“Christian Libertarianism” Excerpt #2: On Integrating The Popular Christian Shadow   Leave a comment

Authors Note: The following excerpts which come from an incomplete paper earlier in 2011 was designed to respond to the growing Libertarianism that is present in America today as an attempt to create a New Christian Community in America, one that transcended the arguments/issues prevalent in todays world. Today, I would like to bring about an initial attempt at integrating the concept of the the popular Christian Shadow. By The Phrase, “The Popular Christian Shadow”, I speak of the Popular Christian Denominations found in America today, to this effect I mean largely Protestant and Protestant-Like Denominations, including Non-Denominational Churches, so the full title should read more straightforwardly, “On Reconciling The Popularized Enemies of Christianity in America Today”. The excerpt is divided into block quotes and any revisions and commentary are not blocked:

“The Second Change that I believe needs to take place is that We Need to Understand Both Our Shadow and What We Are Trying to Defend. Atheism, Scientific Materialism, Rationalism, and Science in General is seen in popular understanding as largely the antithesis of Religion and Spirituality, so we tend to view it as our shadow and as such like any fear we tend to react in a “Fight or Flight” manner, we either feel so threatened that we become vehement and zealous in our position and fight against it so hard, that we lose our temper and appear as “irrational” to these people who pride themselves on their “rational” way of thinking, these people who fight against it so hard are our often more Biblically literalistic, the fundamentalist Christian aspect of our community. Likewise we can become so fearful that “they may be right” that we may selectively avoid them, which again can make us look irrational to them because we are not even trying to talk about it and exhibit a form of denial which is an irrational state. Both of these ways of responding only work to positively reinforce their atheistic and “rationalistic” beliefs about Religion and Spirituality, if we are to make this cycle of reinforcement and the vicious cycle end overall we are going to need to Understand Our Shadow.”

The real Soul work, involves a bit of pain and patience as we come to understand the Faith in a deeper and more realized manner. To those who truly desire this God is Good and will grant us the Wisdom to Discern between that Established by Christ and that which was added-on by men. Those who are too lazy or too preoccupied with other things, will never really be able to seek Wisdom and Understanding, and thus they will not have Peace that Heals Conflict and Reconciles its warring parts. Christ gave us a Third Way to Act, not to fight against it, but not to runaway from it either, we must confront these problems with a willingness to take pain while we work in all Patience and Loving Desire to Understand the Other Side of the Argument. If we are unwilling to see or make any common ground however then we will be unable to heal these wounds.

“A second part to this change that needs to be made is the understanding in knowing what we are trying to defend. Most of us are interested in knowing God at a Secular and Intellectual Level, which ironically only makes things worse for us, I will expand on this however as we get closer to covering this particular subject matter. The solution I will propose will surprise you as to what we are going to need to do in order to defend our Faith while removing their ability to reinforce the image that we are “irrational.” The suggestions keep in mind are also not based on my Roman Catholic upbringing and original Fundamentalist influences, but my current understandings which are so much deeper than when I first started out.”

Well times have changed once again for me, somewhat. I will maintain my Catholicity, but I am unsure if I will maintain my Latin Rite Roots on this subject, so what is written above may still continue to hold effective and true. Nonetheless, we can’t defend ourselves, if we are not familiar with what we are defending. This only serves to compliment what I mentioned in the commentary to the first block quote.

“At this point I am going to be referencing work from Jungian Psychotherapy in order to give an allegorical message to help you better understand, however, to start, let it be made known now that even Christ believed in Shadow Reintegration, granted he did not call it that exactly but rather he made it known in certain Biblical References such as, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”(Matthew 25:40) and “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” (Matthew 5:44) In fact Christ himself is the Shadow of this world when it was said that, “Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’”(Acts 4:11) This references the builders as those who are powerful, those who influence society and culture, and those who boast in their worldly knowledge, yet in their worldly knowledge and sureness this man from Nazareth, a town that one of the apostles-to-be asks, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”(John 1:46) managed to changed the world forever.”

My Orginial Writing still holds true in my mind. Using different aspects of Human Endeavor as tools toward explaining the Faith is Key. These tools, these Different Aspects to Human Endeavor to a Christian, ought not be used as an end in and of themselves. Human Pride, does not want to be reminded of its faults, it does not want to be reminded of the things it looks over, so it tries to repress it or rationalize against it, and I will be covering this more in the following block quote commentary.

“According to Jungian Psychology, The Shadow is essentially understood as, “an unconscious complex defined as the repressed, suppressed or disowned qualities of the conscious self. According to Jung, the human being deals with the reality of the shadow in four ways: denial, projection, integration and/or transmutation. According to Analytical psychology, a person’s shadow may have both constructive and destructive aspects.” In light of this understanding, let it clearly be understood now how, “Atheism, Scientific Materialism, Rationalism, and Science in General” would be treated as the perceived shadow of Religious and Spiritual peoples everywhere. As Jungian Psychotherapy makes clear we can either treat it negatively by denying its existence within us, constantly running away from it in fear that it may lead to bad things for you in which case you might practice the act of “Flight” or we can project this perceived threat within us onto others, and thus choose to “Fight” and constantly become combative with others and thus no longer being a peacemaker. The other option we have is that we can treat it positively by admitting and in effect integrating said shadow within us, in order to recognize that this is something that is a part of our being a human and will not go away until you “confront it with love” and assume it back into your conscious personality or we can transmute that same shadow within us, in order to get something positive out of it, similar to Christ’s Parable of the Hidden Treasure, in that the treasure is buried deep underground [which is a metaphor of being] in the dark unconscious side of man.”

Let us understand that Christians are supposed to see themselves as part of One Mind, One Body. But because the Body and Mind of Christ is Broken through Human Faults, we must understand that we ought to see this as a Psychological Problem. The Popular Mainstream Christians in America today, are rooted more in a Biblical Literalism and thus there entire way of thinking is under fire, this threat to their “conscious self” as one body, has them responding in a similar manner, namely a DENIAL of the fact that there Theology is Flawed and PROJECTING their frustration and anger on those who showed that they possessed a flawed theology. We also must understand, that within each member of The Body of Christ, we all possess a Disbelieving and Doubting side to us that we must work toward individually repressing for The Faith, and we must admit that within our own Collective Body, there is then a Larger Shadow side that we Collectively desire to repress as well. But Repression, is at best a short-term act with short-term benefits, in the long-run if we continue to fight against this build up and not reconcile all these problems to our Faith then we will lose faith in the overwhelming flood and explosion of disbelief. Therefore, it is of the Believers Duty to Reconcile Faith with Reason in as many of its manifestations as possible.

“From my personal experience growing up and hopefully as the background that I mentioned at the start of this paper will show, I originally acted negatively toward my shadow, I saw novelty as a form of rebellion and a naïve ignorance as something that in certain respects needed to be maintained, lest I should upset my ill-conceived notions of God. I both denied my desire for new experiences by acts of “self-control” which were dominated not by love but by fear, so in effect it became suppression and I projected this shadow element onto others who were different than me by becoming increasingly judgmental of them so that I once again would not have to confront my own shadow. It was only because of certain life experiences that made me want to change, that made me say “enough is enough,” but what I found I was saying “enough” to was not God, but my own underdeveloped ego that tried its hardest not to grow and develop, like as if I was stuck and yet happy where I was too. So let it be known now that, human beings can confuse God with their own Ego, but the Christian God should NEVER be confused with the Ego. As you know by now, I began the work of being a bit more positive acting toward my shadow side, I began to integrate it by acting in the opposite manner, and I saw naïve ignorance as something that could no longer be maintained and novel experiences worth pursuing, I still operated under a notion of “moderation in all things,” however it was from a position of loving what my egoistic desires feared doing: Growing Up and Developing as an Individual. In time through doing this, I was able to transmute a part of my shadow element and transform who I was into the person I am today.”

Change can be scary and hard. However, can a Child live as a Child in an adult world for long? No, a Child must be able to grow up. Likewise, can a Child of God grow up and mature into a Spiritual Adult in God if they are not willing to admit to Changes in their Spiritual Understanding? No, at the heart of Repentance, means a Change of Mind and St. Paul tells us two things that are intertwined with this notion: (1) Be Transformed by the Renewal of your Mind and (2) When I was Younger I Understood in Childish Ways, but now I am Older and I understand things in a more Mature Manner. Change can be scary and hard, but in order to grow up Spiritually we need to relinquish the immature ways a child acts and thinks, while still cleaving unto Our Father Who Art In Heaven, because we are still His Children. Remember Naivety does not go Hand-in-Hand with Innocence, but the adversary is all too ready to exploit the Naivety of Humanity in order to create strife and conflict.

