A lot is going in life right now (not bad, mind you) that is impinging on my ability to create content for this blog. I have not abandoned this project. In fact my mind continues to churn, creating fodder for the future. I appreciate your patience during this time. I assure you that when things “normalize” a bit, I will be posting more frequently.
In the meantime, I will be sharing some quotes from a book I recently began reading. I am looking forward to spending some time wrestling with the ideas in The Critical Journey: Stages in the Life of Faith.
The Critical Journey, Stages in the Life of Faith, Second Edition
When pursued it become clear that this separation between one’s self and the Church usually stems from deep unresolved pain or dissatisfaction rooted in early religious upbringing. Sometimes it arises from a contemporary image of the Church as authoritarian, chauvinistic, hypocritical, or unforgiving in nature. Though thirsting spiritually for a relationship, some find it too threatening or the prospect too unsatisfying to have to return to a painful image or experience associated with God and the religious realm. . .
A point comes on the spiritual journey, however, when a healing of one’s early religious experience must occur in order for wholeness to be realized. This healing requires a transformation of the person and of the traditional religious images, symbols and words. Such transformation allows for a new way to experience these traditions and, therefore, a whole new appreciation of spirituality. It’s coming full circle to wholeness. . .
. . . we have chosen to speak of spirituality ultimately as the way in which we live out our response to God. Unless we find this personal, transformational meaning in its fullest sense, the struggle for wholeness will remain unresolved. As Augustine put in int the first paragraph of his Confessions, “God created us for a relationship with him and our hearts are restless until we find our rest in God.”
I know that I have entered into a new phase, or stage on my own spiritual journey. Without a doubt I am asking tougher questions about what I believe and why than I ever have in my life. I am digging down and inspecting foundations that were laid during my youth. Foundations that were built not by my own hands, but built by the words, actions, ideas and beliefs of others. By teachers, preachers, parents, neighbors and friends. But now I find myself questioning the expertise of those who engineered that foundation of my youth. I’m sure that their motives were good, but I suspect that they were merely passing on what had been passed on to them. Did they also have questions? Did they ever pause to think deeply about the things that they believed and why? Were they afraid to question the prevailing doctrine and tenets of the faith? I wrote a bit about the crisis that comes when one asks these foundational questions in Thomas Kuhn, Paradigms, Flannel Graphs and Fundamentalists.
If you are up to it, get a copy of the book and read along with me! That’s a journey we can take together!