So here is an insight to me – I feel things very deeply but I rarely tell people how I feel. I think I have been conditioned to act that way but also I am not comfortable or confident enough to express myself. Interestingly, with word confident comes from two Latin words, “with” and “faith”. In the end, I do not have enough faith in myself – in the mystery and paradox that is “me” – to freely express my feelings to others.
I think that is also true about religion. I have tried to explain it rather than feeling it. Or rather, I have believed in something rather than someone. Maybe I am conditioned by a culture that elevates the intellectual over the emotional? Maybe I am too self-involved to see past my own nose? All the rational arguments for the spiritual does not make it a religion.
I was thinking today that the religion I have tried to enact and live is a pseudoscience of the metaphysical. Maybe a Hegelian version of the spiritual? Nothing is real but the rational and since God is real He must be rational. But that takes away the paradox and with it faith.
This morning, as I was looking through the Imitation of Christ, I was struck by this:
I would rather feel contrition than know how to define it.Imitation of Christ, Chapter 1
Oh wow!!! Yes! There is an experimental side to religion – to Jesus – that I have dismissed as charismatic or pentecostal. But, in the history of the church, it is present in mysticism and contemplation. As a person who lives in their head, I want to get out of that space and feel Jesus in my experience. The paradox of Christianity is that it is a human relationship with the God-man, Jesus. So it involves all the elements of being human – mind, heart, spirit, physical, emotional, psychological. There is a part to every relationship between two people that is paradoxical – it is real but not rational. I still that very hard. My head tells me that no person would want a relationship with me but my feelings reach out to people.
There are still parts of me that have not even started to heal. The way I relate to others is one. Escaping that part into some form of solitude would not be healing but simply running away from the problem. I need to find that part first.