I’ve Been Thinking

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I’ve Been Thinking

I’ve been thinking about how Carl Jung said he never met a patient over 40 whose problems did not go back to the fear of approaching death. I realize this is another of many ways the over 40 and under 40’s are different and why we need intergenerational community to keep us older folks full of life and younger grounded.

I’ve been thinking about 17th century German mystic Angelus Silesius and how his keen mind was balanced with his warmth of heart. It is said of him that he managed serenity & joy through “the spiritual detachment of his brilliant mind, capable of reaping all the benefits of education, preferment, and social or ecclesiastical structures can offer, without allowing them to dwarf the life of the spirit.” I’ve been realizing in my own experience that the life of the spirit is corroborated by my mind, but cannot be apprehended by the mind alone. We have been made intelligent beings¢â‚¬¦but we are also spiritual beings¢â‚¬¦I’ve been learning that when spiritual attainment is confined to the intellect-the spirit suffers.

I’ve been thinking about how this mix of mind and receptivity to spirit creates open space for wonder, and is a reason Jesus said we needed to become like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven. I’m reminded of Arnold Bennett saying “the only way to write a great book is to write it with the eyes of a child who sees things for the first time.”

I’ve been thinking about true joy and how Frederick Buechner said, “Happiness shows up pretty much where you would expect it to a good marriage, a rewarding job, a pleasant vacation. Joy on the other hand is as notoriously unpredictable as the one who bequeaths it.”

I’ve been thinking about the appeal of the monastic and a promotion I received for a book about the emergent generation’s interest in it. It said this generation is “buzzing” about monasticism. I don’t think the monastics buzzed or wrote & marketed books to add to their numbers.

I’ve been thinking about the mix of sorrow in joy in the pursuit of God and how Friedrich von Hugel got it right when he said, “Religion has never made me happy; it’s no use shutting your eyes to the fact that the deeper you go, the more alone you will find yourself¢â‚¬¦Religion has never made me comfy. I have been in the desert ten years. All deepened life is deepened suffering, deepened dreariness, deeper joy. Suffering and Joy. The final note of religion is joy.”

I’ve been thinking about the joy I am experiencing living on a small island. I’m thinking about how essential quietness is in getting my day started right and how Silesius said, “The voice of God is heard: Listen within and seek; Were you but always silent, He’d never cease to speak.”

I’ve been thinking about KindlingsFest and how glad I am to offer you the opportunity to be on the island with me each July so we can get better acquanted and I can share the wonder of this place with you, my friends.

This is a bit of what I’ve been thinking.

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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    Posted in Staublog in September 25, 2008 by | No Comments »

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