Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Connections.. We are one.

In my last post I mentioned that as I understood it a Kiwi theology would address four issues.

  1. Consumerism, materialism and capitalism
  2. Meaning and significance
  3. Connectedness, solidarity and world citizenship
  4. Sustainable lifestyles.
As I walked my mountain yesterday I got to thinking that a summary statement would be the theology would explore a sense of "connectedness" with our inner-selves, other people and creation. This was rolling through my mind. It is a deep recognition that we are connected to others and the whole of the universe. When one hurts we all hurt. Last night I did some tidying up of my study. I found an old Christian magazine. I used to be on the editorial committee of it and had written an article dreaming of the future for the church. This was a way back in 1994. As part of it I dreamed of a church which would encourage a deep and growing spirituality. In brief terms I used M Scott Peck, and James Fowler's words to describe a mature spirituality.

  • People able "to see the cohesion beneath the surface of things...."
  • People able to "to see connections between men and women, between humans and other creatures, between people walking the earth and others who are not even here..."
  • People with a "powerful vision of universal compassion, justice and love that compels them to live their lives that way...."
It seems and feels to me as if we are spiritually mature when we take the trouble to have a deeper look at life and see and perhaps more importantly feel connections, consequences and links between ourselves, others, and the world at large. In some ways it is a loosening or opening up of our own individuality and seeing ourselves linked with, and a part of the whole. This "whole" encompasses human society, animals, plant life, creation, the past and the future. It is a deep recognition that we are permeable... others' lives flow into us, our life flows out of us impacting the world about us. We realise that we cannot really live as isolated individuals, essential links exist.

Anyway the nature of thinking about deep things is that there is mystery and an open-endedness about any of our words ... all we can do is evoke feelings and perspectives.
We are one! (A good song that describes this)... That's been bubbling in my head and heart as I start another year of trying to lead a church, be a minister and a chaplain.

Today's experiences have made me feel like a bit of a failure and more than a bit frustrated. I have not been all I should have been, I have found things frustrating and at present struggle to see light at the end of a tunnel. But I'll be OK tomorrow. 

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