Thinking inside-out

I was just reading a though-provoking post over at my favorite spiritual blog It was about being moved spiritually, out of nowhere, by a familiar song. John talked about this experience and then asked the readers what they would do with it. Having a similar experience, I tried to explain what I thought was going on and gave an example of this happening in my life, but forgot to answer the question. The gist of what my guess was going on is that music is a vehicle for spiritual truth combined with myth gleaned from both the melody and the lyrics, and we are sometimes moved spiritually by the messages in it. (You can read my comment for more details)

What I began to think about was the benefits of this mode of communication. I believe that this is the divine speaking to us, not unlike Jesus did when speaking in parables. The one obvious benefit is complex spiritual truth understood instantly. This is a great benefit, but I believe there is a second and no less important benefit.

Beliefs that we acquire though rigorous intellectual thought often have to go though many security gates in our minds. Does this thought line up with my understanding of God, with my church, with my religion, with my world view? Everyone’s mind is armored to test beliefs, as it should be. However, since we are all human, it would be a safe assumption that everyone’s understanding of God, of their church, their religion, and their world view and presuppositions are imperfect at best, and terribly wrong at worst. This is a pretty awful state. Thankfully, there exists in our lives the myth: a story or song or situation that may or may not be true, but metaphorically refers to a spiritual truth. It may even take the form of living myth, such as human relationships and marriages which are deliberately designed metaphors of God’s relationship to us. Movies, books, etc. are other manifestations. So thankfully, I find myself believing a truth very strongly even though I don’t fully understand it or can verbalize it because it did not come to me through verbal or intellectual vehicles. I can compare this new belief that exists from inside me and compare it with my “gates” that form the walls around it. I believe this belief – but my gates do not yet comprehend it – so I am existing with internal inconsistency. Which system has more weight – my new internalized belief or my existing beliefs that make up my mental gates?

The answer is complex, because it appears that most of my beliefs have been acquired by one method or another. I may have come to a belief by it passing through all my gates, meaning it lined up with all my other existing beliefs. I may have come to a belief due to internal atrophy – meaning I did not think about something at all, and I just accepted with my self-destructive default nature would say is true. There are many other ways that beliefs come to exist inside me, and that they are not all created equal. So what do I do with a spiritually injected truth? It appears to me to trump all others; my new truth must be held as absolute and my other beliefs and mental gates must conform.

If this is true, we must seek spiritual truth with this vehicle of communication beyond all other methods, because it allows us to think inside-out, rather than outside-in, a much more effective and less time consuming way to correct our current beliefs than being beat to death by the gauntlet of them before they make it to our hearts.

So what do we do with these moments? Capture them and apply their truth to our lives. And more importantly, continue to open yourself up to their influence, and you will continue to see more of them in your life. Soon the world around you will look like Matrix code — all reality and experience will have some tie to myth and it will jump out at you. Seeing the morning sun will remind you of God’s renewed presence in your life every day. Holding your newborn baby in your arms will shout full force that love creates life, or as Matt who also commented on the same post, that love is life.

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