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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Advent Classic: The Birth of the Mystic

How about a New Year's Resolution at Advent?  For us at whispers, here's mine: two blog posts per month.  One will continue as the next chapter in my Just Like Eve book draft, and the other will be a whispers classic -- either literally, a re-post from this blog, or a new post in the spirit of my original blog.

Today, we'll begin this Advent New Year's Resolution with this Advent Classic, "The Birth of the Mystic." I lament that this one reveals my heroine in Just Like Eve to be more autobiographical that I've wished to admit, but could that have been concealed anyway?

The scriptures were written by the mystics, but interpreted by the religious.

Many of us began in a tradition that filled us with awe.  In time, we found ourselves conflicted.  We began to wrestle, ignorantly thinking that no question is a bad question – only to discover some questions are off-limits.  Why? we wondered.  Isn’t God big enough to take any question?  If we posed this one aloud, we may have drawn out special aggravation, as the answer is clear and implies the next one: Sure, but is the church?

Some of my own questions stemmed from the discord between the God I had discovered within my own heart and the one described by my tradition, as well as the one described by the scriptures, as interpreted by the religious.  Why, I wondered, did God harden Pharaoh’s heart?  Why would Jesus have prayed for Peter, but not for Judas, when Satan was “sifting” all the disciples as “wheat”?  ("Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat.  But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail." ~ Lk. 22:31-32)  And, the stumper for me: why would God command Joshua to commit genocide?

Posing the big questions can be dangerous, not only for the persecution it might bring from external forces, but even more for the internal persecution it can bring from our own internal forces.  Hence, we hear Dumbledore’s wise admonishment: “Curiosity is no sin, Harry, but one must exercise caution.”  Continue reading and see comments here