01 Jun In Search of More
As I write, Rosanne and I are preparing for our week with Cynthia Bourgeault and others in Stonington, Maine. I know that the week will be powerful and supportive to our near and far aims of consciously growing toward union with God through daily conscious work. As is always the case with Cynthia’s wisdom gatherings, the learning will involve all three of our centers—intellectual, feeling, and moving. Meaningful spiritual work requires the whole of ourselves in balance with each other.
I wish that I could easily describe the path that we are on. But I cannot. It is rigorous. It is intellectually challenging, but the intellect is only one piece of the work, and by no means the most important part. There are meditative exercises, complicated body movement sessions, some physical work, mixed in with periods of rest for deeper assimilation. Perhaps most of all, is an openness to dimensions of what we might call invisible or spiritual realms.
We live in a post-enlightenment world. We are children of that experiment, begun in the west in which people decided to abandon Medieval religion and religious power for faith in reason and scientific/technical and secular power. Yes, these past several hundred years have brought many blessings to our world, but in the process, we have a sense that we also have lost something very important. I believe that what we have lost is a tradition of spiritual wisdom to infuse our lives with trust and meaning.
In placing our trust only in rationality, we have reduced what can be seen and experienced by us. I remember how Rosanne has said for years that she feels closer to her parents in death than in life. She would say that she knew that her parents were with her. I thought that she was speaking metaphorically and simplistically. As a “professional” theologian, I could not speak in such a way. Since my dad’s death in March, I have come to see that what she was saying is true. Work between me and my dad has been going on for weeks now, and I don’t mean that only as a work of my imagination. Invisible, spiritual realms are real, and we do well to start learning how to navigate them now, before we die. And to do this with some wisdom and protection from self-delusion, we need some trustworthy and accomplished guides. It is this guidance that we have lost in the west and which we desperately need to recover. That’s what Rosanne and I will be up to as we are away. See you when we get back in church!