In another blog of mine I recently explored my literary approach to Holy Writ. This “literary approach” is a view of life itself, reflecting a late-coming appreciation of the fluidity of life, its ambiguity and complexity, nuance and use of the metaphor in finding meaning in it. Seeing life as a metaphor requires detachment in a sense but with this detachment one is permitted the opportunity for a more meaningful connection with it. That is because this detachment involves a degree of what Carl Jung called individuation in which the ego is dis-enthroned and one is allowed to see life more clearly with less of an ego-oriented interpretation of life. The blinders we all live with are not removed but they are not as successful in keeping us in the dark.
Approaching life in this manner, does not mean that one has to be a book-worm such as myself. One does not have to even be literate. It requires a degree of humility in which one realizes that his view of the world is finite, that forces beyond his conscious understand flow through him and contribute to his opinions and viewpoints. This unconscious dimension of life does not diminish the validity of one’s viewpoint it just means that one has to realize that his certainties might not be as certain as is his first inclination to think.
Following is the text of the blog post about Holy Writ:
The Bible is Holy Writ. Dismiss it, curse it, scoff at it, take it literally, take it metaphorically, don’t take it at all but it still falls culturally and historically into the category “Holy Writ.” Therefore, it has value regardless whether or not you think so, though that “value” for you personally is for you to determine. It might be that you “value” it not at all and if that should be the case you will never find me arguing with you. I would have at one time but somewhere along the line I managed to “get a life.” In this blog, an evolving enterprise of mine which is gradually taking a different shape, I am exploring what the Bible and the Christian tradition is to me. This is now a very personal endeavor as I am much less controlled by the “party line” that I was given as a child, this “party line” usually having an important role in the early stages of one’s faith. But, “When I was a child I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man I put away childish things.”
“Holy Writ” falls into the general category of literature. In my youth to consider the Bible as literature would have been tantamount to heresy as it would have appeared to be presenting it as “mere” human endeavor. But approaching it as literature reflects the evolution of my alter-ego, Literarylew, which materialized when I came to understand and experience life in fluid, metaphorical terms. This means that I now have the liberty…and the courage…to see Holy Writ…and certainly the Bible…as having layers of meaning none of which necessarily have to be excluded. Some see the Bible, for example, as a literal historical document in which a literal, concretely existing deity dictated it word for word. I have better things to do than to quarrel with anyone who approaches it that way though I admit that having a close personal relationship with some of them would probably bring me face to face with differences of opinion in which boundaries would have to be set, risking conflict.
A literary approach to the Bible facilitates a personal interpretation and application of the truths being presented. If one approaches what he reads literally, he sees it only as an “owner’s” manual and the God that I see in the Bible is not an “owner” but one who offers a relationship with Him, a relationship which facilitates more open, honest, intimate relationships with our fellowman. If God is our “owner” then we are a mere object and we will then be inclined to see and feel ourselves only as an object and to subsequently view our world and our fellowman as an object.
Here is a list of my blogs. I invite you to check out the other two sometime.