Christian Spirituality

Spirituality and Truth By Anne Doucette​


Shortly before leaving his disciples to embark on the mission of the cross, Jesus left them these parting words, “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name — he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you” (John 14:26 NABRE).

Those who see the Bible as the absolute last word on God’s truth always manage to overlook that this same Bible points to a Living God who continues to unfold that truth through God’s Holy Spirit, a spirit who has promised to remain with us always, even to the very end of the age.

That all sounds well and good, you may say, but how are we to know what is God’s spirit and what is something else? Isn’t it better to stay with what is known?

Oh foolish children, God would say. Have you so little faith? If you ask for bread, will God give you a stone – or worse still some terrible poison instead? Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find – but that doesn’t mean that the seeking or the finding will be easy or fast.

In abstract subject matters such as love, sadness and spirituality, the truth does not adhere to logical reasoning or the kind of theoretical reductionism known as absolute thinking. If we approach by mere logic, the Truth often becomes more and more elusive, like a bride hiding her face from an over-eager courter. Truth often requires abstract thinking. We should approach truth gently, from the side, perhaps in a piece of mesmerizing art or spellbinding poetry.

The Bible is like this. We can view it as a series of facts (many of which contradict each other, by the way.) Or, we can view the Bible as coming from a God who is not an absolute form but Supreme Consciousness. From this perspective, the inspired words require abstract thinking based on contemplation, as opposed to absolute thinking based on theoretical reductionism.

Supreme Realization is inspired writing. This writing did not begin with answers, but with questions. It is a book of revelations that began as the inculcation of a doubt stemming from an apparent conflict between abstract theories. Therefore, the answers are not based on theoretical reductionism beginning with certainly imperfect knowledge, with right or wrong theories. We find these answers in abstract thought and contemplative meditation. We find answers in the depth of divine wisdom, searching for mystical origins, which is always God.

Warning to the faint of heart looking to embark upon the journey that is the spiritual life. You may notice at times that some questions get asked – and never answered. Other questions get asked only to (maybe?) be answered a little bit later. The journey includes repetitions, seeming dead ends, and more. God always recommends that we keep reading. If you continue, all of these questions will fall into place – and the book will become logically engaging. Or not. That is all up to you.

Sorry – did you think that God was going to do the job of thinking for you? If so, there are any number of religions who will be happy to do that. The author can make no such promises here. A recipe to make bread only works if the reader follows the steps it offers, diverging at their own risk. If you’re going to buy a recipe, then use the recipe, especially if you’re going to be creative and color playfully outside its lines. Engage with the wisdom you’ll find here. Make it your own. That is your choice. Drink freely of the work the author has done for you – or not.

In inspired writings, it is often the case that we find conflicting statements. At least, the statements seem to be conflicting – for a reader versed in absolute thinking. Absolute thought process is individualistic, non-inclusive and the end-result is zero-sum: a win for the thinker and a loss for the other. Abstract thinking, on the other hand, allows for conflicting ideas. When confronted with conflicts, an abstract thinker will happily consider processes that can avoid seeming conflicts by solving higher-level goals in alternative ways.

Abstract thinking in contemplative meditation is altogether different. Here the highest goal remains the same: learning the Will of God whether at peace or in conflict, in season and out of season. The author continues to invite us to learn contemplative meditation, a free gift available to all. This same author urges us to take all conflicts to the ultimate source of wisdom, to learn the Will of God. In conventional knowledge, thesis and antithesis are objectively processed through synthesis for answers. “In God, all thesis and antithesis become one and the same,” Anthony Nayagan, the author of this particular book, says. That is divine wisdom.

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