With a friend, I had an interesting talk recently. It was about
intuition and what it is. I bluntly admit that she’s an intuitive
person, while I don’t have this ability or, at least, did not yet
discover it. During that talk, I discovered my own current opinion
regarding intuition. It’s summarized in this thesis:

“Intuition” is a term that is applied, as an abstraction,
to all unconscious, unknown cognitive processes with surprising and
correct results.

Here are some implications and explanations of this thesis:

  • That these cognitive processes are unconscious and unknown
    implies that they are hard to perceive. That’s because they are very
    fast, so much faster than verbalized thinking. Which makes intuition a
    precious ability that shows a high level of intelligence and is
    especially valuable for coping with time-critical situations and scarce
    time ressources in daily life. Because it is fast, intuition is
    efficient.
  • Because it is unconscious and so fast, intuition is not at all
    exhausting.
  • Because intuition is based on unconscious and unknown processes,
    it is not open to conscious optimization or error correction.
  • Because these processes are (at first) unconscious and unknown,
    the process of intuition is not open to communication. Humans can
    communicate the results: they can say what they intuitively feel about
    or would do in a situation. But they cannot reveal how they arrived at
    this result, as they don’t know. And without reasons for them, people
    cannot argue about the results or try to arrive at better solutions in
    discourse. As such, intuition in all its splendor is an impediment to
    human communication.
  • Though intuition is the result of unconscious and unknown
    processes, these processes can perhaps be made conscious and be
    explored. Then, intuitive results would be open to communicate about,
    being no longer an impediment for getting to know each other better.
    According to my experience, exploring intuition is possible by close
    self-perception of one’s own cognitive processes. A good training is to
    trace the asscociative chains while they occur in ones brain. With some
    training, one is then able to assign perceived associative chains as
    reasons to “spontaneous” thoughts. And with some further training, I
    believe, one can trace other intuitive results to their roots.

Start date: 2007-12-10
Post date: 2007-12-11
Version date: 2007-12-11 (for last meaningful change)

Introduction

What situation do you want to spend our life in? What people do you want to have around? What do you want to do as your long term main activity? Here is mine variant. Living with some fellows as a permanent, mobile, technology-enabled, intentional community … serving God by serving others … and searching God by seaching what he does today. I cannot imagine something better, something more comforting, something more stirring. Standing there, one day, dear friends around you, and knowing you’ve found what you was searching all life long: the sense of this all, in an obvious, non-ignorable way. Knowing, from then on, that you’re moving to an eternity on God’s side. Instead of just being convinced to do so.

Of course, I would prefer joining an existing community of that style, instead of building my own. Because building an  organisation is a hard, risky and tedious task – and without any worth of the desired organisation already exists. However, I did an intensive web research on 2007-11-17, and found nothing. What I found is this, by appropriateness:

  • Mobile Freak Gemeinde (MFG): in English, that’s “mobile freak church”; they’re a group of some  Jesus Freaks, living in camp buses and touring the world to tell people about Jesus; they are currently “on hold” (see post “Pause” from 2007-08-12). I really hope that you find a way to continue your vision, guys! You really rock! While they’re closest to the community I have in mind and I’d really like to meet them, they’re a group of personal friends and, as said, on hold. Not to mention our small differences in lifestyle … really, don’t want to mention 😉
  • White Stone Community: written about on this blog of its founder Baba, they’re a really stylish Jesus Freak community in Portugal and somewhat connected to MFG. Sadly, they seem to have quite high fluctuation and are not mobile … that is, they differ from the style of community I search, but again, you guys rock, too, and I’d like to meet you some day.
  • Rainbox Gatherings: this seems quite a fascinating thing, yet I do not know why I include them here as I search for a small, permanent intentional community.
  • Christian Peacemaker Teams: they have a nice, consequently radical style and are Christian, but I do not share (1) their occupation with peacemaking, (2) the a priori opposition to any kind of violence, (3) their centrally controlled organisation style, (4) their dependence on fundraising, (5) their strong anti-Israeli mindset.

So … if anybody can point me to an existing group to join, I would be grateful beyond measure. But if no such group exists yet, I would be willing to start one – else I cannot expect to experience any kind of teamwork and communal living in this work that I can totally enjoy. I assume now that I indeed need to start one such community … I made good experiences with using fictional content to envision stuff, drawing a lively, motivating and self-motivating image in my and other people’s minds. To have a vision is, after all, viewing something worthy to endure pain for, so some more motivation will not hurt. I should note that this vision also expresses my wish to live an interesting, well-going life … hope God will bless me with that, not sure.

