Spiritual Writing

All of the true things that I am about to tell you are shameless lies.–Kurt Vonnegut

The introductory story poses a question, a question about spiritual life. Now the question it poses can be framed in many different ways and as we will see later, the way we frame the question is critical. So I’m not actually going to articulate the question at this point. I want to approach the issue more indirectly.

I’ve been thinking about how to to do this. And I was thinking about a knife without a blade for which the handle is missing… So I thought up a game a little like a game that we all played as children. It goes something like this. You put a marble in one hand, then you put both hands behind your back. After a while you bring them back out and ask which hand has the marble.

Well I have nothing in my hand. So I hold out both hands closed in front of me and ask which hand holds the nothing?

Now if you choose my right  hand I can clearly show you that the left has the nothing. Of course if you pick the left hand well then the right hand has the nothing.

Ah you say, being clever, it’s in both hands. But you are still wrong, the nothing is in one hand all right but the other hand has the knife. The one without the handle for which the blade is missing.

What’s the point of this silliness?

Well the point is that there are questions which sound perfectly good, which are perfectly valid at least grammatically, but somehow aren’t quite right. It’s not that they are unimportant, but they don’t have any good answers. At least they have no right answer the way we commonly use the term.

We  are beginning an effort to talk about spirit. The problem is that the concept we are trying to describe is filled with infinities and words are quite finite.  On the surface it seems impossible, a little like trying to draw a circle using straight lines. What we need is a good miracle, but fortunately we are working in a realm where miracles sometimes happen.

Below is a circle drawn using straight lines:

It’s a little ragged, it needs more work just this blog is ragged and needs more work, but it is a pretty good approximation of a circle. Each of the essays on this website are individual lines, the point is not to spend too much time focusing on the lines but rather to step back a bit and see the pattern they form.
So with the very small and very human miracle of this “circle” in mind, let’s begin our study in the hope of a bigger and better miracle.

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