Thursday, June 24, 2010

The ZigZag Café

We will be convening here at the ZigZag café, Suisse, on Thursdays for conversation and dialogue. I invite you to stop by every Thursday for the question of the day. Your thoughts and participation are most welcome. Pull up a stool, avec un café, un thé, ou un chocolat chaud, et un croissant, and join in here on Thursday at the ZZ café.

For today:

What might the acknowledgement of a lack of knowledge about God, world, and self have to do with being a truer self?


Living Spiritual Rhythms For Today


Joshua said...

As you mentioned earlier, it opens us up to intrigue. It is a humbling of ourselves, while avoiding the "false humility" of pretending to know less. This in turn is likely to make us less odious to others, and more helpful. It opens us to the unknown and the process of discovery, which the geeky might call fun.

Greg said...

Thanks. Good points. Marion talks about the privilege of un-knowing at these different levels, which doesn't mean we don't know anything, but that there are some things that are incomprehensible. The idol of the accumulation of knowledge therefore fails to inform us accurately. Kind of a strange twist, but it seems to me a helpful one.

carter said...

I had a friend who committed suicide five years ago. To all outward appearances, he had no problems. He used to be actively involved in his church. Nobody knew what he was really going through. That tells me that if we quit working on our masks and instead be honest with ourselves, with God and with each other, then we can be more the community we claim to be. This is a lesson that Henri Nouwen taught,one which I need to learn. Otherwise, how else can we be "transformed by the renewing of our minds" (Rom.12.2)? If I cannot be honest with God, then how will I hear him; how can I be honest with my sisters and brothers; how can I be effective if a fraud?

Greg said...

Thanks. Becoming more of a community than we claim to be through unmasking and being honest is an excellent thought. Truer selves need to be honest selves who admit that modesty and humility are two of the hallmarks of wisdom and knowledge.

harry coe maynard said...


You know this brought to mind many years ago my first night at L'Abri I was very afraid I wouldn't fit into the community.
Some people asked me to sit down and I dropped my pen. the girl said "you're going to fit into L'Abri real well". Boy did that make me feel good. Just what I needed. God knoew and there have been many times like that.


Greg said...

Harry coe,
Thanks. People are still fitting into the community in a variety of ways and are always welcome to do so. God knows their fears and graciously meets them where they are.

Angela said...

It has a lot to do with being a truer self.
When I first was taught how to evangelize
way back when, there was never any bit about
humility or admitting you don't know everything
about God. I disliked this.

When I've shared God with humility and from
realness of my limits, there is more respect
from non-believers, because everyone can relate
to lacks and limits.

I like Joshua's comment about how this acknowledgement "opens us up to intrigue"
and sets us to discovering. Funny how failing
to acknowledge a lack of knowledge may
actually block our curiosity or desire for

Greg said...

Thanks. Good thoughts. Pretensions of too much knowledge end up backfiring and lead to being falser selves.

Joshua said...

Who's Marion? The idol metaphor seems appropriate, as the fetishization magically promises control, empowerment, and autonomy or belonging, while erasing the history sustaining that false knowledge and concealing reality. It seems a good coping mechanism for me personally.

I do "know" this though, it's time for bed.

Greg said...

Jean-Luc. He took Ricoeur's chair at the University of Chicago. He's doing interesting work on the gift and giveness.

Fortunately, we do know that we don't.

Good night and sleep well.