The vision

Hi … I’m Tam of Cmando. My wife Celina and six other fellows are also of Cmando. Pronounce it as “come-and-do”, with the empasis on the latter. I don’t know what Cmando is. Cmando is an intentional community of eight people … a Christian church of eight … your permanent world tour with 7 friends … a bunch of journalists and metaphysicists, tracing miracles … a multi-party house with couples and singles in it … an all-wheel truck … a company of eight friends in ever-ongoing financial trouble. Some people see us as a civil analogy to military commando, which sometimes applies, sometimes not at all.

Celina reminds me jus’ now that Cmando is rather just a permanent group of long-term friends … a set of lively discussions every evening (and mostly helpful) … these windows with their ever-changing exceptional view on untouched nature … a collection of complicated computer stuff that you never want in your living room (but sadly we have just one room in total, so it looks like ISS interieur) … a group that wants to be able to help whereever we see it fit … a network of contacts to several thousand helpful and needy people worldwide … a particularly challenging time last year (socially, as friendship is not always a box of chocolates). And so on 🙂

But, don’t worry what we are. Instead, read what way we lived today … it easier to get precise on that topic. Well then, step by step. We are currently to an expedition in Tanzania, trying to track some of the concrete things God does today. When we’re done with that, this will be published as our third (and last) book on that topic, and we’re glad to find such a wealth of  incidences that even Matew seems to be happy with that.

However, we’re not doin that stuff all day long, as we need to earn some money to live and travel here, and as we try to help some fellow Christians on the go. Therefore, this morning was dedicated to our community-owned little IT company … standing up at 5 o’clock, we’d have our running course, but with me and Celina staying at the truck for security reasons. Well, and to prepare a nice breakfast 🙂 After breakfast, our four programmers would settle behind their computers and finish one of their website projects, working in something they call extreme collaboration in a warroom environment; I’d say it’s related to
XPM.

Celina and Rebeca assisted them by doing accounting and office administration, while Rhett and I took the motorbike with sidecar to visit some local market and buy food for all of us, to prepare the food for storage, together with us, and to create a
nice meal. When we arrived back home at the truck, they were in the midst of deploying their website via Inmarsat satellite internet connection, while the girls were ready. After eating together and relaxing during the hottest part of the day, we mobilized the vehicle and departed … but paused a little while after to take in some water from a public well (whereof a location based GPS reminder had made us known).

After two hours of driving (and only 45km of distance …) we arrived at this little village of Adjoa. He was a fellow Christian whom we had met the week before, and we had promised to come and try to repair their village’s jammed well (which was a result of a tribal feud two years ago). Arriving there in late afternoon, we were heartily welcomed by Adjoa and the village elders. We were invited to an evening meal and discussed the problem with them for a while, then joined Adjoa and others in their evening prayer meeting. And finallly we sat outside at a small camp fire, discussing among Cmando members how to dig this well up again. We were kind of in a mess, as this was a 20m deep hole in the ground, 35cm in diameter, and we did not have any kind of well drilling equipment. Finally, Brady had the idea to mount our small-outline air hammer together with ballast and this high-volume fan (for removing stones and dirt) to a steel cable. And we decided to try that the other day.

End notes

Interesting enough, God’s vision for the whole Christian congregation is quite similar to the vision above. Just that I dare to envision this for a small, prototype group only, while God dares to envision that for all of us. Nonetheless, I am impressed how Paul expresses the way God envisions congregations to be … full of love, saring, honesty, mercy … and full of venturesome, faithful co-workers:

