dweller by the river

sojourner of earth attempting to understand the journey home

Mind Shifts – Not Just For the Christian Walk, Surely

Metanoia is the Greek word for conversion: a ‘fundamental transformation of mind’. It is the process by which concepts are reorganised. Metanoia is a specialised, intensified adult form of the same worldview development found shaping the mind of the infant. Formerly associated with religion, metanoia proves to be the way by which all genuine education takes place. Michael Polanyi points out that a ‘conversion’ shapes the mind of the student into the physicist. Metanoia is a seizure by the discipline given total attention, and a restructuring of the attending mind. This reshaping of the mind is the principal key to the reality function.

The same procedure found in worldview development of the child, the metanoia of the advanced student, or the conversion to a religion, can be traced as well in the question-and-answer process, or the proposing and eventual filling of an ’empty category’ in science. The asking of an ultimately serious question, which means to be seized in turn by an ultimately serious quest, reshapes our concepts in favour of the kinds of perceptions needed to ‘see’ the desired answer. To be given ears to hear and eyes to see is to have one’s concepts changed in favour of the discipline. A question determines and brings about its answer just as the desired end shapes the nature of the kind of question asked. This is the way by which science synthetically creates that which it then ‘discovers’ out there in nature.

Exploring this reality function shows how and why we reap what we sow, individually and collectively – but no simply one-to-one correspondence is implied. The success or failure of any idea is subject to an enormous web of contingencies. Any idea seriously entertained, however, tends to bring about the realisation of itself, and will, regardless of the nature of the idea, to the extent it can be free of ambiguities.”

– Joseph Chiltern Pearce, The Crack in the Cosmic Egg: New Constructs of Mind and Reality (Rochester, Vermont, USA: Park Street Press, 2002), p. 24-25

 

I am absolutely sure that this man is one of the foremost academic authorities alive on how the spiritual realm actually works, and because I have always naturally taken to academics, this helps me in my spiritual walk much more than reading five or even ten theological books or books written to Christians by Christian leaders.

And yes, to pull this back to plant-relevance, I’m going to think about and talk to my plants differently from now on.

Theology, Evangelicalism, and Creation

“As we look around God’s creation, as we contemplate all that Christ has done for us (that great evangelical emphasis), as we recollect that the same God sustains us even in life’s darkest hours, we are talking about one and the same God doing all those things. It was St Thomas Acquinas who reminded us that theology leads not so much to understanding as to adoration. We need to recall that, in the end, perhaps it is worship at which evangelicalism is at its most authentic. As evangelicals contemplate all that God has done, the most authentic response is adoring God for what God is and what God has done.

We have a sense of dissatisfaction not with who God is, nor with the gospel, but with our grasp of this God,with our intellectual apprehension and the response we make to God. Recollecting (in its dual sense of remembering and picking up) the doctrine of the Trinity, in effect, allows evangelicalism to open its treasure chest, hold up its contents one by one, savour them, and realise that there are enormous riches there – riches that have been entrusted to us, that are there to sustain us in our mission and ministry.”

– McGrath, Alister, “Trinitarian Theology”,  in Mark A. Noll & Ronald F. Thiemann (Eds), Where Shall My Wond’ring Soul Begin? The Landscape of Evangelical Piety and Thought (USA: William B Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2000), p. 59-60.