I need to say more about David Tacey’s book Re-enchantment, as the themes come at a crossroads of what I am learning. As such, they serve as a pertinent summary and also guide to how this all plays in a uniquely Australian spirituality. Tacey writes from the first chapter, Spirituality and the Return to Mystery:
Spirituality is a desire for connectedness, which often expresses itself as an emotional relationship with an invisible sacred presence.
I would tend to say that is more or less accurate in my experience, I feel that desire, and find the expression in sacredness.
The rise of spirituality in our time signals the end of medernity as we know it, for the special insignia and persistent theme of the modern age has been alienation and isolation.
Ah, this is exactly what I have been experiencing for such a long time.
I distrust those who claim to be experts on spirituality, and those who have dogmatic or technical knowledge about this subject, because it is still largely a mystery, a deep source of unknowing…….Sometimes religious knowledge can become a barrier to spirituality, and spiritual practice would then consist of sacrificing what we thought we knew about this subject.
I believe that the most self-destructive strategy ever adopted by Western religion was its insistence upon the literal reality of its mysteries and miracles. It felt that its mysteries (the creation of the world, the resurrection, the immaculate conception) could be true only if they were literally true; it disregarded the truth of metaphor and symbol, opting instead for the truth of fact and history.
Probably the main theme of this blog.
Archetypal images, religions and mystical systems are absolutely relative, but they are also relatively absolute, because the field of cultural ideas and expressions is the only field through with the Unknown God can be manifest and heard. When the sacred participates in the real, it steps into history and inevitably loses its absoluteness to take on the conditions of the relative.
A wonderful description of incarnation, and also I only just realized that this was the unconscious inspiration of my last blog entry!
God is no longer conceived as a dsitant powerful figure who intervenes in human affairs from ‘above’ or who works upon us from outside creation. Rather, God is seen as the divine presence within nature and the powerful force that works towards wholeness and holiness at the heart of human creativity.
This is what we would call panentheism as opposed to monotheism.