(1) Does Christ speak to you? Does love call to you? Do you have a part in the Holy Spirit? Do you have any love and care for others? (2) Then make me very, very happy. Live in happiness with one another. Have the same love for each other. Think the same way. Agree together about things. All have one purpose in mind. (3) Do not try to  prove you are better than others. Do not be proud of yourselves, but be humble. Think of other people as being better than yourselves. (4) Each one of you should not think only about himself, but about other people also. (5) Think the same way Jesus Christ thought. (6) He was in every way like God. Yet he did not think that being equal to God was something he must hold on to. (7) He gave this up and became a servant. […] (13) For God is at work in you. He helps you want to do it. And he helps you do what he wants you to do. (14) Do everything without grumbling or making trouble. (15) In that way you will be completely good. No one will be able to say anything wrong about you. You will be God’s good children living amongst bad people. Among them you will shine like lights in the world. […] (19) I hope the Lord Jesus will let me send Timothy to you soon. I will be glad to hear about you. (20) I have no one like Timothy. He is troubled to know about you. (21) All the other people think only of themselves and not of Jesus Christ. (22) But you know what a good man Timothy is. You know that he has worked with me in telling the good news. He has worked just as a son works with his father. […] (25) I thought I must send Epaphroditus, our Christian brother, back to you. He has worked with me and has also been a soldier of Christ with me. He was your messenger and he brought your gift for my needs. (26) I am sending him back because he has been lonely without you all. And his heart has been troubled because you heard that he was sick. (27) He was very sick! He almost died! But God was kind to him. He was not only kind to him, but also to me. God did not let me have one trouble after another. (28) I want even more to send him to you so that you will be happy when you see him again. And I will not be so troubled any more. (29) So receive him with much joy because he is a Christian brother. Give respect to men like him. (30) He almost died doing the work of Christ. You wished to help me, but you could not come. He came instead. He was willing to put his life in danger in order to help me. [Philippians 2:1-7,13-15,19-22,25-30 BWE]

Image source: they are used for illustration purposes only and are completely unrelated to the content of this completely fictional story. They are licensed under a Creative Commons license, published by user “simontaylor” on flickr.com as images 286272346, 286269549 (in this order).


Start date: 2007-11-17
Post date: 2007-11-19
Version date: 2007-11-19 (for last meaningful change)

Smooth societal life. People striving for survival won’t understand this: living a highly civilized lifestyle deprives of life. Within this lifestyle, I don’t have any intensive experiences. That is, I can barely distinguish between my   “experiences”. That is, I have no experiences at all, just everyday life. That way, people don’t feel alive, as they cannot recognize from their experiences that they are living beings. The fact that such a culture often tries to tie up every aspect of life adds to this excessively boring, vigilant coma like state. For example, in Switzerland and Germany, everything is poured into concrete by an enormous amount of laws and regulations, until nearly every degree of freedom is missing. The upside of this state is: you don’t have to bother for survival, for the next day or anything else. The system does it.

Smooth spiritual life. It seems to me that an analogous development took place in the spiritual life of many Christians who live in such a culture: their faith got “domesticated”. The typical Christian lives a very adapted life, including a house, a car, a career, womb-to-tomb security and good social status. Filling the life with such stuff was only possible by getting rid of all risky behavior, including the expectance of miracles. Because we do not risk anything, nothing happens: our spiritual experiences got levelled down so that strong, obvious experiences are no longer possible.

Radical life. Life was not always that boring and meaningless as in this kinda society where radical lifestyle is rare and unwanted. Christianity started as a radical grassroots movement, and it was even dangerous to be part of it. But whenever domestication creeps in, visions are displaced. The smooth kinda lifestyle I criticize above are reconized from the lack of visions. Visions are always risky business: you cannot know if you’ll have success. Therefore, visions are incompatible with a security-oriented, smooth (and boring) life. One should define: revival is when new visions arise, i.e. conceptions of what should or could be.

Practical radical life. Now I’m going to awake the longing for radical, non-boring, not-everyday life in me and my readers. Radical life must be practical radical life, not just a collection of impractical radical thoughts. I have to  admit that my vision for a mobile, high-power, intentional Christian community of about 10 friends is something beyond reach at the moment … it’s impractical at the moment as there is no handle to start it immediately. Therefore, here are some other suggestions how to start living out your newly found radicality immediately.

  1. Stop theological discussions. Theological discussions (e.g. about the nature of the Trinity) are implicitly never radical, as they cannot be put into radical practice. Concentrate on living (ideally, like Jesus did, of course 😉 ) if you want to be radical!
  2. Radically change your use of time. To be radical, radical changes of personal lifestyle are needed. A good point to start is to use one’s free time for radically different things. For example, to give up one’s hobby of computer programming and start caring more about one’s friends.
  3. Make relationships risky and dynamic. Security-oriented, superficial and dissembled relationships are a result of living a smooth life without risking anything. To change something, you need to risk something. The  relationships to your friends are a good starting point: risk something for the better. This might result in hurts, misunderstandings and other difficulties, but at least something happens now! Which implies the chance that your relationships might get better.

Add your own thoughts, folks!


