Blogging has introduced me to many new friends with interesting and provocative points of view. This has corresponded with many real-time friends that I have also discovered since my move to Taos, New Mexico three years ago. Adventures into the unknown, via internet or geographical change, always poses the risk that some of our viewpoints will be challenged and we will then have the chance to enlarge our worldview.
I want to share here a blog that I recently came across whose view of life as a dynamic process is something I am learning to understand and experience now that I’m in retirement. The blog is “godcomesby.wordpress.com” and the author is a Montana counselor-educator, Rita Sommers-Flanagan. I’m going to share a brief summary of what she is attempting with blogging as it reveals very eloquently her grasp of the subtlety of this mystery we call life:
There are two things you should know. First, these writings are true. They’re so true, they make me sick on a regular basis. In fact, I’m a little nauseated right now. That’s how this kind of truth works. I’m not talking about the fragile, expedient reality we cling to as temporary beings. I’m talking about truths that make your mind fall open and your heart break. Truths that untether you from the nice even surfaces you’ve grown accustomed to and threaten your existence as you’ve known it. These truths come from dreams you don’t remember.
Second, we are not alone, ever. I can’t explain this, but at the subatomic level, you aren’t alone, you aren’t even you, and we’ve known each other for a long, long time. This explains why you might feel dizzy, exhilarated, sad, frightened, and a little crazy if you let the truth of seep in. I understand. What I recommend is small doses, shy glances, formal handshakes, and laughter. Maybe work up to a daydream with the door open. You can’t imagine how dangerous and necessary this is. Courage, dear ones. Everything that is true is contradictory, indefensible, and utterly holy.
I’ve known for decades that truth wasn’t the static system of dogma that my culture gave me in my youth. And since that realization began to dawn on me in the early 1980’s, it has steadily eaten away at my soul and facilitated an awakening that can best be described as rebirth…or, I might even use the term, “being born again.” I appreciate this blogger’s grasp of the complexity of Truth, a complexity stemming only from the insistence of our ego to make the simplicity of life into something it can control. In her words, “I’m not talking about the fragile, expedient reality we cling to as temporary beings. I’m talking about truths that make your mind fall open and your heart break. Truths that untether you from the nice even surfaces you’ve grown accustomed to and threaten your existence as you’ve known it.”
I was taught that Jesus was, “The way, the truth, and the life.” I still believe that, very firmly, but now my understanding is totally different as I see beyond the “letter of the law” and interpret Him and his teachings in personal terms. I no longer look on the surface of things, because my life is no longer a surface phenomenon, my experience is no longer only a cognitive grasp of my life. Spiritual wisdom must be approached with an open mind…and an open heart…or we will not be open to the layers of meaning that lie there. And our willingness to venture into that region will require an understanding, and experience, of the “layers of meaning” to our very identity. We will have to come to appreciate the value of the bumper sticker wisdom, “Don’t believe everything you think.” Believing “everything you think” will not allow the “discerning Spirit” that the Apostle Paul spoke of to ferret out the egotism present in pet theories about life, about God, and about ourselves.
Note also that Truth, when approached as a dynamic quality like she suggested, will not emphasize the differences in life…though they will be present…but will emphasize the commonality of all things and all people. Though separate and distinct, we have simultaneously a unity with all things though this will make no “sense” to the rational mind. The rational mind, unable and unwilling to see beyond itself, will prefer to comfort zone of linear thinking which will offer the sweet nectar of certainty. But the spiritual dimension of life, that which underlies and under girds the whole of life, is nothing that “sense” can wrap its head around, try as we may.
Two other blogs of mine are listed here which I invited you to check out: