People of spiritual commitment often, if not most of the time, come to the point in their life when their faith needs to be cast aside. This is the time when emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually the maturity has been reached to realize that even spirituality can be used to cover up the essence of life, even the “God” that we purport to worship. This does not mean that this “God” will necessarily be forsaken but that one’s projections about “God” will be seen for what they are and cast aside, leaving one with the possibility of discovering “God” in a meaningful fashion.
This identity crisis, usually in mid life, is when the fantasy world that we have created and wrapped around ourselves is crumbling, providing for us an opportunity to enter into a more authentic dimension of life. Even the “God” we have been worshipping might be seen as a self-serving fantasy and will have to be given up for a more honest, humbling relationship with a God who is the very Ground of our Being, our Source, and not a mere prop to adorn the hollow life that we have been living.
Anthropologist Clifford Geerst once said, “Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun.” It is challenging to contemplate that the whole of our life, including our faith, is suspended in these “webs” and that to achieve any authenticity we will have to wrestle with them and discover as did poet Adrienne Rich that, “We can’t begin to discover who we are until we recognize the assumptions in which we are drenched.” It is only when some, or most of these “assumptions” begin to crumble that we can begin to understand the wisdom of the crooner Leonard Cohen, “There’s a crack in everything; that is how the light gets in.”