Start date: 2007-11-04
Post date: 2007-11-12
Version date: 2007-11-12 (for last meaningful change)

There are quite a few reasons why people may resolve to not enter partnership, temporarily or permanently, with respect to one concrete or all potential partners. One reason is that somebody might find he or she is not the type of person who finds satisfaction in partnership, marriage and family life. Another typical reason is voluntary celibacy, for a time or life-long, in the sense of “giving priority to one’s relationship to God”. Staying away from partnership however does not mean to be alone, or to be confined to same-gender friendships only. Cross-gender friendship is possible, but it’s not easy to stay away from flirting and partnership. Here are some thoughts that might help:

  1. Avoid exclusivity. Marriage adds uniqueness (of relationship character) to a friendship, i.e. marriage is friendship plus exclusivity, and that’s it. This exclusivity is rooted in the exclusive character of sexual intercourse. Therefore, in a cross-gender friendship, avoid exclusivity of social intercourse to stay friends. You do so practically by having multiple cross-gender friendships of comparable quality, i.e. by not allowing one to be your “special
    friendship”.
  2. Have common friends. So the typical setting is a group of friends coming together. This avoids the friendship to be mainly of one-to-one character, as this would shift it into proximity of partnership.
  3. Don’t set goals for the relationship. Friendship is something “superficial” in the sense that friendship can never be a goal to reach, it is in all cases a later conceptualization of a pre-existing relationship quality that developed unconsciously. A friendship is what it is and develops as it does, without designs and plans and pre-defined directions. If one however sets a goal (like: reaching absolute trust) one formalizes (or: reifies) the relationship, giving it way too much importance. One could even define: partnership is a reified friendship. For example, agreeing on a binding character implies a formalization (“reification”) of the relationship. Which is the reason why engagement and marriage transform friendships to partnerships. Even talking about the friendship and even thinking about it too much implies a reification and therefore shifts it into the direction of partnership.
    Lovers talk about their relationship, but friends are just friends. There is no such thing as “friendship” to talk about!
  4. Don’t speak about the relationship. People think that, in good friendships, one can talk about everything. And they mean everything. This is true, with one exception: in a cross-gender friendship, don’t talk about your
    friendship, if you want it to stay a friendship. The reason is: cross-gender friendships are “latently extendable” , i.e. friends might become couples. If you don’t want this, don’t talk about this or the relationship gets instantly a
    “flirty touch”. This is even more obvious when you talk about the possibility of entering partnership – regardless whether you say that you do or don’t want this, you find yourself in the middle of flirting and relaxed friendship has gone. Friends are friends, but partners agree to be partners. Agreeing to be friends is an oxymoron.
  5. Use talk for purposes, not for one another. Lovers are important to one another foremost as persons (cf. also your bible: I Cor 7:33-34), while friends are important to one another foremost as partakers to fulfill a common purpose. So lovers talk to get to know one another, and friends talk about a common purpose (and alongside, get to know each other better). To stay friends, talk like friends do.
  6. Have a common orientation that’s not your relationship. Whereever one enjoys a social relationship, concentrating on one another seems a very obvious and promising idea. Just, it shifts a relationship from friendship to flirt and partnership. So in cross-gender friendships one needs something outward to jointly concentrate on. Proper alternatives must be interesting, meaningful and promising. It can be a goal for third persons or a group of persons. It cannot be a personal problem of one of the two friends: while it’s fully o.k. to help each other in these, they cannot serve as the relationship’s focus, as it is equivalent to focus on each other as
    persons.
  7. Act thoughtlessly. Too much thinking blocks cross-gender friendships, as centering attention on thefriendship itself rather than an outward goal shifts it in proximity of partnership. So it’s better to act in such a friendship without much thoughtwork, even if this produces some added errors and hurts. But it really is better that way: errors and hurts are correctable, while otherwise the whole friendship is at stake. Acting “thoughtless” implies to talk about personal experiences and problems naturally, without thinking previously about the possible effects on the relationship.
  8. Accept the non-binding, non-exclusive character of friendship. Friendship and partnership are distinguished by the non-binding resp. binding character of relationship. Both has its upsides and downsides, and
    first of all, you need to know what you want. Then, if you want friendship, get accust omed to the thought that your cross-gender friendship might cease or practically end, e.g. by moving to another place. Preparing for the potential end of the friendship implies to use “redundancy”: you need to have multiple friendships of comparable quality (i.e. also, multiple cross-gender friendships). Then you are mentally able to let go; while you’d stick to a single cross-gender friendship way too much, making it practically a binding friendship, that is, (pseudo-)partnership.
  9. Assume that your friend can live alone. A friendship is a latently transient relationship, so do not make it a binding, undissolvable one by assuming or producing dependence, or by showing or accepting possessiveness.
  10. Train a kind of friendship that won’t be affected by one friend entering partnership. You train this by training your character: train to be not overfocused on your later spouse, but get accustomed to the thought of having friendships in parallel to your marriage. In case of cross-gender friendships, the relationship should be with the couple as a whole, of course, to prevent mistrust. Especially women have problems to continue other relationships in parallel to a partnership, in many cases ending all friendships in favour of a newly started partnership, entering a degree of dependence that’s not healthy in all cases.
  11. Utilize oppositeness of lifestyle and character. Cross-gender friendships get easier if the friends have lifestyles and characters which are incompatible in a partnership setting. That is, lifestyle and character should be so different that none of both can imagine to live together all life long 24 hours a day. While both enjoy the temporal community of friendship, of course. Such circumstances foster great relaxedness in dealing with each other: something that would be explicit flirting in other circumstances is now just kindness

