Humanising the Divine

The series explores a theology that is human friendly! Jesus as the true human shows us who God is, and because of his consideration for us ('who are we, that God should make note of us?') defines who humanity was created to be. The nature of sin is to fall short of the glory of God. The glory of God as revealed in the truly human one - 'we beheld his glory full of grace and truth'. This volume is a foundation for the other volumes. And there are ZOOM groups available...

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Beyond mind to mind

Gayle found a little phrase that I said a few months back when ‘true north’ was a focus. It was:

This is not a time for mind to mind communication but for mouth to imagination inspiration.

Maybe the ‘mouth’ word needs some tweaking, particularly in the light of the previous arts post, but there remains something key in the quote.

The mind is to be honoured. Great thinkers, even some of whom have had inadequacies socially, have brought about change. We are told to love the Lord God ‘with all our mind’. We are given instructions as to what to think on in Scripture. I am deeply grateful for those who have abilities I do not have who have opened up whole new avenues of thought and insight into both the Scriptures and the world.

I appreciate the deep surprise when I say I am not of a Reformed persuasion (!) and I cannot square the passion some of those from that camp have to share their faith and by ‘all means win some’. I might be wrong but I cannot see how the theology and the passion connect. Those from the opposite viewpoint (e.g. Open Theology) could be viewed as surely being insecure about the future and God’s intervention. Regardless of camp we might think we can square all the corners that need squaring, even if how we do that is a mystery to those of an opposite persuasion. What is sure, regardless of doctrinal belief, is that passion transcends beliefs.

Mind to mind communication is not wrong, but it does appear that God does not put too much weight behind convincing others of how correct my beliefs are. I found that out a long time ago! Some people track with Gayle and I because they can see the journey we are on is consistent, others do not track because… Now if only God could recognise how important it is for all to embrace my beliefs!

Mouth (arts / imagery / sounds etc.) to imagination inspiration. This is what is needed. Once the imagination is inspired we might well need to examine the validity of the inspiration so as we do not simply embrace a fantasy (vain imagination in Scripture), but something has to begin in the imagination to bring about an inspiration that we might not even be able to square with our beliefs. It does not seem to me that there will be too many questions on the final exam paper concerning doctrine, and certainly none about how well we did in convincing others to accept the finer points of what we thought were our important beliefs. The ‘questions’ apparently will be over what we did. I hope I go beyond my beliefs.

I think we find out that true imagination transcends fantasy when we hit adversity, and the challenge of what we see around us. And one aspect that is hard to quantify is how much transformation will we see prior to the parousia. I am no scientific expert (and maybe the word ‘scientific’ was superfluous in that phrase) but the mess we are making of the planet and the pollution to the oceans, the waters, the land, global warming etc. challenges any imagination for a different future. To proclaim ‘I have a dream of the coming back to life of species, of clean water, of climates in balance’ would either take great faith or be simply the empty words of fantasy… unless we can see that what we sow now will carry through to the age to come. We are the ones preparing the material for what only God can put together. Maybe the original creation was ‘ex nihilo’, maybe God worked with some already existing material that was chaotic. The new creation though does not come about ex nihilo, but from material that God himself will, and only he can, work on to produce something beyond our dreams. That material will come from our works and our imagination.

It is not a time to pump out meaningless fantasy, but it is a time to allow our communication to focus on the imagination. Bless the mind and the intellect, but we have to elevate the imagination in this season. Not simply imaginations that will enable us to survive but that can set something in motion for our world.


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4 thoughts on “Beyond mind to mind

  1. Smiling deep one liners

    creativity I penned some months ago from inspired thought flowing through, this was the signature of my email address

    Inspiration Imagination Innovation

    today just changed it as from the living flow of inspired thought in me

    Transformation Demonstration Manifestation

    Ha Ha!

  2. When I speak to my students I explain the current situation as one that demonstrates our lack of vision and imagination. We have all the technology we need to live rightly on this earth, in comfort. But we choose otherwise. It is a failure of imagination, especially among those who have power.

    I read an article this morning that made the argument that according to polls and surveys a vast majority of Americans believe that utilities should be moving to 100% renewable energy as fast as possible and that they would be willing to pay up to 30% more for energy costs if the utilities would only do that. The article pointed out that those who manage utilities tend to be small ‘c’ conservative and on the whole resist the move. However, the good news, according to the article is that the leadership of utilities, who lack the necessary imagination to make the move have lost the battle to the popular imagination who see it as possible, do-able and desirable. That is good news. Really.

    It is funny how in a time of vast and non-negotiable change, a time when the systems that govern the planet are themselves in flux (due to us) we find ourselves hampered by those who lack imagination. Who cannot see past whatever need they have for safety and security to dream of something new and better.

    I watched a man in my yard today struggle with the eco-ness of my house. He wanted to buy the property at an absurdly low price so he could of course, make much money off of it. But I could see that the imagination put into creating and building the home and in gardening the landscape offended him. He would destroy it all in the name of control and claim it to be better.

    Imagination demands that we first give up control. If we must control everything then we can imagine nothing really. The real impediment to imagination, visions and dreaming of the next thing is our own fears, desire for safety and security, and the strong need for control over everything upon which we lay our eyes. Those needs and desires are killing the possibility of life for us and for all other species and yet we refuse to back down, to renegotiate relationships, to step back and learn. Lack of imagination will destroy us if we cannot give up and give over. Life will always be out of our control and we must live with that or we will not live. Its that simple really.

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