The Beautiful Breakdown. Sometimes . . .
I’ve really wrestled with this one, endeavoring to be open, aware of my own biases in bringing this from the gut level. Staying away from generalizations and then again avoiding “this is how it is”: I.E. I don’t want to say “This is the only way it rolls and these are the twelve steps of Deconstruction”. That’s because the deconstruction I’m talking about is personal. VERY personal. And as this is coming from gut-level and I’m trying to avoid “The Censor” that wants to make this cute & tasty. I’m going to offer this in a series of statements that can be viewed, if you wish, as questions. I definitely won’t offer any solutions, resolutions or conclusions to those questions. I can’t. No one can. Only you can answer those questions for yourself. And they must be sought on The Journey.
Deconstruction is not about destruction.
I borrow here from the Emergent tribe who years ago made the statement “We only deconstruct except that we reconstruct”. This in another way can be said that it’s about shifting your paradigm. Including what you’ve excluded before. “De-demonizing” other perspectives in the world around us. For there is no “other”; no “us and them”. There is just “us”. I know this is generalizing, but we all need Love, Grace and Healing. That makes all of us One.
We get to ask questions. Never really needed permission but the Religious Matrix really discouraged that dangerous beasty named “Why?”. And while this whole series is focused on The Journey away from the RM it can really be applied to every system, every organization. And I’m not saying let anarchy and chaos reign here: systems, organizations, institutions have their place. But they also have their limits and left unchecked will mutate into something evil. (But I digress . . .)
Questions are good, questions are necessary. But do not expect quick and easy answers. This is what makes deconstruction so personal . . . so challenging. Because you gotta walk this out yourself. I’m not saying that you are going to be alone in this (but that’s another story) but deconstruction is about chucking the “pat answers” with all their biases, prejudices and fences. The fences get torn down; it’s open range and the field is wide, wide open. Fear will kick in and haunting voices will whisper discouragement. But step on out. The grandeur and the freedom are worth it.
I remember hearing a talk on a podcast where a reader had written to the host about Spiritual Maturity being “A transformation from arrogant confidence to thoughtful uncertainty”. That is something that has stuck with me through my journey. That in the questing I’ve learned to be comfortable with the questions without having the answers. An awakening to the layers of bias and prejudice that have been lathered over scripture and the doctrines that have arisen in support of those biases. The explanations given for the inconsistencies and contradictions now suspect. The un-nerving realization that I have a really deep recognition bias within that must be challenged. The usual reactions (at least with me) is to stuff and bury it or purge myself of it. Instead, I embrace the uncertainty as it is part of The Real, The Now-Here. It is a part of our wholeness, our humanity.
This is what scares academics, theology teachers and those who like their cornflakes to be the same and there every morning of everyday. Consistent, dependable reliable. It is like the earthquake that reveals the weaknesses of what was thought to be sound and solid. It tumbles our idols that we’ve built up around ourselves for protection. In one sense it feels like we are being forced in a direction that we do not want to explore but in reality it is the ultimate “great attractor”, an irresistible pull that whispers “Come and follow me”. It is freedom. But like an animal that has been lulled into docility by being kept in a cage too long, we are fearful of wandering too far from the confines of the familiarity. The keepers of the cages cry out in warning to us saying that we will become lost. That we will throw-off restraint and loose everything. Maybe there is some truth in that. I don’t know. I know that I will make mistakes, walk down a few dead-end paths and stumble now and then. But one will never learn to ride a bike or a horse if one doesn’t learn to get back up. The Divine is ever strong and present in each step of that. Those green pastures and still waters are real. Deconstruction is about letting go, learning to trust, seeing the illusion of the barriers that have been placed on us: by others and ourselves.
For me part of the “new unfolding” has meant learning to sit in silence, unplug from the distractions and listen. Not for the earthquake or firestorm but for the still, quiet voice. Embracing uncertainty and the paradox that I’m whole and yet there is a brokenness. Being willing to let my paradigms get shifted yet once again. Ever questing but being content with the questions and no answers. Again, no conclusions for you. I hope I’ve provoked some deep thought and perhaps have helped.
This is my deconstruction. And I’m cool with that. May Grace, Love and Shalom tackle you in yours.