 


Start date: 2007-08-09
Post date: 2007-11-04
Version date: 2007-11-04 (for last meaningful change)

I don’t wanna sound proud and I do.
I’m building my own world right now.

A world without houses, but with homes.
A world without streets.
A world without passenger cars.
A world where 4-10 people live on 13m², with a living room of 148,939,100,000,000 m².
A world where one can work from anywhere in this living room.
A world with a space station moving in this spacy living room.
A world without furniture.
A world without DVD player, desktop PC, notebook, PDA, TV, alarm clock, mobile phone, landline phone, SIP phone, dictaphone, remote controls, MP3 player, stereo music equipment.
(That’s due to convergence.)

A world with brothers and sisters around, not just acquaintances or “just” family or just nobody.

A world where you know your Father and why you are around here.

If you are interested, keep tuned.

Some day, a HowTo will appear here which explains how you can build such a world. It has 90+ pages now and needs some more 🙂

Update as of 2011-05-09: The “HowTo” finally made it online and can be found at my “Documents: Main” page as the EarthOS document. Note that it’s called “idea pools” as I simply lack the time to finish and polish all that … . If you like the idea, check out Open Source Ecology, a group pursueing a similar approach, but they got practical already.

 

In this post, I take you on a journey to a fictional church you’ll
love and to one you’ll hate. Then I explain a paradox: to become the
spiritually strong church you love, it must be composed of weak people,
in human terms; and to become the spiritually weak church you hate,
strong people are enough. Hopefully you’ll feel encouraged to display
much more of your weakness in church. Dear folks: let’s get authentic
again!!

A weak church made of strong people (fictional story)

You might say I am on an odyssey through the various churches.
You’re wrong. I just found no church of sufficient quality. It started
with that little Methodist church in my home town. From age age 16 on,
I started to serve the LORD in the youth group of that church. I was
determined to kick all that old-fashioned stuff outa that church as it
deterred my youth group and the people we invited. So when we were
allowed to conduct the service at Christmas Eve we did it all
different, playing with e-guitars, bass, drums, and dancing before the
church, introducing our new style. The young people who’d been forced
in here (“It’s only once a year!”) started to rave, and some of the old
people left. We had some wrangling around the PA equipment when the
vice pastor tried to unplug the amplifier, but succeeded to praise the
LORD without any traditional ballast during the worship time. In the
end, I had to do some talk with the pastor who argued that our kind of
excessive music was unbearable here as it tended to provoke an
excessive, ungodly life. When I started to discuss the matter soberly,
I was deposed from my yout service. When I started to speak about the
matter with various church attendents after the service I was termed an
heretic and got barred from church.

So I decided that those people were too stubborn to hear the
truth.
The right faith is not the part of all people, the Bible comments on
such occasions. It was hard for me to find a new church in my town as
the pastor had written letters of “recommendation” to them, so I moved
home. Next station was a charismatic congregation. Sadly they had
already many prophets and teachers, so there was nothing to do for me
(as regards the gifts I received from my LORD), and they wouldn’t let
me either. Next I went to Bible college and met some people from a
quite cute church, but they had untolerable (I mean, really
untolerable) views on marriage, viewing it as the only sexual
relationship
allowed by God. To make things worse, it turned out that the Bible
teacher at my college thought that way, too. I couldn’t believe such
religious stubbornness in beginning third millenium, so far from
freedom.
Discussions did not help here, we only agreed that God was on our
(respective) side only. So I
nailed 95 theses (version 2.0) to the college and church door and left.

