Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What does “ineffable” mean?

I have had three separate communications about the discussion following the Sacred Soup Gathering last Thursday which each had the theme of, “I don’t know what people are talking about.”

It makes sense when I think about it.  Usually when we humans gather for a conversation about spiritual matters we all share a common religious language.  We are starting from a place of shared meaning by which to speak of that which cannot be described in words.  Given that the most fundamental aspects of reality cannot be captured in words…that is, they are ineffable…it makes sense that when we try to talk about it, if we are not already trained in the language, it won’t make sense to us.

The essence of what Sacred Soup is about is that we each bring whatever we have in our spiritual awareness and share it with others trusting that we will all be enriched by the experience.  What we haven’t yet learned to do is, in the midst of the conversation when someone uses a word or expresses a concept with which we are not familiar, to stop them and say, “I don’t follow what you mean.  Can you say more about that?”

I think it is really important that we address this.  For one thing, we won’t work as a community if we don’t understand each other.  It is important that we all know we belong and are understood. 

But a second thing, and this is at least as important, is that we learn how to talk about our personal experience of the Divine in such a way that others can share in our experience.  In order to learn how to better do this it is vital that we know when are not being clear.  I really grow when others say to me, “I don’t follow what you are saying and it is important to me that I get this because I can see that it is important to you.”

Please come this Thursday and share in the struggle to be clear about the things that are most important to us, even when they are really hard to talk about.

6:30 PM at Pilgrim using the door off Kensington at the parking lot.

Mark