Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Living Spiritual Rhythms - January 23

Dismantling naïveté can be a painful, yet rewarding process if it results in a more careful and critical formulation of beliefs. But this process is often short circuited. A shattered naïveté usually results in recognizing that one’s beliefs did not merit the trust that one invested in them. We can call this a growing awareness of the need to be critical of our beliefs, let’s say, a move into the mode of criticism. This is a necessary and good thing. Problem is that there is a tendency to stop here, since suspicion now seems so much more reliable than trust (though in reality, it really isn’t because trust is a center of gravity at the core of being human and thus we are obliged to trust our suspicions). When the critical mode, valid as it is, persists as a monologue, the end of the story can tend to become criticism itself, and this in turn can emerge into skepticism or relativism. It is imperative, therefore, that we find ways to credibly move through the critical mode, not back to a rightly left behind naïveté, but towards a critical trust and sustainable beliefs. When this takes place, we are able to be re-engaged in a life mode – a life setting dialogue that calls us to explore fresh options that transcend the toxicity of false endings and their emergent illusions.