Philosopy of Adrian - Part Two: The Miracle of Hanging On

The second instalment from the paper written for last year's gathering at Yarrambat...

I am a cultural Christian….

Given what I have written below, this section title may not be strictly true anymore. I am more deeply committed to the “Christian story” now than I have been at any other time in my life. That’s because I now understand that story in a completely different way to the understanding that was originally bequeathed to me.

But I have had the opportunity to explore that story differently because I was born into the middle of a culture where there was still a degree of expectation that one would “be part of the church.”

From an early age the so-called traditional view of Christianity (though I don’t think it is really “traditional” – more a popular interpretation developed over the ages, and particularly mechanised through the enlightenment) didn’t really hold my attention. The fact that I hung on within the church, searching for an alternative possibility, is therefore a minor miracle. It was likely due to my desire – in younger days – to live up to accepted cultural norms, than in any faith that another possibility existed.

Another possibility…

Whilst engaged in the “miracle of hanging on” I came across a faith community that was tentatively exploring “another possibility.” Perhaps - they suggested - this Christian story wasn’t a mechanical description of how other-wordly perfection was achieved. Perhaps – as the mystics always contended and I soon discovered - this was a mystical, mythical, metaphorical telling of alternative tale of life. Perhaps it was an invitation into that different way of life, so as to be the most authentic participant in some magnificent whole. Salvation was not as it is mechanically defined – “avoiding a personal arse burning.” Salvation instead is about the sort of thing you discover when you explore long-forgotten etymologies of the word: salve = healing ointment = invitation to flow that is the whole = wholeness.

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