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Fluidity As Metaphor For Divine Love

'The highest good is like water.
Water give life to the ten thousand things and does not strive.
It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao.
""Doing the right thing" is like water.
It's good for all living things,and flows without thinking about where it's going

...just like Tao."

8 - Daily Tao

Dianna Butler Bass, in A People's History of Christianity, lays out the history of her faith framed in a series of symbols the Way, the Cathedral, the Word, the Quest, and the River.  "The River" refers to Christianity as it appears to her betyween 1945 and the present.  She introduces this section of the book with a memory of a class on "Spiritual Life" taught by Henri Nouwen at Harvard in 1985.  It was a large class representing, presumably. many different backgrounds.  During the course, "...everything we had thought was important abour our doctrines began to slip to the background...and...shifted to new, more urgent concerns of faith and compassion..."

She then returns to the modernist/fundamentalist controversy where she sees "two streams," part if the same "river." flowing into the same "ocean."  She mentions Bauman's characterization of our condition as "Fluid Modernity "..where everything "solid" has melted away..."

She didn't quite quote Marx, but came pretty close.  I'm sure the phrase:  "All that is solid melts into air" would have different meanings for materialist and mystic.  Marx was looking at what capitalism had done to traditional relationships and verities and conclluded that we now stood "naked" and afraid before the stark material comditions that confront us.  A mystic might say that losing our confidence in this structure of appearances that we call "reality" might be a first step on the "path" of "enlightenment."

But if water is fluid, air is more fluid still, and perhaps even more "like the Tao"  Water is itself a compound created fom the combination of two gases.  One of those gases, hydrogen, is a significant part of the "known" universe.Ninety-five percent of the universe is composed of "dark energy" and "dark matter." about which we are almost toatally "in the dark."Everything in the known universe is composed of something that is, or once was, a gas....

OK, this isn't flowing where i thought it was going.  And it seems to be going nowhere.  I am going to post it anyway.


Sep. 6th, 2015 11:48 pm (UTC)



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