Sunday, December 19, 2010

Theology and the Analogical Imagination: Another Blast from the Past

And, as a complement to what I published earlier today about Meister Eckhart's creation-centered theology of revelation, this reflection from a journal of mine from a few years ago focuses on the indispensable and always inadequate task of trying to put into words and concepts the experience of the divine, which transcends language.

27 Jan. 2004: Catching a glimpse of the spiritual world--or of ourselves in it--is like seeing, freeze-frame, the hawk whose form and shadow we only think we glimpse from the corner of our eye, as it whistles by overhead.  And yet we're called to live in that world!

Putting words to what we glimpse there--or know with a seeing that transcends normal seeing--is taking the ocean and pouring it into a pond.  No analogy ever fits; none is exact.

And yet they flow, one after another, because of the totality of what one glimpses, and the inability of language to convey that totality except in shreds and tatters.  It's like seeing to the bottom of a crystalline sea that is treasure-encrusted, yet being able to hook and drag up only one of the many treasures one spots.

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