ. His story shows us that His Grace is a gift and is not dependent on our “believing right” or even “behaving right” but merely an unconditional absolution for perceived guilt and shame.
Two other blogs of mine are listed here which I invite you to check out: