Look out. Look in. Look around. See the wind rushing through branches. See the questions mind holds up for you. See the man and woman pointing to something passing, the dream before waking this morning, the footsteps going up to post office, coffee shop, and corner bank. It is today. It has much to say.
Beyond the Self
The way we define and delimit the self is arbitrary. We can place it between our ears and have it looking out from our eyes, or we can widen it to include the air we breathe, or at other moments we can cast its boundaries farther to include the oxygen-giving trees and plankton, our external lungs, and beyond them the web of life in which they are sustained.
--Joanna Macy, World As Lover, World As Self
We've become accustomed to guru and preacher, professor and pundit -- all manner of expert and wannabe savants -- telling us the way it is, has been, will become. They are kind and generous souls. They intend to help. We listen to them with respect and necessary skepticism. Respect and skepticism are healthy friends.
In addition to time spent listening to these performers and entertainers, readers of news and spinners of meaning -- we also spend time attending to wordless revelation and soundless movements brushing across landscape of horizon and imagination. The world has often been described as product of mind, an idea held in common -- even though the vast majority of us are not aware that we are holding in common the idea of the world we hold. We need a new idea. The one we currently hold is not full of requisite respect and skepticism.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord. Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
--from Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21
Luke quotes Jesus quoting Isaiah. The living word must be embodied each day by each person hearing truly the dizzying sound of spaciousness swirling in and through and out from one's own being-in-the-world.
So many in the world honor Jesus. They hold an idea of Jesus. This idea, also, needs greater respect and skepticism.
Jesus said: “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” I think Jesus meant what he said. "Today" and "this" is "fulfilled in your hearing.” His was a concrete and immediate vision. It is not about him as one set apart, not about him out-of-time as judge and jury, nor is it about him as object of worship and frantic ideological militancy intent on narrow fit for limited number of worthies.
Salvation in Hebrew had to do with spaciousness.
In the Hebrew roots, the word means literally, "to be roomy." Salvation is spaciousness. And it is out of that sense of spaciousness that we find the related meanings of freedom and deliverance. The classic story for this sense of salvation is, of course, the exodus. The Israelites were saved from the oppression of Egypt and were brought into a new land -- a "broad" land; one where they would have the space to live in freedom. (--from "Saved From What?" Rev. Laura J. Collins, http://www.takomaparkpc.org/Sermon2003March9.html#back1, March 9, 2003, referencing (1) Geoffrey W. Bromiley. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1985). pp. 1132ff.)
Today is spacious. So too is the Christ Reality spacious. Jesus pointed to both.
There's a revolution brewing in such understanding. This revolution would overthrow intentional ignorance and affectation of religiosity proffered as faith and loyalty. The revolution would let lay bare all that we have held as substitute and firewall to the constantly emerging reality of Christ today. So many for so long have boxed this living reality in lock-away vaults -- untouchable, ancient, and literal preservation -- fearing that if the original fire of sacred truth were to be felt by us, nothing would stand that was not the constant blaze of renewing, enlightening, realization of sacred spirit with us.
We'll have to carefully look to see what today this spirit longs to reveal.
“When we speak of education, we are proclaiming a revolution, one in which everything we know today will be transformed. I think of this revolution as the final revolution; not a revolution of violence but one from which violence is wholly excluded.” -- Dr. Maria Montessori
We need a revolution.
Dare we open to it?