So…this is sort of the working analogy for my life right now. I think it may provide some clarification on previous posts as well…
A polar explorer, a climber of some renown, has ventured farther and higher than ever before when at last he chances upon a sheer glacial wall. Impossibly tall, the climber cannot see the top, nor can he peer around the edges, in fact he is at an end for the wall cannot be gone around, only scaled…far from discouraged, he pulls out his best mountain climbing equipment and sinks the pick ax into the ice–except it don’t sink in at all but bounces backwards. The ice is too hard for his ax. He tries again and again and again, all without any success. So, he tosses aside the ax and pulls out a grappling hook. Swinging the chord round and round he hurls it upward, hoping to catch onto a lip of ice or crevice. However, the hook plummets back down; it didn’t catch anything. Over and over the climber attempts to penetrate or chisel, without any results. Finally he collapses backwards, exhausted. His tools are splayed out in front of him–useless in conquering the Wall ahead. All of his natural resources are depleted. And there he sits staring at the immovable object ahead.
Then, something occurs to him…how beautiful the glacial sheet is. How rare and peculiar. How unlike any other monument he had ever seen. He watched the light play off the edges and skitter across it. The adventurer is entranced…and then…and only then, exhausted of all ability and attempt he can at last enjoy the site ahead.
This is our relationship with God.
The Orthodox believe this to be the case. St. Francis also spoke of this, he said that we must fully experience the senses, the heights and the depths of life so that we may become as a plain–leveled before God. Madam Guyon also understood it, she said that only when we have passed through all the seasons of life fully can we become “seasonless” in the Christian life.
Some people would skip ahead…committing “sensual” suicide. They want to be seasonless before understanding the seasons. They want to enjoy before they have exhausted. And…try as they might…this really won’t occur, at least I don’t think so…
So, here I am, swinging my pick ax, trying to chisel away…and the whole time beginning, just beginning, to appreciate the mystery and paradox and beauty that is God.
Filed under: beauty | Tagged: cloud of unknowing, Emotions, end of reason, madam guyon, mind, mystery, mysticism, orthodox, paradox, post-modern, soul, spirit, st. francis, unknowable | 3 Comments »