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Language of Reverence Redux


I have to admit that I'm confused - but that seems to be a chronic state. I'm wondering if living in confusion is the same as "living in Mystery"? I don't know if I really believe in paradoxes. I tend to agree with Hartshorne who said that paradoxes in religion are simply contradictions in any other field. I do believe that the same thing can be viewed from different perspectives though, and that in comparing the two perspectives they seem to be paradoxical. But, can two truths really be in contradiction if there is only one reality? Can we really deny logic and still be able to communicate?

Two things lead me to believe that we can never fully understand reality though. Maybe this is what it means to "live in Mystery". First, we can never fully grasp a "fact" because, all "facts" are related. In saying that we can fully comprehend any "fact", we make a claim of omniscience. Second, we can never fully grasp the "meaning" of anything. Meaning is always contextual, but the context is always in process. This is why, for instance, it seems silly to me that an atheist might try to say that they don't believe in anything that the word "God" might symbolize. It's not that I think their convictions are due to "unsophisticated labeling" that I would ask them to explain what they mean by "God" when they assert its non-existence, it's just that I doubt that in their use of the word they can capture all meanings - including all possible meanings. It's not unsophisticated labeling that I accuse them of - it's naive realism, or old fashioned thinking, or just plain ol' "modernism".

What does it mean to be "content with living in Mystery"? It does seem as though I am being asked to be content with being ignorant. Does that mean that we shouldn't strive to pursue truth? That seems to be a premodern mandate to me - a mandate that, unfortunately, is discovered in the historical record of many religions. On the other hand, a postmodernist might ask whose truth we should pursue. To strive for truth might be interpreted as a competitive struggle for mastery over others. Does being "content with living in Mystery" equate with pluralistic relativism or nihilism? Or, does it mean coming to terms with our limitations? Is it a rejection of hubris? Is it in some sense a "dying to the self"? Maybe, if it is this way of living humbly, it might also be an important key to discovering our "unity in diversity". It is one thing we all have in common - none of us is God. I think this is one of the main points I saw in "Engaging our Theological Diversity". Unity is found in the acknowledgement that we exist in an "interdependent web" and we are only a part of it.