Thursday 20 June 2024

I Am a Christian but...

 I'm not only a Christian. There is part of me that is pagan, particularly Greek, Celtic and Norse, and part that is Hindu and part Buddhist. Part of me is an ancient Egyptian living in the space between the bright blue sky and hot yellow sand and part a Chinese sage secluded in misty hills, and there are other parts too. Anywhere there is beauty and wisdom is somewhere to which I feel that, in some measure, I belong. 

All this is true and all of it matters to me. I would not be without any of it which, I suppose, is a privilege of our otherwise spiritually benighted times in which we have easy access to the whole of history. Nonetheless, although I respond to and have absorbed many different influences, they are all assimilated into and subsumed by a fundamental Christianity. It is against Christ that everything is measured, and where there is any contradiction between him and it, he conquers. Other tributaries can flow into the Christian river but the source of that river is Christ and its flow is directed towards the Kingdom of Heaven where he is king.

Like many people of my generation who engaged in the spiritual search I went away from conventional Christianity to explore other traditions, though that was always on the outside looking in as my main path was as described in my first book from which the title of this blog was borrowed. I learnt much from these encounters and they deepened my understanding of the spiritual world. They also helped me engage with Christianity on a more profound level when I returned to it as in the familiar words of T.S. Eliot in his poem "Little Gidding".

"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."

So, although I now regard myself as a Christian in a fuller sense than I ever was, my appreciation of the spiritual path has certainly been enhanced by other approaches to it. I think we can all benefit from this though I wouldn't say it is in anyway necessary. I am aware of the old jibe that interest in comparative religion makes you comparatively religious, but what I am talking about is not comparative religion but a serious exploration of the richness of spiritual life in its many guises.  God has revealed himself fully only once but he has left traces of himself in many places. 


Atlantis Insight said...

Atlantis was ignorant of the doctrines of Christianity. There would be many such cultures over time, especially long enough back in the B.C. era.

What happens to them in the afterlife?

William Wildblood said...

2 possible scenarios. One, which I favour, reincarnation. Two, opportunities in the next world to embrace the light of Christ in a form in which it may choose to appear. Not that I am saying the light of Christ is different to Christ but the spiritual form may not always be the same as that we know from Palestine 2,000 years ago.

Christopher Cilician said...

It is important to finally see in death one's greatest moment of action, to be ready to act upon it, concentrating on creating an act that will decide the effects thereafter much as we might desire for all that preceded throughout the life. The distinction of active and passive is not the fullness. One utilizes both, being ready for the moment and stepping into that moment in what will be more real than anything prior to our only sensible experience. While we yet live, let us not so much desire to teach others, but to have the gift of true sight and take pleasure in being able to see the depths that others may have and to encourage their ceaseless endeavoring to proceed onward however they can.

Anonymous said...

AMORVINCITOMNIAETNOSCEDAMUSAMORI - VIRGIL "Love conquers all, so we too will submit to Love."

Imagination, and especially dreaming, has been my salve while navigating life with others, feeling always that we are only communicating through dishonesty using the tokens and symbols of popular or otherwise sensible attachments. Perhaps people can remember the personality that they were grafted to as children instead of the effigy of what they think they want others to accept.

Royalty and its temporal expression in a monarchy has always fascinated me. It is a great crime to suggest to others that our forefathers have destroyed the past because it is humanity's greatest triumph and a deed that can never be reversed, for the argument is that we accomplished the greatest good and that we have nothing more excellent to achieve. Humanity has hit a hard ceiling and there can be no further qualities to experience unless we clear our minds of our dishonesty and hubris.

Christopher Cilician said...

The above was written by this pseudonym that I had missed signing when writing that.