Tuesday, March 20, 2007

meaning: form, process, matter

we're all searching for meaning

meaning, which is the highest aspiration of every individual
in every moment
in every relationship

a fairly significant problem with the church world is that church doesn't mean anything
at least, for most people it doesn't

church has lost it's inherent meaning

it's just become hard to see the point of going to church
or belonging to church
or feeling like going to church is important

but it is

it's just that we've got to be intentional about creating meaningful intersections
at/with/in church

see, it's not the fault of the people who find church meaningless
it's our fault for not caring enough to try and make it meaningful

it's the fault of those of us in the pray-trade who seem unwilling [at times]
to put aside our goofy notions about what the right
or wrong
way to do things
really is

when we ought to be asking ourselves
what cultivates meaning

fritjof capra talks about meaning being the fourth dimension in social phenomena
he says that - in order for there to be meaning - there must first be

FORM - the pattern of organization, or "thing"
PROCESS - the means by which the configuration of relationships brings self-awareness
STRUCTURE/MATTER - the components of the form and their relationship to the whole

in eccleisure land,
this means we've got to take some time to process the spiritual needs
in the world around us
to think creatively about how to address those needs with people skilled and qualified to dream alongside us

it also means we've got to identify some kind of concrete response to these problems
which could be something as crude as an event
or as intricate as a rule of life
or as personal/private as a set of internal exercises designed for spatial and relational distance

but it must also be subject to some kind of structure
that defines how the parts relate to the whole
and why that should matter
and why we think it addresses the original need
for any response on our part to begin with

only when these things work
and work well together
can we encapsulate our experiences in a context of meaning

i.e. when we get how things are supposed to work
and then they work like that
we can begin to observe the changes brought on by those things
and test them to see if they're really helping


we sometimes never get that far
for fear that our 'final product'
will be deficient in some way
that it won't mean anything
and that we'll have failed

we sometimes will

but we'll never figure that out
unless we're willing to risk the meaningless we now experience
for the chance
at being

know what i mean?

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