29 October 2009

a bevy of verses opened my eyes this morning.
some were from proverbs and some from psalm.
the opening was not so much a function of how they related to my belief in the Bible, but how they related to my skepticism of it.

there has been a deep internal struggle for the past few months that has grown heavier, thicker and more ambiguous everyday. it's both beautiful to delve into the mysteries of life, and scary to realize that you can never fully grasp it. and yet, i try. we try. it's that Human Condition.

i had a pseduo-Christian upbringing, as it wasn't until i was in my teens that it became a serious part of our family life, and especially my life. like most young Christians in the throws of youth and culture, i was naive; probably still am.
your spatial awareness is all whacked. most have not yet been exposed to other things, other places or other ideas than those of their parents and immediate family. hence the often chaotic, confusing and dark times of the early 20's...at least among those that i know.

i don't believe exactly as i did 10 or 15 years ago. more than really knowing anything, i just wonder...a lot.
i still vacillate between two dogmatic realms, finding that the ideas and beliefs really are the same. there are different methods of going about it all. there is Jesus, whom I cling to first, and there is the Self, consciousness, Allah, Buddha, etc. all are working towards God, and all claim different avenues to achieve that transcendence.

i am fairly confident in the belief that I am not so sure about Jesus being the One and only way, or at least not in the traditional sense that i was raised with. then again, i don't know. i believe in absolutes, right and wrong, black and white, and yet, find there are is a lot more gray area as i age.

that's where the struggle comes in. where is It absolute, and where is It gray?

even though i am moving more towards a stance of being OK with the unknown, there is an innate part of me that REALLY wants to know, that feels i SHOULD know, and that i am silly, or even foolish, for not knowing. i used to feel so certain.

i say all this in leading up to some things i have read recently, which have confirmed all the more, how similar we all are, not just in human experience, but in simple beliefs.

as a part of my yoga therapy training, i am reading a book called The Forgotten Body, by Elissa Cobb. she was actually the lovely lady that lead the training i just went to. her book basically takes the stance that the body holds many of the answers about who we are, and why, but gets lost in the mess of life. we see ourselves, our bodies, souls, minds, etc., all as separate entities, rather being body, being mind, spirit, etc. it goes a whole lot deeper and i am not going to pretend to be able to explain it here, but the reason i bring it up is a conversation that i had with jared the other day...

i was telling him about some of the ideas the book sets forth, about seeing ourselves as a whole, with many parts, and he said that he didn't think the Bible could support it. i said that i thought it may be able to, which is something i am finding more and more as i get out of the Christian bubble to explore what other people really do say.

this isn't about either of us being right or wrong...really, there is a point.

anyway, as i was reading the Bible this morning (which i try to make a ritual everyday), i came across a verse in Psalm 6:3 that stopped me in my tracks, not so much for its wording as its context:

My soul is in anguish.
How long, O Lord, how long?

i always read the text notes that the verses offer, and enjoy finding other references throughout the Bible that can further illuminate the mysteries of God.

when i read the text notes on this verse, i nearly peed my pants. without looking for it, i found something huge.

here is what the text note says, from the NIV version:

soul.Not a spiritual aspect in distinction from the physical, nor the psalmist's "inner" being in distinction from his "outer" being, but his very self as a living, conscious, personal being. Its use in conjunction with "bones" [in psalm 6:2] did not for the Hebrew writer involve reference to two distinct entities but constituted for him two ways of referring to himself, as is the case also in the combination "soul" and "body".

jared happened to be in bed next to me, and i read it to him. he didn't have much to say except "interesting". really, what can you say? in light of all these things i am reading, which look so opposite from the outside, there is a thread of similarity that is uncanny.

the funny part is that in the book by Elissa, she nicely brushes off the way Christians look at the body. i am guessing that she didn't read into this verse.

so, there it is. a bunch of background, but, i think, peppered with much to think about.

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