Thursday, September 14, 2017

Dialectic Spirituality

UV 2775/10000 Dialectic Spirituality
Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.
Jeremiah 31 v 12

Karl Marx wrote about dialectic materialism or in short, that economic or material conditions determines all other aspects of life. The theory of dialectic materialism produced much mass misery in human history in the twentieth century and beyond as it was spiritually blind, flawed, unreal. True, the movement of history is dialectic but it is the dialectic of the Spirit. Dialectic Spirituality implies the opposition of spiritual truths with untruths,the forces of God’s absolute goodness manifested in and through the life, work and word of Christ and the forces of the anti-Christ. The truth and my experience is that dialectic spirituality is the reality of life. It is not thesis versus antithesis as propounded by Marx but Christ versus anti-Christ, absolute goodness versus relative goodness and absolute evil. Dialectic spirituality implies that our beliefs determine who we are, what we do, what we get in terms of blessings of life or those conditions needed to live the better life including the economic, monetary or material. Scripture endorses this view. When we trust in the Lord and are in a love relationship with Him, He causes us to experience the totality of His goodness in the course of our lives. He blesses our food, both the necessities and the delicacies. He blesses our means of production whether it be agricultural, pastoral, industrial, electronic or computers or ideas and skills of communication, creativity and leadership.
Our souls become well watered and well fenced gardens, watered with the Word, watered by the Holy Spirit, guarded by the Lord and His angels. That is why it is written in scripture that when the Lord makes a man wealthy, He adds no sorrow to it. We might have had many sorrows or regrets in the past but He ends it. Dialectic spirituality implies that we are contented where we are but the Lord adds challenges so that we move to the next level of faith, love and hope. Our lives are not static but constantly changing and evolving for the better.
It is not as if all these blessings will fall like manna or fly into garden like the quail that fed the Jews in the desert but we need to be doing not just “due diligence” but exceptional or unusual diligence in all aspects of our lives. What starts in the garden of our souls should well up as a fountain into every sphere of our lives- physical, intellectual, emotional, familial, marital, civic, professional, financial, social, cultural, creative. In each of these aspects, we need to do watering and fencing, pruning and planning, growing, sharing, harvesting. There is no limit to the goodness of the Lord and to the varied ways in which He manifests that goodness in our lives. Dialectic spirituality applies not just to individuals but to groups, organisations, business corporations, cities, nations.

Prateep V Philip

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