Stage Two: Understanding

 thank you to  Tim Mansfield  for sharing this on  Flikr    

thank you to Tim Mansfield for sharing this on Flikr

 

The previous post explored the first stage, Experiencing, and the three questions that arose in that stage. After one describes the experience, one has to “make sense of it”. This is where we develop an understanding.  There are three questions that one asks to understand. What is the issue that is at hand? What do the authoritative source of wisdom say about this issue? What is the spiritual vision of claiming the authoritative wisdom to deal with this issue? 

What is the issue that is at hand? 


After going through the analysis of the experience, one must step back and gain a holistic view or look at the big picture. This is not to say that one should have a simplistic view, but one should attempt to see the relationship and pattern of the responses to the previous questions.  One acknowledges a creative solution to the complexity, as if you will have new eyes to the situation you just experienced. 

What does the authoritative source of wisdom say about this issue? 


When we look at the issue, we look to the divine wisdom that is found within authoritative text. All religious traditions have stories in which the authority of God is stated.  The word I want to focus on in the question is the word “say.” At the core of this question is the issue of interpretation. Some understand interpretation as restating that which is held within the source of wisdom. It is also called translation, going from one language to another. Hidden within a language is a metaphysics of how the universe works. To assume we have the same metaphysics is to say that we view the world as a very old culture. As we look back on our short existence, we are aware that words do change their meaning and have different connotations over time. Our outlook and worldview is different than when the text was written, which makes the difference in our interpretation. So simply translating the text means it is partially what the scripture says. To complete the journey is to ask: How do we understand the ancient metaphysics of the text in light of the modern metaphysics? 

What is the spiritual vision of claiming the authoritative wisdom to deal with this issue? 


We describe the full actualization of the wisdom of scripture in light of the present context. What would it be like to have the Divine revelation to be made real? In doing this, we look at the paradox of finding the infinite in the finite. The vision may never be fully realized, but in describing the vision, we get a better view of where God could be. 

In this post, we explored the stage, Understanding. As we analyze our own experience, we must step back and look at the big picture. This is not to say that one should have a simplistic view, but one should attempt to see the relationship and pattern of the responses to the previous questions.  When we look at the issue, we look to the divine wisdom that is found within authoritative text. Then we have to explore the question: How do we understand the ancient metaphysics of the text in light of the modern metaphysics?  The last is about the spiritual vision of claiming the authoritative wisdom the vision may never be fully realized, but