“In certain respects this is in keeping with Christ’s Teachings about the “Removing the Beam in Your Own Eye, Before Removing the Speck from Your Brothers Eye” because by doing so you learn so much quicker that most of the problems that we create, reside within us as individuals, again humanity is diverse in so many ways, there are bound to be disagreements, but before we begin the work of trying to change others, it is best to examine ourselves and see if it is you who really needs changing, to see if it is you who really needs maturity and development. Shadow reintegration is paramount before you actually begin the work of trying to become a peacemaker, it has been said that it takes a wounded individual who is best at healing other people of their wounds, what more can be asked for than for a person to go through the eustressful experience of a broken heart, and then to heal the broken heart of another individual? However, keep in mind that, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.”(Psalm 51:17) To allow yourself to be in a state of complete vulnerability by actually confronting that which has been repressed, suppressed, or disowned in relation to the issue at hand and to experiences throughout your life will allow you to be more genuine and speak more honestly to those who you may view currently as, “your enemy.” I can assure you that most of those who are not Christian, will treat you differently, because they are not looking for someone who rehashes the same old points over and over again, they are looking for someone who will be able to show a personable individuality with a purity of heart. That purity of heart will only come about through the purification that comes once the heart is broken in the manner I mentioned above.”

Shadow Reintegration in Modern Parlance is the Ancient Equivalent of a Broken and Contrite Heart. The Heart of Man, is usually full; full of itself, in being full of itself it is filled with Assumptions and Thinking that It Is Right and Can Do No Wrong. However, when the Heart is broken and contrite, it learns how flawed it is, and it sees that most if not all of the assumptions it held are false and this can be very challenging and hard on a person, the level of difficulty of course depends on how much one invested their time and energy into these flawed ways of thinking. The Shadow is that which Challenges and it is that which we long to be reconciled with, likewise we long as Christians to be reconciled with God and Our Neighbor and in order to do so, we must have a Broken and Contrite Heart, in a word we must not be filled to the Brim with Ourselves.

“The next subtopic I want to mention here before moving on is the issue pertaining to how our understanding in knowing what we are trying to defend needs to change. Earlier we talked about the God Image we hold in our mind that needs to change, and this is crucial if we are to make progress. However now our understanding of how we know the God Image needs to change. Most of us as I said earlier are interested in keeping God in his own place and knowing him with our rational minds. By doing this however we keep ourselves separated from God. By being secular in our relationship to God, we have essentially “moved him upstairs,” but as one individual put it, “there is no ‘upstairs’ God is with us down here, because this is a One-Story Universe.” It is true that God is Closely Imminent and Infinitely Transcendent, but our ability to know him comes from the aspect that is intimately imminent with us. This pushing God upstairs and away from our daily lives, creates within us an added sense of separation in an already separated age.

[According to Social Psychology studies] the strength of our attitudes is dependent upon our Emotional Reaction to said subject, Attitude Certainty which is based upon Clarity and Correctness, and finally our own personal experiences.

Now in relation to God our personal experiences with him will largely determine our own level of Belief, when we push God to a second story and speak of the ordinary life and extraordinary life in separate terms we feel disconnected, if we have not experienced anything “extraordinary,” but this makes my case yet again that the words we speak need to change again. We have also made God increasingly irrelevant in our own lives, and when something begins to become irrelevant it becomes increasingly impersonal and when God becomes impersonal in our minds eye, the God Image we see is a Judicial one. In order to fix this problem I believe we have arrived at a critical junction in history Within the Body of Christ, it has been said by a German Theologian that, “the Christian of the future will be a mystic or he will cease to exist.” Well this is true, as our world becomes increasingly rationalistic and secularized, finding what God is will depend increasingly more upon your own personal experiences with God rather than what you have heard of God.”

Not much has changed here, I am in general agreement with this statement still to this day. But to summarize the points expressed in this block quote above: (1) We Must Personalize Our Relationship to The Way by neither making Him a Rational Exercise nor Pushing Him Upstairs, (2) We Must Do This Not Merely Alone, but Even In Small Groups to Confirm a Sense of Community, in a progressively disconnected world.

