the separate self so it can fall into the Great Self of God. We have had far
much priesthood and almost noroom for prophets.The church, strange as it seems has always been a bit uncomfortable with saints and mystics; it is content just tohave people ”in the pews.” Let‘s be honest, we would sooner have control than real conversion; we would sooner have well-oiled church societies than transformed people. Cosmetic piety takes away our anxiety about God andabout ourselves, but it does not address the real and subtle ways that we ”lose our soul.”When religion is the conscience of society instead of its lapdog, culture is also healthy. If our culture has be-come soft and superficial, it is because religion did first with regard to those,
oh, so subtle ways in which people slowly stop seeing, loving, trusting, and surrendering.
It seems that human beings cannot see what they are not
to see. We cannot hear what we have not been
to hear. The ”obvious” seems to have little correlation with our acceptance of it. We have an amazingcapacity for missing the point. ”The issue is hardly ever the issue.”Religion has always distinguished education from transformation. Being informed is different from being formed,and the first is a common substitute for the second. Supreme Court justices, shops, and heads of state are ofteninformed with facts but not formed anew. They often have correct data, but not a new viewpoint or a new self.They read the situation ”correctly,” but somehow it is all wrong and we know it. But we can‘t prove it—toourselves or to them. This is the powerlessness of saints and geniuses.All knowing of truth can happen only inside a previous ”tacit knowing”
is silent, unconscious, andunspoken. Text is always untrue or at least incomplete outside of context. We are all partial knowers; allverbalizations are led with biography, preference, genius, and past hurts. This leads us to a necessary humility. Itseems we mustsomehow
”kneel” to hear and see correctly. The great geniuses had an ability ”to dwell inside of things” that wasmore art than science, more poetry than prose, more spirit than rational control of the data. And more letting gothan holding on.Geniuses, saints, inventors, discoverers, prophets, all truly creative people somehow have the ”feel” for their areaof giftedness. And it is almost impossible for them to know how they get that ”feel.” That‘s why they themselvesknow it is a gift. Some people say all the right words, but they still don‘t have it. You can be a perfect technician but create nothing. You can be a priest or bishop without having led a single person to God.
Only those who love rightly see rightly!
Text plus full context equals genius. Only the true believer can trust that larger context: reality..., the world..., it isall going somewhere.Eric Hoffer, the street philosopher, put it this way: ”In times of great change [which is always], learners inheritthe earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped for a world that no longer exists.” Faith itself,like the discernment of spirits, is actually a way to keep us learning, growing, and being transformed into God— not just a security blanket of doctrinal statements and moral principles.If we are unwilling to live askew for a while, to be set off balance, to wait on the ever spacious threshold, weremain in the same old room for all our lives. If we will not balance knowing with a kind of open ended
new seems to happen. Thus it is called ”faith” and demands living with a certain degree of anxiety and holding a very real amount of tension.S
These two golden paths lead to a different shape of meaning, a different sized universe,a different set of securities and goals.The practice of prayer we can choose to do ourselves; the suffering is done to us. But we have to be ready tolearn from it when it happens and not waste time looking for someone to blame for our unnecessary suffering.”It is the things that you cannot do anything
and the things that you cannot do anything
that dosomething with you.” When the first disciples of Jesus wanted to make the whole process into right rituals andright roles, and by implication right belief systems (common to all religion), Jesus told them, ”You do not knowwhat you are asking. Until you drink of the cup that I must drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I will beimmersed in” (Mark 10:38), you basically do not know what I am talking about. You have nothing to say. It is notthat we have a message and then suffer for it. It is much more the opposite: We suffer, come through it