Wednesday, September 21, 2011

DREAM: CIRCLE THEOLOGY....december 3, 2009

Beautiful colorful circles were being distributed to people of all nationalities and ethnicities. Some of these were large simple sculpture pieces and some were round tables. It was called to everyone's attention that garbage cans were made from many circles. 
 REFLECTION: This seems to me to be a call to rise to a new and broader spiritual and theological point of view. Jungian psychology has documented that the circle is a central image, along with the sphere and square, of God, of wholeness and the potential goal for humanity that has been present in the collective unconscious and in all religious groups for millennia. Since the circles are being given to all kinds and stripes of people it is saying that all people have the same innate potential to become what all humans are destined to eventually become. For Christians this may mean that all are moving toward coming to be the 'fullness of the image of the Christ.' What Christians would learn from this dream is that all people are inspired by the ultimate Sacred to move to the same goals and values which to the Christian are seen in Jesus. But to not take this that all the world's people are to become Christians like us but their own form of the same kind of human potential. The dream would make clear that when the various religions, nationalities and ethnicities move toward such wholeness that it will be via their own unique path. It would be good to see that the goal for all is to become more fully what it means to be human. For Christians we would see this in the image of Jesus , others would see that same goal of becoming more fully human in their own heritage somewhere.
Humanness Becomes A Higher Value Than Ethnicity Or Formal Religion?
 The 'table' has been a symbol of acceptance and fellowship in many religious movements. It was viewed that way in early Christianity. The dream emphasizes that the needed direction today by all religious and spiritual persuasions is to recognize the need and value of each other in a world where we are living more and more next door. Such a heart is excited about 'breaking bread' with ones who before were considered the heathen, the outsider or the ones separated from God.

To accept the dream's image is to confer upon all humans regardless of culture, religion or ethnicity the confidence that we are all of equal value and all are equally needed to help creation to be as conceived by God.  This seeks to usher in the day when more Humans  place a higher value on the Human Community than one their specific ethnic or religious group. This very belief accepted would immediately reduce by many fold the capacity to see other humans as primarily an enemy. This immediately begins to make the world more safe, more humane and more capable of allowing new generations to experience a higher quality of life.
Eating At The 'Round'  Table
 The reference to garbage cans being made of circles is stating that principle seen in all times in all spiritual disciplines,  that the Sacred and the goal of human life is seen in the most humble and earthy of situations, in the most unlikely places. Is this not the central story of Christmas? The image of God is not primarily found 
In Least Expected Places
in palaces, though surely it is there, but in the humble and lowly and often even most resented of human conditions, such as a lowly stable. The dream is warning, just as Peter's dream of old did; to not discount, reject, or exclude anything or any persons that are a part of God's creation. It is a theology of 'nothing is left out' or 'nothing is trash'. Everything contains the image of God, the circle---even that which we may have considered, in our egocentricity , as garbage.

The more one's heritage has most recently been, in practice and story,- tribal,sexist, nationalistic, homophobic, ethnically exclusive the greater the challenge to embrace such a universal theology will be. In the past half century many individuals and some groups have moved toward such a more inclusive vision of God and of reality. Such individuals often remain very loyal and responsible participants in their own group but do it without viewing themselves as superior or as having an inside or 'more right'track to God. Such individuals will  clearly see that harmful error in their own heritage and are open to new ways of interpreting their own heritage and religious story. They will also be aware of some of the imperfections and dangerous errors in the other religious, political and economic systems.

This is true of national devotions as well. Such a view gives up seeing its own founding documents as being inspired by God and literally applicable for all times and all situations. For example an American who is moving toward such a 'circle theology' does not see the 'founding fathers' as having the capacity to judge specifically what is needed for all time for the country. As long as their 'vision' continues to be an inspiration and challenge for a better world and life for all, which our U.S. Constitution seems to continue to do for most Americans, then our forefathers are serving us well. But to fantasize that persons like Thomas Jefferson or George Washington could presently make the applications, judgments and interpretations needed today is to dismiss their humanity and fail to take our own responsibility, as present day Americans, seriously and confidently enough. Such a  'circle' view would take the Constitution as needing to be reinterpreted(as it has throughout our history) to meet the challenge of new problems and potentials brought about by increased knowledge and information 
Signing The U.S. Constitution by  Howard C. Christy..1940
and human evolution. Such a 'circle theology' resists becoming any kind of fundamentalism or view that it has already been determined in one person, group or writing what is the final revelation of God. It requires that we humans live always in the 'eternal now' as theologian Paul Tillich imaged. Wit great appreciation and understanding of the past but also a clear understanding that no human or group of humans of the past has the capacity or insight to be responsible for our present. This calls forth and inspires the highest level of creativity and present enthusiasm(God  breathed through the Human) to meet the challenges of present times. The Source of this dream is inviting all humans to take on the challenge together to be all that we can be, to realize in significantly greater measure the' image of God' that is alive in us all. Jim

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