Replying to LO26243 --
This thread has eased me temporarily out of lurkdom, as well, for I've
been much absorbed, over the last half a dozen years or so, by questions
of faith and their intersections with LO issues in general, and the
teaching profession (what can a person profess that does not, in the end,
delineate the shape--at that moment, at least--of her faith?) in
Your situation immediately brought to mind M.Scott Peck's descriptions--in
various of books, such as _The Different Drum_, and _Further Down the Road
Less Traveled_-- of the stages of faith's unfolding. Please note that
these are *recursive* stages. That is, virtually none of us pass through
them in lockstep, linear fashion, and most all of us, no matter how
"highly evolved" we may be or wish to be in our spirtuality, have dark
moments of the soul in which we recognize vestiges of earlier stages in
ourselves--perhaps even return, for a time, to some earlier stage as we
confront particularly thorny crises.
Fairly good overviews of the stages here
and (in James W. Fowler's slightly different version) here
All are heavily influenced by the stage theories of Kohlberg (moral
development) , Piaget (cognitive development), and Erikson (psycho-social
Whenever I'm in conflict over my own faith or busy resisting someone
else's version, I try to recall (or hope!)that as (or if!) I move along,
I'll be less conflicted--more able to accept and appreciate others were
they are in their faith's unfolding, and less guilty about needing
sometimes to carve a space for my own. Peck writes beautifully of that
guilt and frustration that comes with our own learning, which necessarily
carries us beyond where friends, colleagues, even lovers might sometimes
be. It's a phenomenon we likely all experience in both directions:
resentment or lack of understanding when loved ones move beyond where we
are, and then a sense of disloyalty at those moments when we do the same.
Those emotions make it very easy to hold others or ourselves back,
Empowerment? I do think that it *is* a gift we can give others--not
wholly, perhaps, but at least in part. We can give it by learning toward
that inclusive state of mind that frees others to be fully where they are,
and to move at their own paces (ultimately beyond our control, in any
case, though attempts to assert such control do universe's worth of
damage). Every single person I've met (few, but precious) who has been at
home in her soul has empowered me--freed me, taught me, nudged me,
whatever--to continue down my own path of discovery.
Well, that wasn't terribly helpful, was it? As I look back at that, it
occurs to me that what I'm really saying is that we must all learn toward
the day when such questions compel us, but no longer harm us. A
lifetime's journey. Perhaps several.
Kathy at C.O.D.
[Host's Note: Thanks, Kathy! This IS very helpful! In assoc w/Amazon.com, here are links to the books you mentioned..
Different Drum by M. Scott Peck http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0684848589/learningorg
Further Along the Road Less Traveled : The Unending Journey Toward Spiritual Growth by M. Scott Peck http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/068484723X/learningorg
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