Liminality and Transformation pt 2

Into the sphere of the “same” (the familiar, the customary, the business-as-usual) burst the “advent” or the “event” of the “other,” of the “coming of the other,” which makes the “same” tremble and reconfigure. (p.26)

What Would Jesus Deconstruct – John D. Caputo

Caputo’s definition of deconstruction gets at what I think is happening in my thinking about transformation.

And I think it also is commentary on the light passage immediately following the Jonah liminality section.

Luke 11.33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. 35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. 36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you.”

The traditional rendering of this passage has v. 33 as an injunction to evangelize. But the rest of the passage is talking about personal lighting or en-lighting or can I say…en-lightenment?

When you are seeing clearly, when you aren’t in the dark, when you are living life not hypnotized by culture you are having your eye function as a lamp. A lamp bringing light into your whole being. My experience with this is probably like yours, we all have ah-ha moments. But the challenge is how do we keep ah-ha moments from becoming a monument to yesterday’s experience? In other words how do we insure that today’s ah-ha doesn’t become the enemy of new ah-has?

I think this is Caputo’s concern. When the “otherness” of truth becomes “same” (familiar, pedestrian and “so 1980’s”) aren’t we running the risk of the truth being tamed and domesticated?

Is it possible Jesus is trying to say something like that here? When some light gets in, let it keep getting in. Let your whole being be effected by it. Let is permeate other quadrants and recesses that need to light. Read carefully vv. 34-36 and the tautology of it, the redundancy of it is striking.

I wonder if Jesus is concerned that truth, insight, enlightenment in a moment become so familiar that we stop the process, think we have arrived and camp on yesterday’s terrain not realizing each day can be a new fresh ah-ha.

And how does that fit into transformation? More to come!

(and for those of you who haven’t tuned in, these are the very types of things we are discussing live every Sunday night in our Spiritual Explorations Live (SEL) webcast. For more information go to www.velocityculture.com and click on the SEL icon)

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4 Responses to “Liminality and Transformation pt 2”

  1. Interesting thoughts, Ron.

    Insight, enlightenment, truth: to me they seem to have almost a cyclical nature. The ah-ha that you talk about can definitely become “yesterday,” and hopefully we move on to a new learning. But i also find that “ah-has” from days, months, years back have more to teach me when I return to them at a later point. New learnings and new experiences offer a new lens through which we view the previous ah-ha.

    Best example of this I can think of is returning to an older book that significantly impacted me. On return, I often find new layers I hadn’t been aware of before.

  2. Love it Marla, so true on revisiting a book. You are capturing some of my struggle and journey here. I constantly struggle with a major insight becoming in my mind an “Ah finally I found IT! THIS IS what I have been looking for!” Now you would think after a couple decades in the game you would get wise to the fact there is always more but that is the point. Keeping it in front of us that there is more. Maybe I am more alone in this boat than I realize but it is a constant learning for me. thanks for your comments

  3. Ok…you gave me a big smile just then. Listen to what you said…”Ah finally I found IT! THIS IS what I have been looking for!”

    Go back to my favorite phrase from your own book. What is that but a whisper of Eden? It is the striving we all have to arrive at that destination. It’s that innate knowledge we have that we are going to find what we are looking for someday. In our shortsightedness, we just tend to think we’ve found it now.

    I’m seeing that play out vividly this weekend at a Homeschool Convention (daughter graduating! Yay!). There is an exhibit hall full of amazing curriculum, and at each table you see happy, happy parents thinking that they have found “IT”: the one solution to all their education needs. Eleven years later I walk through the same hall and remember the things that worked, the things that didn’t.

    As I thnk about it more…each cycle through teaches us something new and moves us closer to God and each other.

  4. Bill Nelson Says:

    Great thoughts Ron. We all love the “ah-ha” moments because those moments are a window into to our inner being of where we have been and where we still need to go in our connectivity with God. The “ah-ha” moments in my life can be clarifying moments when my knowledge and understanding of God changes, expands and deepens, usually beyond what I ever imagined. But the danger for me comes when the “ah-ha” moment itself becomes my goal, rather than what the “ah-ha” moment reveals to me about God; when the “ah-ha” itself becomes the end rather then the means to the end. Because realizing the “ah-ha” is not the defining moment; the defining moment is when through the “ah-ha,” God changes, sculpts and transforms us. Transformation is not found in the “ah-ha” but in what God revelas to us about Himself through the “ah-ha.” Can’t wait to read your next writing on this.

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