I’ve never been able to do cliques, and even find crowds difficult. What I mean is that I’ve always sort of floated between people sets. I like them all. I find people fascinating regardless of gender, age, background… I fall in love with people all the time, men and women, young and old. (Not the I-want-to-marry-you kind of falling love, of course, but the wow-you-are-amazing-and-I can-see-such-spectacular-beauty-in-you kind).
Its frustrating though, because human nature seems to naturally gravitate toward regular groups and crowds. I don’t know why I am missing that piece of DNA. When I was younger it was harder, in youth ife is so heavily defined by which category you fall in to. When you don’t really meet any of the categorical standards, it can be lonely, even if you are surrounded by people. But as you get older you realize it only because you are under the impression that being in a category or set or clique or group is what matters.
Since I don’t foresee any chance of acquiring it, I have finally begun to embrace this absence and all it leads to. This year it affected my spiritual journey more significantly than ever before. Whereas in the past I could comfortably move from group to group and confidently discuss spiritual things with practically anyone, this year I began listening more as I moved from encounter to encounter. I am used to being articulate and appearing somewhat knowledgeable to others when it comes to things spiritual. Plus, I come from a culture of certainty, where there is always a good, clear answer for every question and situation. “We have the knowledge of God, so everyone come listen and follow our instructions.”
Anyway, this year something markedly changed in me, I no longer felt an interest in handing out answers to all the other “simple souls”. I just wanted to listen more. I didn’t have major questions, just a general hunger for substance, more. And when I started listening, Truth came wafting in over the easy breeze of being present with others.
The truth is, Truth is everywhere. Not just in your personal beliefs and experiences, but literally everywhere. I find it tragic that this human tendency for cliques and groups is often what cuts us off from a wider experience of Life. We know that the only way to maintain flourishing life is in diversity. The longer a group inbreeds, the more it mutates and weakens. Nature needs to cross pollinate in order to thrive. So do we. When we have such rigid sets and boundaries between anything, we grow in fear and paranoia of whatever is outside our walls. In reality, what is outside our walls is Life itself, passionate, spontaneous, fluid, Abundant Life.
It seems that when the occasional escapee climbs over the boundaries and recognizes Life on the Other Side, the tendency is to abandon previous knowledge and experience in order to embrace new ideas and Truth. But typically that individual has merely climbed from one camp, into another. And before too long they will either realize the boundary walls once again holding them in, or perhaps never recognize them and live the rest of their life thinking they have found a final truth.
Or maybe that is just my tendency. As I journeyed geographically, relationally, and spiritually, there was always a strong urge to abandon the past when I found fresh Truth. “Oh wow, HERE it is! What was I thinking before??” Moving from camp to camp, but ultimately feeling a little splintered. The problem I realized were the walls between, the seeming requirement to be found in one camp or another. To always define. It comes from the whole idea that Knowing is the goal. If we are sure about things, then anytime we encounter evidence that contradicts or expands our beliefs we have to revise our idea of black and white, reestablish our personal doctrine. Rebuild our walls around “What’s right.”
Truth though is the mighty rushing wind of God. There is no way to grasp it fully, there is no way to capture it, the only way to live with it is to unfurl your sail and let it lead you – not to a destination but simply to the open sea of Mystery and Ecstacy and all that comes with the swells and dips of high seas sailing.
It blows my mind that people who believe in an Infinite, Omniscient, Omnipresent, All-Powerful, Perfect, Undeniably Paradoxical, Personal Deity, would settle for a systematic dogma that reduces all that to an archetypal God who they check in with each morning during a quick devotional, or visit once a week in a service, or worse — use to invalidate another’s experience of God. If Divinity is half of the things described, none of us can grasp it, and none of us should set boundaries around what must be. The only way to know God would be to admit that we can never fully know God, and thus enter in to the stream of knowing. The experience of experiencing, but never fully grasping. The joy of journeying along to every exotic port of call, tasting the fare, dancing with the locals, and continuing on with the Wind of Truth filling our sails.