Using Frameworks for Thinking

As I reflected on Ursula Goodenough’s book from yesterday I realized that all my life I have sought out books that frame the Cosmos and all that is.  When I was in high school (late 50s) my uncle gave me a book Worlds in Collision by Immanuel Velikovsky.  I could not put it down.  It was published in 1950, and I was now sure it would be long ago out of print.  But from Amazon I noticed it was reissued in 2009. And some of the reviews it is getting are incredible — go look them up.  I was amazed. People like it for the same reason I like it.  But I also bought and wore out books by astronomers Fred Hoyle and George Gamow.  I had no one with whom to discuss such material, and besides I was in a bind between these big picture frameworks and my ties to the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod with its conservative frameworks of biblical inerrancy and the 400-year-old creeds of Luther’s followers.  I did not hide my passion.  I just did not know how to discuss it in the binding context of my church.

I realize that these books and their thinking continue to excite me. In addition to Goodenough’s The Sacred Depths of Nature there are:

Listening from the Heart of Silence — Nondual WIsdom & Psychotherapy Volume 2 edited by John J. Prendergast and G. Kenneth Bradford.

Healing the Split — Integrating Spirit Into Our Understanding of the Mentally Ill by John E. Nelson, MD

Transpersonal Vision by Stanislof Grof, MD (audio CD)

Or books by Ken Wilber, Don Beck’s Spiral Dynamics, William James Varieties of Religious Experiences (which I am eagerly getting into), works by Ira Progoff and his system of journaling from within (At a Journal Workshop) that Pat and I have been deeply into for two years and other books sitting on my shelf waiting to be read, such as Reinventing the Sacred — a New View of Science, Reason, and Religion by Stuart Kauffman, The Constant Fire — Beyond the Science vs. Religion Debate by Adam Frank, and I’m sure hundreds more beyond my recently abandoned library. Who is it in me that has this appetite for such material?  At any rate the excitement is real and enlivening.  To this add my insatiable appetite for Pathwork and the thousands of pages of the Pathwork lectures which I pour over, record, diagram and listen to.  I believe this hunger all comes from the same source within.

And yet frameworks can limit me and tie me down if I fixate on any one of them.  And make me fearful when I can’t relate or integrate a framework or somehow find it threatening to my existing sense of the Cosmos.  All of this Mystery — which I say I love — terrifies me as it enlivens me.  Clearly these ideas and the consciousness they invite take me out of myself.  They are expanding while they scare me.  But somehow I cannot contain my enthusiasm for such considerations.

But then to find a group or groups where these matters can be explored without someone trumping everyone else’s frame of reference.  No, I am more in the space of celebrating the diversity of the human spirit in the face of the Grand Mystery than finding the one right answer for all time.  But I love the conversation!

Thanks for hanging in with me on this.  With love, Gary