Holding and being held – setting out

Ive been thinking about writing again recently but struggling because the medium of writing does not model the message of what Im hoping to write on. Whilst it feels indulgent the only way I can approach the task is in a collaborative ethnographical way probably starting with me. This is because the topic i want to explore is how to find a deeper spirituality that thrives through the interconnectedness of all things and how this helps us find our place in the ongoing journey of change. There is some deep embodiment involved and to borrow from Donna Haraways work on chthulucene explore how the interconnectedness and entanglement of all things facilitates a deep rooted, earthed spirituality┬áthat enabled me to “stay with the trouble” in the past and sustains me towards the future.

Staying with the trouble for me is about staying on the edge and recognising that change, creativity and the generative possibilities for systems change come from here. This is being fuelled by two places. Firstly it was sparked through the practice of being on the edge and finding G-d was always beyond what I thought, and discovering a more embodied way to connect with this through Flow, Mountain Pilgrims etc. Secondly it is only more recently that I have begun to find a language for what Im sensing and this is coming from ecology (thanks to Strands and Haraways work) and Christina Cleveland’s work on liberation. These two spaces of language and experience have started to give voice to what I reaching for when I spoke about “feeling my forward”, church as part of the deep magic, calling the walls to dust, the heretical imperative etc. but I still find myself running out of words hence the difficulty in returning to writing.

Sophie Strand uses the word “Sympoiesis” to describe how different organisms and entities come together to create and sustain complex systems and ecologies. It is a collaborative and dynamic process of co-creation that isn’t driven by central control, and thus it challenges both hierarchical and reductionist approaches. When we start to join the dots between this and non reductionist approaches to ecclesiology that I think we see clearly through the use of metaphor when discussing church in the bible, we start to enter a space where the trinity, the church, humanity and the planet are caught up in a sympoetic dance towards what Martin Luther King describes as the arc of world leaning towards justice and love. Then this is where I start to run out of words again, so I resort to image/metaphor but our challenge is to inhabit a space that is less boundaried and this means we inevitably stay with the trouble. So all I can imagine as such a space is walking in Rumis field out beyond the ideas of right and wrong where we meet Jesus who is both the ground on which we walk, the wheat we run our hands through and the centre to which we journey.

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