All of us have to begin small. As toddlers we learn not to place our hand on the gas burner. Hopefully we grow in understanding as we mature. Some do. Others never progress past concrete thinking. They remain with the two dots they accumulated and never develop any facility in ‘joining the dots.’ Many remain stultified and captured in an undeveloped section of their life - for their entire life - perpetuating prisons of the mind and stultifying those who are naïve enough to come into their influence.
I had a small group of lovely students once in my social studies class. Not academically blessed they were able to progress through the course because they were humble, teachable and open to ideas. Not all clever people are teachable and not all of limited intelligence are ‘dull’ in their ability to understand things of spiritual importance.
Some have sharp spiritual discernment that enables them to embrace the radical power of the gospel while others - theoretically more intelligent and ‘learned’ - flounder in conformity to accepted Christian myths. You might be surprised at how many intelligent and well educated people go to their graves without knowing that they gave their entire lives in support of a delusion.
THEY WILL SEE GOD
A pure heart enables us to see God as He is and ourselves in who God has made us to be. A divided heart empowers our illusion to cling to our souls and masquerade as truth.
Richard Rohr writes, “We surely believed, if not in the Trinity, at least in her [his teacher] earnest Irish faith. (Although maybe that is exactly how the divine flow has to start! With sharing a bit of earnest and deep goodness.” (1)
We can become ‘stuck’ in our parents religion and spend our lives attempting to pump life into communities of belief that God never started. We may do this because we are naïve or burdened with a craven need to have our being propped up by an imagined status and identity that we think we have in the communities of belief that birthed us and which have shaped what we call ‘our knowledge.’
Then again we can remain congealed in crippling beliefs because our personal ‘earnest and deep goodness’ is not earnest, deep or pure enough for us to follow where Jesus is wanting to lead us – into the fullness of our inheritance in Him.
Our inheritance is more radical than most realise. The fall and its effects have been neutralised. Your sins are forgiven and can never separate you from God. The trinity not only lives in you. You are part of the being of God and God is part of your being. You are daughters and sons. You have the power of the Spirit to continue what Jesus began with signs following. You are interwoven with God and He with you. With His eyes you can see Him and see yourself. To see Jesus is to see yourself. Jesus is our Mirror. Not the law, our personal idealised ‘self’ or Christian performance culture.
By clinging to a lesser identity we can end up with no real identity at all.
OFF WITH THE MASKS
Wrong ideas about God and His plan suffocate our personhood or make us ‘ghosts’ of our real selves. In his book ‘Till We Have Faces’ C S Lewis proposes that the further we are from God and the more our ideas of God and ourselves are limited by own crooked thinking, the more ghostly and insubstantial are become in the nature of our humanity. We are ghosts with scarcely defined faces. In this vein, William Paul Young urges ‘May our courage be emboldened to take the risks of trust, to live only inside the grace of one single day, to reach across Empire’s borders [the Christian Industry and our own un-gospels] and tear down the walls that mask our faces.’ (1) Rohr, Richard. The Divine Dance: The Trinity and your transformation (Kindle Locations 336-338). SPCK. Kindle Edition.