August 30, 2011

Luke 8.22-25

One day he got into a boat with his disciples and said to them, "Let us cross over to the other side of the lake." So they put out; and as they sailed along he went to sleep.

Then a heavy squall struck the lake; they began to ship water and were in grave danger. They went to him, and roused him, crying, "Master, Master, we are sinking!"

He awoke, and rebuked the wind and the turbulent waters. The storm subsided, and all was calm. "Where is your faith?" he asked.

In fear and astonishment they said to one another, 'Who can this be? He gives his orders to wind and waves; and they obey him!"

7 Comments:

At 8:29 p.m., Blogger forrest said...

The disciples are all asking, "Who is this special person?"

And that person himself is saying, only, "Where is your faith?"

Where is your faith?

 
At 5:26 p.m., Blogger Random Arrow said...

My faith isn’t in my comprehension of this text. My faith feels in need of something outside of this text to rescue me from the text itself. I read these kinds of texts. Mostly in the synoptics. I wonder why Jesus does not prevent the storms in the first place? I wonder why the disciples do not ask this question directly? A hundred times? And isn’t this question in part what they are asking? Power is power. Power after a storm is as good as power before a storm. These kinds of texts leave me with more questions than answers.

A huge irony for me. I don’t fully understand myself nor my faith. Because these texts are supposed to be exactly the kinds of texts that make charismatics glad. A mystery to me. I do trust that God has entry into nature. And permeates nature. I know too that this text reflects an understanding of nature quite different from mine, that is, this text presumes close ties to a world view that holds nature animated and driven by the demonic. I too can see and judge certain large systems as ‘demonic’ – systems of fraud or oppression: some government, businesses, global economic predation, so on. I can ‘sense’ the presence of mens rea (evil mind and motive) sometimes directly in myself and in clients or others nearby. I confess specific instances of feeling transient waves or ambient evil in the atmosphere that has a personal quality – most frequently in my work in prisons on behalf of inmates. I know a great deal of this stuff gets passed off and analyzed under all kinds of fancy and hifalutin psychological and sociological analyses. No matter how I try to imagine a fully animated universe such as the disciples must have taken for granted as the source of the waves of their destruction – I still feel a gap between my understanding of nature and natural law and whatever they might have felt as a personal attack by the waves in this text. All these fancy observations and self-reflective ruminations aside – it’s still simply true under almost any analysis that these kinds of texts make me ask more questions than they answer about – Power. I openly admit that my faith – wherever it is invested – is not invested in my comprehension of such texts. Odd.


Jim

p.s. – thanks for your excellent comments elsewhere on natural selection. I finally had time to read and let the comment sink in. Rather than housekeeping and shuffling comments around.

 
At 5:37 p.m., Blogger Random Arrow said...

And yet – I read these texts and still end up feeling inspired! A net effect of inspiration. Not a net loss. Net faith.

Maybe the process of wrestling with the Wrestling of these text is a part of the Mystery of that net effect of faith? ~ Jim

 
At 9:53 p.m., Blogger forrest said...

I don't think I'll comment anymore about evolution; if your readers wanted to know anything there are places they could have found out. Reminds me of little kids at school, arguing that God didn't make me because my mother and father had done it, by doing something gross and yucky I mean (as my mother said) ~'perfectly natural and you mustn't think it's dirty.'

So, what put this text in front of you and why should you put your faith in 'your comprehension of it'?

We've got all these people saying we should put our faith in Jesus-- and yet Jesus isn't saying that! He doesn't specify here, but what would he want their faith placed in?

"Demonic" here == "spiritual", not "demented" or "diabolical." The world as the disciples see it is awash with angels, not devils-- but they are not having a comfortable cosmological discussion; those were powerful angels just working up a storm, and the disciples have been terrified. While Jesus has not been.

Hast read Walter Wink's 3 biggies: _Naming the Powers_, _Unmasking the Powers_, _Engaging the Powers_ ? Good stuff which might be apropos to what you experienced re institutional evils...

