Diarmuid O’Murchu invites me to pause and give attention to my feelings and responses to his orientation on what The Spirit of God may be inviting us to this Advent. I’m happy to do just that! I respond to his dot points in italics.
- Opting for holistic rather than reductionist analysis. I’ve always been a big picture man. Every detail has a wider context to which it both gives and receives. The detail is incomplete without the whole of which it is a part.
- Suspicion of reason when used to the exclusion of intuition, imagination, emotion, feeling and spontaneous insight. I have always been located in the intelligence centre that is focused on rationality, discovering later in life the value of instinct, intuition and emotion as emanating from intelligence centres in there own right and deserving holistic integration into our “reasoning” processes.
- Dualisms are human constructs that have outlived their usefulness. I no longer see matters as a contrast between black and white, or even shades of gray. Life is wonderfully and complicatedly technicolor.
- Belief in the evolutionary nature of life at every level with three basic and universal movements of growth, change, and development. My instinctive “amen” is underlined by my acute awareness of these movements within my own interior being and my life-time observation of systems within nature, human history and organisation. It counters the “deus ex machina” idea that once dominated my thinking, even if unconsciously. The Spirit is actively, intimately and progressively involved in all aspects of the cosmos.
- There are no absolutes in an evolutionary universe – all is unfolding, emerging, becoming. I want to put a caveat on this one. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding, but I feel there are absolutes (eg Love) of which our perceptions are unfolding, emerging, becoming.
- Dominance of patriarchy beginning to fragment in meaning and effectiveness. It is dying a slow death – it will not lie down. From where I sit, it will take another generation to become noticeably weaker.
- Parameters set by past 5000 years of civilisation have been shortsighted, reductionistic, and irresponsible in their constructs of reality. Surely part of evolutionary processes. There have always been countermovements within civilisations, alternatively prized, tolerated and suppressed. Granted, there is still a long way to go before minority wisdom can be seen as a valuable offset to majority slumber.
- Expansive awareness of vast ages of the universe needs to become the normative basis on which we engage with daily life. I wonder if this requires either further evolution of our collective human capacity or combined human will to appoint leaders whose vision can be lifted higher than the next election.
- Belief that human wisdom is older than our cultural normative standards. Role of information explosion in the reclamation of knowledge from those who have used it for patriarchal power. The rise of the people in lateral rather than linear thinking. I would like to and need to explore this notion further.
- Belief that spirituality predates formal religions by several thousand years. A given – Australian Aboriginal spirituality a case in point.
- Being a life-long learner reframing wisdom and insight as new circumstances demand. Dogma in science and religion are major distractions and confusing obstacles in an evolving universe. As a questioner who regards the Apostle Thomas as my patron saint, I tend to agree. I refuse to use the sobriquet Doubting Thomas, however. His open and skeptical stance led him to be a powerfully effective Believing Thomas, spreading the way of Christ all the way to India. Separating dogma and progressive enquiry is a central task in this quest.
So there we have it – a few steps further towards a fresh encounter with the Christ incarnation that is preparing to be rebirthed in our midst.