Friday, August 24, 2012
words that divide
A conversation with a noted theological teacher and writer focusses around God language. The question that comes to many is that how do we use words that seem to be fused to a set definition. Buber somewhere laments that the word 'God' has become so overlaid with a set meaning that the many want to jettison words that seem to lock us into dualism or images that seem to suck the life out of spiritual seekers. He calls on us not to give up on the word but to work with the images. We are indeed the victim of literalism in our spiritual lives transposing the requirement for precision in science to the language of faith which is always poetic, metaphorical and multi layered through which through paradox and prayer we catch a glimpse of a wisdom where we catch our breath in wonder. Like an high board diver we climb the rungs, stand on the board and let go diving into the water in the interplay of words and silence in prayer and spiritual expression. How can faith communities give up clutching at words making space for the divine Logos, the whole whole ness drawing us to the One and animating poor words with the sparkle of love and hope, transformation and resurrection. Yes let us unfurl the banner of traditional languaging but not to fight a battle but to call to a careful confidence. When we allow ourselves to be silenced other than for reasons of love and magnanimity we are colluded with a binary definition of word and silence that handcuffs the spiritual community and the soul seeker.