Can you put your faith in what brought you to this text, what points you to meanings in it, in what underlies the storms of the 1st Century and the turmoils of Random Arrow?

"The new moon is shining;
the Harmonious Hand is now holding
Lord Krishna's ring, the eagle's wing,
the voice of mother,
everything!"

[Incredible String Band, in 'The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter' ~1968 ]

 
At 11:25 p.m., Blogger Random Arrow said...

I apologize. I’m sorry and apologize for my comments to you. In particular my comments about you as a petitioner. I apologize, personally. And would like to know how to make this right. My feelings in saying this have nothing to do with soliciting you into further comment. One of the seasoned commenters took up your notes in an amazing way tied into poetry. I’m not sure that I comprehend all of it. Another matter.

Faith. It’s good to have that question echoed back.

Yes, what? What did Jesus mean to elevate as the object of their faith? Or did Jesus mean to say they suffered broken faith in general? And needed to get renewal of faith? I’m asking these questions in self-reflection. Though shared answers are often helpful.

Wink! A good reminder. A familiar name.

Yes. I can put faith in what brought me to the text. An inward feeling of life (perhaps inward bursts of life – little felt ergs and felt energema – metabolic feelings) of the rewards that I often get in coming to these texts. Much like a little child in a candy store. Curiosity. Moved by good feeling to read more. Childlike.

I’m guessing that whenever the end result (really not the end - only feels like it momentarily) of reading texts is a state of confusion – then honesty about my confusions about the text drives me to the Source. The text driving me beyond because I feel no life in the text itself. And sometimes my answers from – beyond – the immediately confusing text has nothing to do with the text itself. Feels funny to write this. Mystery.

 
At 12:11 a.m., Blogger forrest said...

Huh?!!! Apologies for what? I don't know that anything between us is "wrong," but if I have screwed up from thinking I was being perfectly clear (happens!) please let me know!

"Nothing to do with the text itself" sounds good!

Gaskin re two models of communication-- his 'telepathy' model in which people understand the words because the meanings behind them are already shared between everyone in Big Mind--

and the more popular 'scientific' model: in which I code my thoughts into a note which I wrap around a rock and throw over the fence between us, whereupon you retrieve the rock, unwrap the note, and decode.

I once knew a "psychic" who I thought had "a lot of trouble reading his own mind". Gaskin's model implies that that's a common condition.

I could write a lot about evolution, because so many examples are utterly boggling and lovely! Earlier tonight I lost a post like that to the blogger machinery... and thought, "Why was I working so hard to make something clear to people who think the world is an artifact of sociological power relations and literary tastes?"

When I had a summer job at a State hospital, I heard a couple of my fellow summerjobbers talking about me (I think): "Dumbest smart person I ever met." (If that wasn't me, I don't know who else!) And whenever I break loose from that, there'll be something really obvious that I hadn't seen! You've collected a bunch of clever people who seem not to know there's a universe they live in... and maybe I shouldn't be hard on them, but when they play with science, I just don't know where to start!

 
At 1:57 a.m., Blogger Random Arrow said...

Excellent. All the way around.

This Gaskin stuff. The stuff on the "psychic" who might have "a lot of trouble reading his own mind."

May we please pick this up?

I’m posting this question late at night. Will check back tomorrow.

What I have in mind is a little elaboration on this question. And some testing. I’m thinking about using the subject matter header – “Hear and Act” – as the venue. Instead of doing this as fragments scattered under scripture sections? We could keep going on the scriptures at the same time. Either way is fine with me.

Did you know you can forward-date any header, that is, simply add a new date stamp to any header (Hear and Act) to move it temporarily to the top of the blog? And then move it back? Might we do this – or experiment with it – under Hear and Act to see how it goes? Any way is fine with me.

I mainly want to get a closer up view of the concept and reality of Gaskin on this psychic who does not know his/her own mind. Using some personal illustrations. If you’re interested? I’m thinking of two or three exchanges - ballpark. Some good things burning in me on this one.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home