15 December 2005

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

No, I'm not (for once) talking about U2. At least not overtly. LightHusband and I were talking again. Yep, it does happen. But we were talking about that certain something, that je ne sais pas, that sets the emerging cohort apart from the rest of the institutional church. We were trying to get our arms around it. This discussion stemmed from a number of things. Not the least of which was a discussion on an e-mail loop we belong to where there's been an ongoing discussion of the existence of absolute truth (whether or not it exists). We've also been doing some reading in the blog-o-sphere and found a rather wide range of opinions out there about literally everything under the sun!! If you can think of it, someone has blogged on it. I can almost guarantee it.

In any case, one of the things we finally were able to put our fingers on was this. Well, I feel I have to back up here, and give a few definitions first. I want to define at least one term. That term has to do with generations. For the most part I'm going to speak in generalizations. I hate to do that; generalizing paints in such broad brushes that it leaves no details and wipes all the beauty and grainlines that are necessary for good dialog. It packages people into boxes and puts labels on them. I don't like to do that, because I really believe that for the most part, most of us are a messy mix of a lot of different things and when you put a label on a person you create a wall that prevents communication. But, with all of that said, I'm still (here) going to use some labels for some people groups because it's going to make the telling of this a whole lot easier. And when all is said and done, it's all about me ;-), ain't it!

So, one of the terms I want to use has to do with moderns and post-moderns. Or I might use baby-boomers and gen x. I'm not sure what to use here because sometimes I empathize with one group and sometimes with the other. Altho on the whole, I have to say I'm more often post-modern, but I really don't know what that is. All I know is that most often it's spoken of pejoratively. Or as if those who are post-modern might believe in the boogey man. But I'm neither of those things. So, I'm going to stumble through this as best I can with some very limited terminology. Hopefully, you'll stumble through it with me.

I'm part of a cohort group which is finding out that for some things there are no answers yet. That science, technology and logic and reason can only take us so far. That when we get to the edge of that knowledge we come to a cliff and beyond the edge of that cliff there's a vast realm of mystery. Do we know how vast the realm of mystery is? No. Do we care? Some do. Some are just fascinated by the mystery itself. Some are just sitting on the edge of the cliff kicking their feet on the rocks. Some are standing on the edge of the cliff, hollering into it and hearing their voice echo back. Some are watching the clouds go by. Some are casting about to find a path down into the canyon. There are many different ways of approaching this cliff at the edge of our knowledge, but we're all embracing the mystery for what it is. This doesn't mean we eschew the knowledge (truth?) that we already have. It does mean we're exploring that knowledge in light of the mystery.

The cohort group (moderns, baby boomers, whatever-you-want-to-call-them) who go before mine, get to that cliff at the edge of knowledge and are convinced that the wonders of science, technology, logic and reason can build a bridge across it. Can conquer it and tame it and make it useful for humankind. No matter that the process might forever change and ruin the canyon, destroy the mystery. It must be brought under the thrall of humans for our use/abuse. They are threatened, for some reason, by those who just want to embrace the mystery. They must attempt to conquer the mystery or ignore it, but embracing it and exploring it does not seem to be an option they wish to acknowledge.

I'm not certain that either way is the "right" way. I just know which one is working for me. And I know that I'd like the chance to explore without being called names. I know that I'm an adult and I'd like to be trusted as one. Most of all, as a Christian, I extend grace and mercy to my brothers and sisters in the faith and I'd like to have a little come back this way. I think that's an important part of being the Body to one another.

So while I still haven't found what I'm looking for, I'm enjoying the journey. It's all part of embracing the mystery. I'm hollering into the canyon and listening for the echo ...


Blogger Scott said...

"In any case, one of the things we finally were able to put our fingers on was this...."

um. what was it? Where did you and LightHusband's fingers finally end up?

Was it the cliff/canyon of which you have no idea cause it's a big incomprehensible mystery-thingy? Is that what you finally put your fingers on?

Or have you just been trying to ponder stuff too much?

If a bear farts in the woods, and there are no bunnies to run in disgust, might it not one time smell like a rose?

Well...not a good koen, sorry.

12/15/2005 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger aBhantiarna Solas said...

Okay, scott, I'm used to your obscure comments, but this is beyond me ... what is a "koen?" ...

12/15/2005 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Israel said...

I like this sentence: "And I know that I'd like the chance to explore without being called names."

I personally think that is what may deliniate one difference between a modern and postmodern response to mystery... the postmodern tires of the fear of mystery and the freedom to live in it, and may hope more than the modernist to give others the encouragement and freedom to explore the mystery. Including that of their own unique spiritual DNA.

12/16/2005 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

A "koen" is a tool used in Zen meditation. It is something to ponder that assists your mind to try to reach a higher plane of consciousness. Some of the more well known ones that you may have heard of are...

What is the sound of one hand clapping?


If a tree falls in the middle of the woods, and there is nobody there, does it make a sound?

12/19/2005 07:29:00 AM  
Blogger aBhantiarna Solas said...

Ohhhhh ... okay ... that makes sense now. I even "googled" it and couldn't find a definition. Thanks, I'm glad you explained it.

12/19/2005 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

whoops. spelled it wrong.

koan not koen.


12/21/2005 12:06:00 PM  

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