Now I’m in a really big church and I learned something: the right
people must exceed in number or cleverness, or they’re lost. We’ve here
several councils and boards to discuss every single question of the
church. And I learned that it is just as in politics: you need to
partnership with those people who think alike, to stuff the mouth of
all these trash-talkers out there (as the Apostle Paul said). Fighting
for the Gospel is a hard task (foremost, to fight those religious
people in our church who emphasize a “personal, humble relationship” to
Jesus so much and tend to not respect our leadership as the Bible
admonishes them to do). But I’d say that fighting for the Gospel is a
rewarding task also … at least if viewed from an eternal perpective.

A strong church made of weak people (fictional story)

I remember these feelings when I left work today … ‘t felt like
roaming about for some hours, bearing the weight of my thoughts to
avoid these quarrels in Hypogeon. From us 20 who met there regularly
only 8 were left. Exactly those who couldn’t go elsewhere ’cause we
lived there. I remember that I walked around somewhat, sitting down at
that little sea we called the “mirror lake”. Tried to pray somewhat as
the air was all-too-empty. Asked the Lord what’d be a good idea to do
now. No answer, as usual. “You cannot leave me that alone, Lord. I jus’
dunno how to deal with that stuff … at this thing I used to call
home.” No answer. Perhaps I need none.

Perhaps I need none, I thought. Mmh. Perhaps the Lord thinks I
know
what to do. Perhaps he teached me in times past. Ummh … ok, then,
give it a try. The usual thing to ask is, what’d Jesus do. Well,
perhaps he’d go the undermost way. He humbled himself … I read that
so often. I remember sitting there, knowing the true thing to do, and
knowing that I was goint to not do it. I’d lurk about here, get me some
food lateron, lurk “home”, in my bed, and go to work tomorrow as early
as possible. No solution, I knew it. I suddenly thought of Daryl and
the crazy way we made it up with each other after that story with
Kacie. This flirtation thing got our little community always into hot
water … that time, we were both courting for Kacie. Daryl had joined
the Hypogeon recently, so I expected him to respect the friendships
already there. He did not. We did not talk a word ’cause of that. It
contaminated the whole atmosphere, so that Kacie did not show up for
the meals any more, to not complicate stuff further. Some of the other
girls joined her. Haig advised me to accept Kacie’s decision whatever
that might be, but I did not want to lose her. Not at all.

Then some Monday eve’ after Daryl came from a walk with Kacie, he
was sorta thoughtful, coming straight up to me, saying we should
probably talk. Jus’ ignored him. He waited for me next morning, knowing
I’d breakfast and leave the house for work earlier than all the others.
He told me that he had changed his mind, realizing that there were more
possible wifes for him than Kacie, in a world of 6 billion people. He’d
quit courting for Kacie, even proposed to fully withdraw from
interfering by promising to never partnership with her. I’d need some
days to realize his noble-mindedness was real … and it took me a good
deal of courage and some hard prayer time to finally make my peace with
Daryl. We then would sit in the book pool room, praying together about
the whole thing, confessing our pride to each other and asking for
forgiveness, praising Jesus for making such reconciliation possible by
his Spirit, and I even was able to pray that he’d find another good
wife. Daryl and me had been best friends the last few months.

Something generated the question in me: why should my “home”
dissolve about the present quarrels when it was possible to get over
this much harder issue with Daryl and me? Our present issue was with
the common purse … we had taken in Reko, an ex-junkie, Cheyanne, a
deeply depressed girl who was mistreated at home and an unemployed
couple from Brazil (Damian and Natalee), and at the same time three of
us had lost their job. From then on, we had “lively discussions”: some
wanted to kick out the newly arrived members, some wanted to get Reko
and Cheyanne to search a job (without success), some wanted to make
everybody return to an own purse, some wanted to dissolve the whole
community thing due to our regular “financial disasters”.

Thinking back about all the character-curing acceptance I had
experiences in the Hypogeon I got motivated to stay, whatever that
might mean financially. That was a big step, as I was one of those who
wanted to get rid of Reko and Cheyanne. Which meant I had something to
sort out with brother Reko and sister Cheyanne … no easy job, as it
is never easy to confess that you’ve been such an ass. Back in Hypogeon
I met them in the living room and got that job done … praises, