Meditation Part 3 – Infant or Adult?

Once again thinking about meditation brings up an issue that is relevant to all spirituality: the issue of adult v infant. I think that this is best illustrated by the story of the fall. Having made the transition from an angst-free infant state, to a shame-filled self-awareness, man and woman seek to re-enter the garden of innocence, only to find the way blocked by an angel with a flaming sword.    

The implication is clear: the way forward lies not back to the womb, but forward to maturity.

Maturity is a goal that the New Testament points us to: where we make the hard decisions and do not give in to escapism. When our spirituality becomes an escape from the real world, look out!

Another problem I have with charismatic, transcendental worship is that I believe that the mind state sought is a womb state, where ego-barriers and self-consciousness break down and the mind enters a suggestible state, where it absolves itself of responsibility for making a sound decision. In my experience, churches that see this type of worship as central tend to have a membership that see maturity as a low priority and tend to place value on harmonious living and a shared dogma.

But maybe we do need periods in our spiritual rhythm when we return to the womb for a period of safety and comfort. Maybe I need to acknowledge that just because some churches have made the mistake of pursuing the womb in all of their worship, does not mean that their is not a legitimate need for the odd womb experience for those pursuing maturity.

Churches have tended to be home to two groups of people: those desperately pursuing reality and those desperately seeking to avoid reality.

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