Consideration #2: Personal, Impersonal, Transpersonal

Perhaps some of the broad strokes of my journey will sound a bit like yours.

The first faith comittment I made was awfully focused on the personal nature of God.  The creator of the universe has a human-ness, even a gender.

There were very good things about looking at it this way.

During the time I drifted away from Evangelical Christianity, it was easy to see the very bad things about looking at things this way.  Like many people, I call this stage my deconstruction.

This was the time I fell in love with contemplative practices.  This is the time I rediscovered meditation. Many of these practices helped me get in touch with God’s transcendence.  I suspect they were suppressed by modern Evangelical Christianity precisely for that reason: they did not fit well with this picture of God as fellow human.

This fueled my resentment.  It motivated me to develop a robust spiritual practice.  The most obvious intuitions this practice fed were intuitions about God’s otherness, God’s distance, God’s hugeness.

But it put, I hope, on a path forward truth.  I began to get reminders: God is both here and there, human an other, transcendent and immanent.

The point at which I began to trust these ideas again, that I orvercame my prejudice against these ideas, is the point at which I went from deconstruction to the early stages of reconstruction.  (I think. Maybe in time I will see this differently.)

My time embracing contemplative practices has prepared me for this sort of non-dualistic, both/and thinking.   A simple way to think about is perhaps this: in Evangelical Christianity I proclaimed my belief in a personal God.  During my deconstruction I interacted with I God I saw as impersonal. Now, I think I would say that God is transpersonal.

And so, this corner of the Faith-ing Project is devoted to practices that some of us might do well to refresh ourselves in.  This area includes prompts for word-based prayers and journaling, lenses to read scripture through, and other traditions to consider.  To explore these traditions, click here.

 

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