Saturday, 5 January 2008

Extreme pilgrim

I stumbled across this programme last night on BBC2 - you can watch it online for the next few days using BBC’s iPlayer. In my opinion it’s worth watching, although you may need to stick with it for a while. I didn’t find the first bit particularly endearing, but was quite captivated by the end!

Initially my interest was at a fairly superficial level. I had a degree of empathy with a middle-aged, unfit man entering a month of martial arts training. However, as the programme proceeded, I began to see some resonance with the spiritual quest that he was on. In his view, the church has become too intellectual, with not enough spirituality. In his words:

"What I'm looking for is a spirituality that is absent from western Christianity. A spirituality I know exists in the extremes of world religions.

I hope to enter worlds where rule book and doctrine are replaced by an individual relationship with God and where the attainment of enlightenment is won by hardship, privation and pain. I have to become an extreme pilgrim."

I certainly agree with the first part of his statement.

Yesterday, I also came across a blog entry talking about Konrad Lorenz and his view that man has lost the capacity to be reflective.

These two discoveries have certainly caused me to pause and reflect a bit.

Have we – in the Western, Protestant churches – lost the spiritual dimension to our faith? Have we intellectualized and neutralized our relationship with God? Do we view the spiritual aspect with suspicion?

Am I personally guilty of this?

Over the next few days I will reflect on these and provide some of my own thoughts here. Feel free to join the debate.

No comments: