Monday, November 18, 2013

Fleeing self-contained certainty -3- Sharing Ideas

Of course we make assumptions, but we must also assume we are mistaken in ways we don't sense. There is no way to study God and the universe other than to see what we see, then test it. And if he is who the Bible says he is, then we will receive the clarification we need to move closer and find out more.

So why do so many fear those questions?

Why do so many fear those who disagree?

Instead of saying, "If you don't think of the universe as I do, then you do not know!" I think it is better to ask, "How do you know? What have you seen? What is your experience? What influences your perspective? Why?"

Perhaps answering these questions will help us all see more clearly. Then, too, I will have a chance to learn from, understand, and speak to others directly. Isn't interacting through relationship much better than broadcasting generic information from afar?

Every individual is designed with a valuable perspective on life, and when I allow them to combine and react, I gain the benefit of additional depth and color that might highlight flaws in my own lenses ... or not. Sometimes I realize that what I learned previously is more deeply true than I knew, even if I learn this from a perspective that disagrees ... viciously.

And, what? Am I right to say the elephant is only like a snake? I can't change their eyes. I can only see what I see, always missing something that is out of my sight. As time moves forward perhaps they will see it too, one day,... or I will know their perspective. It could happen.

I sometimes imagine a world where we all assume we have our own distortions to work around, but that teaming up to test our own points of view gives us the potential to discover more by experiment and experience.

Maybe we would know each other better.

Maybe we could see more clearly.

Maybe we could interact in a healthy and healing way.

Maybe mysteries are meant to cause relationship among us, instead of separating us?

What an idea!

However, I don't need others to "see it gently" to learn from them. Even poisoned attacks and exclusionary tactics teach me something ... it just might not be what they think I'll learn. Even pain cannot prevent the gift of wisdom. In contrast, perceived safety isn't always safe. If the world beneath my feet will collapse anyway, then I'd rather find that out while exploring and testing the foundations.

In the end, if God really did make the promises I devalued for too long ... then he will give me the wisdom and guidance I seek, because he wants to and not because I've somehow performed up to some standard I don't understand.

So far the (paraphrased) promises, "seek and you will find ... that I have already provided your needs ... and am with you always ... because I love you ... and I have prepared a meaningful existence through time that was meant for you from the beginning" ... prove true. I have the rest of my life and then, perhaps, the ages beyond to explore what more there is to discover, and what this path will make of me.

I am still very much in-process, but if I bend my mind around the concept of stepping outside time then I am already completed, past, present, and future. Maybe God is still making us within the fabric of time, still shaping the song of the beginning, even as he says it is complete outside of time and rests.

How can I claim to know?

I only ask questions, let the mystery be what it is, and hope to gradually see more clearly than I do today. It's wonderful to encounter others who are doing the same.