ground zero -- the starting point

By 5:00 this morning I was able to jot down things that had come together inside me in an articulative way. I should say, maybe, that some things finished coming together.

It feels as though a phase of my journey has been completing itself. Not that I've yet taken even a whole step along the path or that I've yet quite entered this amazing library with the gigantic doorway into which my form casts an exceeding tiny shadow. But I see something a little more clearly.

For nearly a year and a half I've been doing what I call processing inside myself. Today I'm thinking I'll dub this an investigation that's been going on within me. I've been trying to get at what happened. I've very much wished I could express it in words. Like the broad mechanisms delving into the heart and soul of a catastrophe such as the 9/11 Trade Center destruction, my inner world has attempted to pinpoint the actual event (the heart of the event) that caused me to change what I was doing.

It's not that I left the path I was on in life -- it's that something rammed into that path. But I had always been on track for that event to occur. Nothing in particular changed about how I was living or whom I have always been.

I simply knew I was facing into a choice: I was presented (not for the first time) with Somebody. I was reminded that, at the center of everything, it doesn't matter so much what; it matters ever so much Who.

I had been enamored with what Jesus taught, while I bumbled along a journey toward finding the truth about who Jesus is. (I believe I'm still on that journey, and so is everyone else individually.) That's the nutshell. Everything around it that I now practice and do is peripheral, is based upon that foundation.

This is my subjective, existential journey, certainly, but I don't believe it is a subjective issue. I think it's the core issue anyone seriously seeking truth is actually seeking. Christ is the Truth. This we read and this we express. To reject Truth is to turn away from Life and toward destruction.

I needed to keep following my particular path toward Truth, to continue seeking. That doesn't mean -- in either the group of serious Christians I was part of two years ago or the group of serious Christians I'm now part of -- that God uses a cookie cutter to make His human creatures all experience Truth the same way. No one from either of my serious Christian groups believes this -- or if someone does, he or she is not following the core spirit of either group, and he or she will face into a choice for or against repentance at some point.

I have continued to love the people from my previous Christian group the same amount as I did -- maybe moreso. One difference is that now I remember each one continually in my prayers -- in my own flawed way.

I have not been angry with anyone. I've been deeply frustrated, and in seeking to deal with that frustration (regarding my inner search, my inner investigation), I have sinned against people. I'm sorry. I have cared what people thought; I have wished to hide my stupidity, my laziness, and a myriad other flaws. But I have also been committed, without flagging (because I had to be), to seeking to know.

These days I am practicing things that, to my previous Christian group, look very weird. But I'm considering them (and I believe the group I'm now in considers them) in the same sense as my previous group considers anything we can know about what God has done in history: did it have to go down a certain way? -No. Is God completely unhindered in His choices as the Author of reality? -Yes.

I do believe that Jesus is God in a substantive sense. I believe this is what everything in the Bible points to (and is understood in the light of), and that Jesus's life, death, resurrection, and still-to-come return made a substantive, profound change in all of creation, as His Father always determined would happen.

When I lived and moved and had my being amongst my previous group's theology,  I believed that Jesus is God in a certain sense: that Jesus represented God perfectly, so that every word he spoke and every move he made were the same ones his Father would make. But only his Father was God in a substantive sense. Jesus could not have been God in his essence, he could only be a man.

I do also believe that the Holy Spirit is God in a substantive sense. Previously, I believed (in a vague, confused way) that the Holy Spirit could only be one means of God's revelation of Himself to men.

As I see things now, my previous belief about God would be similar to a belief that man (as in humankind) must only be one person. In this view, perhaps only the first created man, Adam, could be Man in his essence. Everyone else who came along in history, whether from Adam's rib or from his seed, would be a revelation of Man. But that's not how, in practice, I understand things (even though I of course don't understand in my self how anyone was truly created).

What I see in reality is that it makes sense to speak about man interacting with animals, with the elements, and so on. I'm speaking then of the nature or essence of humankind. This nature or essence also interacts, somehow, with the nature of God. I believe God has let man in on the view that God is triune -- that there are three Persons who share the same nature, who are Godkind. These three always work in concert; unlike mankind's multitudinous individuals, they are a perfect unity. The Father is the Source, but He is not the only Person. And, then, there's the final bit to chew on -- the Son of God humbled Himself, by the Father's predetermination, to take on the nature also of man. Our Creator (Godkind) having done, in concert, the creative work from the beginning, was able and free to take on man's nature (mankind) so that man has the option of partaking of the divine nature.

If you're still with me at this long-winded point, you may be convinced I'm making an argument to get you to believe like me. As I see it, I'm not. What I recognized, pre-5:00 a.m. today, is that throughout this blog I have tried to make the argument that I'm not stupid. Because being thought stupid is something I've been afraid of. Hence my defensiveness. Yet this moment all I wish is to let you know where I'm at, foundationally. Here is the heart of my belief: Jesus Christ is God. And He is Man. And He is active (not willy-nilly, not as a pet for me to care for); the fact of His bodily resurrection means there is a live body somewhere, doing something. Changing and illuminating everything, still.

That's what I think I am encountering in my spiritual life. In the Spirit. In Christ. I may be crazy, but I'm an honest fool. From here on maybe I can actually describe some things more mundanely and be relaxed, in the light of the heart of what I believe has happened.