“This brings me to the final point here, now that we have covered the effects of a secularized world in our relation to God, let us now cover the effects of how a Rationalistic World affects our relationship with God. I find this conflict to be one as old as the early parts of the 2nd millennium of the Church itself, let us go to an obscure disagreement between a Theologian from Sicily, Barlaam of Calabria and a Theologian Mystic from the Greek East, Gregory Palamas and then I will refer myself to debates I had with people over this issue. I feel like as if most Christians today repeat the same falsehood of Barlaam himself in that they think the existence and knowledge of God can be debated in a rational, intellectual exercise. Barlaam believed that, the philosophers had a better knowledge of God than did the prophets, and he valued education and learning more than contemplative prayer. He stated the unknowability of God in an extreme form that was practically a precursor to agnostic thought. Most “Christians” today at the Spiritual Level are more or less weak agnostics; their notions of Faith and the Knowledge of God seem at odds with one another, we are told that we can only have faith throughout this life and the knowledge of God will come at the end of our life on earth, but the Prayerful Athonite Monk completely disagreed with this notion. He believed that it was possible to know God the Imminent and allow faith to serve as a road to that Knowledge of God in this life.”

The Debate between these Two Theologians occurred when Barlaam of Calabria felt that the Hesychastic Tradition was essentially a waste of time, and not nearly as powerful as other Monastic Vocations in Communing with God. Nonetheless, God as I said earlier is more then just a rational, intellectual exercise, it is not mere abstraction but something experiential, in fact most of the Earlier Christian believed that it was the Knowledge of God that was Salvific, but that Faith cultivated this knowledge. Today however, we reduced Faith to just Blindness, something Static and Weak in grasping reality, but Faith is more then this it is Strong and Dynamic for those who have the Courage to Apply it toward God, it seems to be living and relational to something more then oneself.

“Now it is not that Gregory Palamas believed it was good to be uneducated, but an intensive intellectual education was not needed in order to know God, to know God was something Personal and Directly Intuitive. This seems to give a good context to the Biblical verse of, “Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1Cor1:20). I think Christians everywhere today would stand to benefit from such a lesson, so we can become increasingly less agnostic in our Pursuit of Christ and speak more definitively to those who are not yet able to believe, for even Christ himself made it clear, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3).”

Christians today need to understand, that it is more then just Faith that is needed in this life, but to always move toward understanding and developing a Relationship with God. We know people because we have a relationship toward them, through this relationship we are able to understand them. Likewise, the same lesson ought to apply to God, those who have a strong relationship with God are those who are able to understand Him and Know Him. Let us not see Faithfulness as something blind, but as something as Dynamic and Intimate as the Faithfulness between a Man and a Woman in Marriage, Christ is Bridegroom of Our Soul.

“In one of my debates with non-Christians, especially over “the existence of God” I take the time to tell everyone one thing, and one thing only. God is that which is NOT Created or God is that which is uncreated / God is just that which “is.” The Existence of God is a silly notion, because something which is created is that which exists, but if something is uncreated there is no way to really defend the “existence” of something that was never called into existence, but is simply pure being. Pure Being is not a physical thing, God is not an Object the same way that a “chair” is an object, God is a Subject and Substance, for the Christian the Subject is found in Jesus Christ and the Substance is found in the Holy Spirit. Spirits are immaterial they do not “exist” in the same manner that a “Chair” exists. Reason is often tied to Empirical thought, that is we can only know things based on our 5-Senses, so reason has strong ties to this material realm and is the primary means of acting on material objects. But the “rational debate” over the immaterial issue of “God’s Existence” cannot occur, and we should be fine with that, based on this understanding. Faith is the royal road to God, Faith will lead to Understanding, and Understanding will lead to Wisdom and the Knowledge of God. This Faith is relational and the knowledge is too, it is a Subject-to-Subject Knowledge not an Object-to-Subject knowledge. The Faithfulness is a relationship between two people, not blind and constricted to rigid dogmatisms like as if it was an Object you were worshiping, like the pagan religions. This is why we need to understand what we are trying to know in order to better defend what we believe in and earlier we also saw why it is imperative why we must be willing to understand our Shadow in order to come to true peace with it and become the peacemakers with others that Christ wanted us to be.”

This serves as a conclusion to it all, which I am still in agreement over. We must understand, that in dealing with Knowing God, God exists with us the same manner, a person is known to us. If we know someone, we know they are real and exist, but if we do not know someone, it does not mean they do not exist, it simply means they are outside of our limited awareness: The same should then apply to God. Also consider that since Reason is more interested in the inputs of the 5-Senses and the 5-Sense are capable of really only grasping the Object of Something or Someone then how do we account for the ability to grasp the Subject of a Person or of an Object, this is not the use of Reason per se, as it is the Use of Our more Intuitive side.

Advertisements

Posted August 21, 2011 by jimbo9889 in The Objectives

Tagged with

What Do You Think?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: