tag : bright yellow-green apples: spouting one - mixed up

"I see little point in persisting in a discussion with one so obstinate as you" Martin White

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

spouting one - mixed up



figure 5.1. between the covers

There seem to be a fair few discussions about knowing in religion. Ruth Ann and a native New Yorker are both considering what it’s possible to affirm in religion with integrity, while Sarah’s been thinking aloud about the nature of meaning and construct.

I must say first of all that the use of ‘God knowledge’ as a concept, somehow popular in some circles, in religion is one that generates little sympathy in me. So it's a relief to find sensitive discussions. Yes, the rational and logical, philosophy and science, must be acknowledged in religious community. But the way that term’s used in some quarters tends to devalue what it means to encounter God, by looking at it in terms of fixed accumulation of information that we give to each other like pre-written books to read and learn. I'd like to think it more healthy to look at faith dynamically evolving as it interacts with the variability of life,a story of many parts that's being fashioned by all concerned.

To me, the divine is both mystery and tactile reality. Or maybe, to put it another way, I’d say that my encounters with the divine have tended not to be sensible or coherent – even as I encounter God in people, and in the world around me. From what I’ve found so far in my experiences, the divine seems to be: evasive ~ frustratingly elusive ~ totally various ~ as deeply familiar as myself ~ utterly surprising. There's a sense of lack, which is not so much awful as quite affirming.

"Nothing to see
Nothing to hear
Nothing to be
Nothing to fear
Nothing to prove
Nothing to say
Nothing to loose
Nothing to gain
Nothing to feel
Nothing to hate
Nothing is real
It's all too late
What do you do when nothing's wrong?
Ain't got a clue
Ain't got no song"
Graham Coxon

To some, void and emptyness might be anathama. But if approached posatively, in terms of openess to what sitting in the currents of flux can bring us, it need not be antithetical to orthodox religion. I’ve banged on about this personal soapbox so many times recently so please excuse any repetition; life is more complicated than we’d like to admit. I cannot claim to understand, I have no systematic theology, and would not even claim to have any real thread to hold this jumble of perceptions and memories together. Still I’m compelled by the myth of God to continue digging, and to explore the resources in the stories, poetics, senses, and images we have together, to search for what they might contribute to "life in all it’s fullness". In response to life's many shifting situations, it’s made up as I go along - in the best sense of that phrase.

5 Comments:

Blogger mary said...

hello. i'm not going to say anything remarkably profound, just that i read this and it was most helpful and interesting.

this bit:

"To me, the divine is both mystery and tactile reality. Or maybe, to put it another way, I’d say that my encounters with the divine have tended not to be sensible or coherent – even as I encounter God in people, and in the world around me. From what I’ve found so far in my experiences, the divine seems to be: evasive ~ frustratingly elusive ~ totally various ~ as deeply familiar as myself ~ utterly surprising. There's a sense of lack, which is not so much awful as quite affirming."

really struck a chord, and this bit:

"Still I’m compelled by the myth of God to continue digging, and to explore the resources in the stories, poetics, senses, and images we have together, to search for what they might contribute to "life in all it’s fullness". In response to life's many shifting situations, it’s made up as I go along - in the best sense of that phrase."

gave me hope for a future beyond the religion confusedness i find myself in now. and the words used to convey your thoughts, whilst a bit too complicated for my mary-like brain, (what does flux mean? i think you might have explained once, but i've forgotten) were beautiful and swept over me like music. so thank you.

11:25 AM  
Blogger postliberal said...

Ah thanks, I didn’t think there was that much in it (truth be told, I spent a day of editing trying to get it to make sense!) Like music? You flatter me! But yeah, in these times where certainty seems to be the favoured currency, there needs to be an affirmation of those who aren’t convinced about everything. Whatever lingo we use to describe how we are, it’s reassuring to find others are likewise seeking meaning in unmeaning.

I just had a quick check back, and sure enough we’re done flux before.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Rik said...

This is a great blog you have here.
Very interesting to read, so I bookmarked it.
greets:)
------------------------------
[My blog][avatars and funny stuff]

2:11 PM  
Blogger ash said...

excellent! this was, in honesty, the greatest good that came out of my reading of the Post-Evangelical last year. I got a lot out of it, but the key lesson I took away with me was that it's okay to ask questions and feel disillusioned and that, to use hyperbole, this does not mean we are going straight to hell "without passing go" et al.
we are none of us alone in this quest. Even many of those with all the answers don't have all the answers... I know far too many occasions I've councelled people around to the good in faith whilst doubting my own. (Which begs questions about internal truth and honesty. deontology blows).

so yes, here's to seeking. *raises glass*

7:47 PM  
Blogger postliberal said...

Absolutely - here's to the journey, and other such buzzphrases in vogue at the moment ;)

1:25 AM  

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