a way out

Oliver Burkeman in the latest edition of The Imperfectionist:

“Our suffering is believing there’s a way out.” (Mel Weitsman).. People often embark on spiritual quests in the hope of achieving a kind of perfect serenity and freedom from emotional disturbance; but they may later learn to see is that it’s the hope of such future serenity that’s causing most of the angst.

Is this true for the Christian? There still does not seem a clear answer.

No doubt ego-dissolution is the means and theosis the goal, but then it seems there might be a chasm between what the East and the West view the practice of these things in this life to produce in the saint. And the (doctrinal) expectation in some sense appears to decide the experience.

So on the one hand Rowan and the push to #RehabilitatetheBody:

“it becomes increasingly difficult in the Christian world to see the ultimately important human experience as an escape into the transcendent, a flight out of history and the flesh”

“Deification is conferred by the identification of the believer in baptism with the divine Son, whose own sonship is manifested in death and resurrection; it is not attained by a private flight of the soul…”

On the other hand George MacDonald and Eastern folk:

“It is only as the offer of this peace within time, as a real and available practice, that the Christian evangel has any meaning at all.. only if Christ can be practiced is Jesus Lord” DBH

“Le sens de cette plénitude eschatologique à laquelle aspire la chrétienté orientale… la gnose écarte toute limitation de la conscience.. une sortie de l’existence historique: «le mystère du huitième jour»”1 Lossky

“But there is a reality of being in which all things are easy and plain—oneness, that is, with the Lord of Life; to pray for this is the first thing; and to the point of this prayer every difficulty hedges and directs us” GMac

  1. “The meaning of that eschatological fullness to which Eastern Christianity aspires… gnosis rules out any limitation of consciousness… an exit from historical existence: ‘the mystery of the eighth day'”