We are fools for the sake of Christ (1 Cor 4:10)
This is one of my favourite bible verses as I have played the fool a number of times for Christ or otherwise. However, I am an particularly taken with this verse being an April Fool's baby being born on April 1st
Wednesday, 24 August 2016
The Spiritual Journey
On Saturday Lorna and I were at the funeral for the mother
of a friend here in P.E.I. It was a
Roman Catholic funeral in the R.C. church in Souris. The funeral was well done and the liturgy was
very similar to the Anglican B.A.S. liturgy so it was fairly easy for us to
follow along and join in to the responses.
However, there was no bulletin and was difficult for some Anglican parishioners
who attend our local Anglican church as we use the old prayer book; the Book of
That being said the homily was very thoughtful and one point
which particularly resonated with me was the assurance by the priest that the
deceased has come from her heavenly home when she entered this life and had now
returned to her heavenly home. I agree
wholeheartedly with this understanding of life.
We come from God and will return to God when our time on this earth has
run its course. It is that journey which
we are all on that is our calling. A
quote from T.S. Eliot sums it up very well:
shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
Eliot, Four Quartets
The bible is actually the story of our journey of
being with God in the beginning—the
Garden of Eden and our journey and eventually returning to that home—the New Jerusalem as shown in the Book
of Revelation. The story of our first
parents began in the Garden of Eden paradise where our progenitors were one
with the heavenly father. They walked
with “Him” in the cool of the evening.
They were naked i.e. without any personas and were unashamed. They were in effect in union with God. Once they became aware of themselves as
separate from God i.e. ate of the knowledge of good and evil, they were, in
effect, expelled from Paradise.
The rest of the bible
is an account of humanities’ journey of a growing relationship with God. This goes through the stages of development
from a childlike relationship to the teenage rebellion into a more mature yet
still imperfect relationship. The
journey goes from union to separation to a new union (reunion). Indeed, Jesus recapitulates this journey in
the parable of the Prodigal Son.
This journey has been
explored and developed by Carl Jung and his followers as the journey of the
creation of the ego (the individual semi-conscious person) and separation from
God, which Jung represents as the Self or the God-image in our psyches, to a
potential reunion with God which Jung calls individuation. It can be illustrated as follows:
1 The ego is in union with God
2 The ego becomes partially separated from union with God
Figure 3 The person
is individuated and in full relation with God.
Jung was a psychologist and his theory is one of
psychological development. However, it
is equally applicable to understand the development and maturing of the
relationship between human beings and our creator. As pictured in figure 2 the ego has the
illusion it is in charge and wants to maintain control of how we are in the
world. Manifestations of this include
ego-centric people and to more extreme states such as full blown
narcissism. The ego believes that
everything, including God, should be in service of the ego i.e. the individual
as he or she perceives the world. The
journey is to move to the position as pictured in figure 3 where the person is
in service to God and in a new spiritual and psychological union with God.
I understand the journey to be one in which we have the
potential of discovering more fully the people God intended and intends us to
be when we were created.
I had Sunday off from official duties and Lorna and I
attended St. Alban’s together. It is
nice to be able to worship with her in that way. Consequently there is no sermon this
week. Blessing on you journey.