2015. október 23., péntek

God in the Mirror/Moment


"Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. Forsake the foolish, and live....Rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man and he will increase in learning." (Proverbs 9:5-6.8-9)


"Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret places is pleasant. But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell" (Proverbs 9)


"Though hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Jesus Christ. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:10.15-17)


Cranmer, in the lectionary of the Book of Common Prayer assembles these passages together with a genius of stroke. They sum up, with a striking resemblance, the logo-therapy of Viktor E. Frankl. (He is known as the founder of the 'third' psychoanalytical school after Freud and Jung.) Our readings reflect the two dimensions within the human being to which Frankl draws attention. These are the 'instinctual' and the 'spiritual' aspects of the self. The real tension however, he highlights, lies not between the two. The conflict is within our spiritual part. It is this spiritual dimension, according to Frankl, which determines the human person. It is the ability of becoming responsible for others that makes us humans.

Frankl divides the spiritual aspect of the self into two. These are the 'conscious' and the 'spiritual unconscious'. The latter means that our responsibility and our purpose in life can be hidden from us. In this case, we have to find this lost Meaning. He adds, our life becomes ours only in as much we become responsible for it. Frankl's logo-therapy states that if we lose the meaning of existence, the person becomes ill.

Our readings invite us to contemplate this 'logo-therapeutic journey' (when our 'Meaning', individually fine tuned to us, recovers who we really are). 'Stolen waters are sweet...but we do not know that the dead are there'. As persons, and as a culture, we might not even know that there is a lost dimension in us: what and Whom we have lost as part of our self.

Proverbs 9 and 2 Timothy tell us something even more. This is just as radically novel than Frankl's discovery of the 'existential unconscious'. Namely, the Bible as God's Word constitutes us as humans! This Divine Presence-Wisdom-Meaning, as a permanent dialogue partner, is literally part of our self. All aspects of our life belongs to him. Or, putting it in other words, we belong to our truer self through this personal dialogue with Him.

This dialogue of Love connects conscious and unconscious in us. This dialogue integrates our instinctual life (with all possible manifestations) into a life, which confirms our deepest call. The latter is that spiritual celebration which stems from the encounter with the very ground of our self, God and his grace. This celebration and encounter is described in St Paul's words. The focus, which we should not miss, is on the moment when 'the man of God becomes perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works'.



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