April 14, 2921

01

Carver’s Gap North Carolina Tennessee Oil Paint Rendered — Roan Mountain Highlands/Appalachian Trail
Our orientation has to flow out of,
and be in sync with,
the wholeness of our being
in space and time.

What is wholly us about us?

Hold that thought.

The phrase "raised from the dead"
has to be understood 
metaphorically,
symbolically,
spiritually,
psychologically--
not actually,
physically,
literally.

We can be "raised from the dead"
and "restored to life"
in a number of ways
that have nothing to do 
with being 98.6 and breathing.

The complete and utter failure
of Biblical theology
to take this into account
and build a framework around it
in structuring "the story of salvation"
as it relates to Jesus of Nazareth 
is the greatest failure
of hermeneutics and creative imagination
in the entire history of religion.

Not that it wasn't attempted.
There have been a number of movements
in this direction through the ages,
all of which were violently opposed
by the forces favoring a united voice
speaking as one church to all people.
And we are more fractured,
hostile
and antagonistic religiously
than we could have ever been
taking a "wholistic but not universally united"
approach to "salvation."

With that, we are back where we came in:
What is wholly us about us?

Being "raised from the dead"
and "restored to life"
is being reunited 
with what is wholly us about us.

It is "turning the light around"
and being integrated,
consolidated,
joined together
with ourselves--
with our Original, Innate, Nature--
with who we are and always have been!

This is the journey from The Primary Mask
back to The Antithetical Mask
that Joseph Campbell offered as 
the task of maturation,
the work of growing up.

It is an experience with death and resurrection,
with repentance, confession,
redemption and atonement--
only it is not "coming to Jesus"
but coming to ourselves!

“We 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"
(T.S. Eliot).

What is wholly us about us?
Go there!
Be that!

–0–

02

Grand Canyon 01 Oil Paint Rendered –South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Everything comes right out
of our imagination.
We make it all up.
We are the reason
things are what they are.

Revelation is realization.
We realize what we realize
by making connections
in our imagination.

Waking up is becoming aware
of unconscious arcs of association
between/among previously unlinked
ideas/experiences.

And fire leaps into being,
and the wheel rolls into view,
and the iron age is born
and here we are,
sitting in the cat bird's seat,
smiling like a pig in a corn patch,
enjoying the benefits 
of a 1,400 CC brain.

And cursed by all of the deficits.
Superstition.
Racism.
All of the isms.
All of the gods.
All of the false dichotomies,
and the false equivalencies,
and the false assumptions
inferences,
conclusions,
prejudices,
biases...

The list is long.

Right out of our imagination.

And so the need to think about
our thinking,
to see our seeing,
to know what we know
and what we do not know.

So that we might avoid
falling into holes we've dug
for ourselves,
and living in corners
we've painted ourselves into,
and making messes
that cannot be cleaned up
while we can.

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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