The word WISDOM shimmers in my faith imagination. Language for God, the Divine, Jesus, Christ, Spirit has lost much of its power for me due to (a) familiarity, having lived the Christian tradition for 69 years, and (b) abuse, having heard these words used in ways that are more harmful and hateful than healing. So WISDOM, which is one of the threads of the Christian bilbical tradtition, sounds a fresh note and can resonate at many layers for me.
It was this intrigue with the word WISDOM that took me to a WISDOM SCHOOL with teacher Cynthia Bourgeault in November of 2015. I had sabbatical time set aside that year, and when I learned that Cynthia would be leading a WISDOM SCHOOL in North Carolina, very near to where my father lives, I signed up immediately. And I found a soulmate who was willing to dive in as well. This opportunity to “practice WISDOM” for a week, much like a”pop-up monastery,” with over 200 participants, was life changing. I am still asking where it is taking me.
This week in Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations the theme is THE WISDOM TRADITION. It reflects well the theological stream in which I find myself floating, and listening. Cynthia is quoted there:
[Jesus was] a wisdom teacher, a person who . . . clearly emerges out of and works within an ancient tradition called “wisdom,” sometimes known as sophia perennis, which is in fact at the headwaters of all the great religious traditions of the world today. It’s concerned with the transformation of the whole human being. Transformation from what to what? Well, for a starter, from our animal instincts and egocentricity into love and compassion; from a judgmental and dualistic worldview into a nondual acceptingness. This was the message that Jesus, apparently out of nowhere, came preaching and teaching, a message that was radical in its own time and remains equally radical today.
Radical. Roots. “Acceptingness.” “Transforming Heart and Mind.” This path is unsettling and necessarily creates new words for Something that beckons. If this taste intrigues you, I strongly recommend reading “The Wisdom Jesus” by Cynthia Bourgeault. Here is a review.
What or who is beckoning you? Who is enlightening your imagination? How would you name them? Whom do you hear who calls you, deep down to your roots, to LIFE?