Monday, 7 January 2008

Extreme wholeness

More thoughts about Extreme Pilgrim and the spiritual dimension to faith in the West.

“Our job is not to figure out the how. The how will show up out of commitment and belief in the what.”
Jack Canfield

I’ve been using the ethos of this quotation all over the place recently – and probably driving people crazy in the process – because I firmly believe that we are prone to jumping straight to the ‘how’, rather than identifying clearly what the ‘what’ is.

Applying this to the Extreme Pilgrim – or at least my interest in it – Peter Owen-Jones is looking at some of the ‘hows’, but what is the ‘what’? On reflection, the ‘what’ is not about the spiritual dimension as such. The ‘what’ is the search for wholeness and balance. If we only focus on the spirit, we will inevitably neglect something else (body or mind). I think this is where we end up when we pull back from the extreme of Extreme Pilgrim (and I’ll be interested to see where P O-J ends up).

We can think of wholeness in a variety of ways:
- Mind/body/ spirit
- Creative/ productive
- Prayer/reflection/ study/ application
- Life/ work/church
- etc, etc, etc

The point with any of these combinations is to find the right balance. This doesn’t mean equal portions, and the balance will vary for each of us.

The dissatisfaction with the spiritual dimension that I’ve been speaking about recently, is a consequence of losing the balance. Of giving too much emphasis to other dimension (mainly the mind in my view).

If we commit to finding our own balances, then we might find the ‘how’ that we need.

One final thought – look at the balance in Jesus life on earth. He spent time in prayer (spirit); teaching (mind); and healing (body). He also rested and enjoyed the company of others. An all-round balanced life. Dare we aspire to this?

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