You shall find rest for your soul

stillness-close-up-small-file

Was just chatting with Dwayne today. I asked, “You ever get tired of theological conversation? Like, does it ever just wear you out?” He agreed it does. I definitely get there. I’m feeling myself there these days. I engage, press in, think hard, and chase every rabbit down every hole I can find, looking for the right “fit.” Working the old dianoia till it drops. Then something says to me, “Enough already. You need be still in God’s presence in light of what you know. Knowing more isn’t going to help.”

Stillness (Hesychasm). Watchfulness (Nepsis). Not more dianoia.

We really know enough. The dianoia is full to overflowing. Is there a way to expand it to make room for more? When we need to, sure. By the doing of what we know. We study and unravel and speculate and construct (theologically), looking for something, that unified theological field theory. We work towards it. We don’t experience what we long for, so we think the answer must be more dianoia, more knowledge. So we dive back in. But it doesn’t fulfill. Why?

It doesn’t fulfill because we don’t practice the stillness needed to integrate the dianoia into the rest of ineffable encounter with God, into the slating of desire in his presence where the self contemplates not a list of propositions but him who grounds their truth. There the soul is fed, refreshed, fulfilled. There the mind rests. And if the mind does not rest in this encounter of presence beyond discursive thought, what is known by the dianoia gets appropriated by a false self.

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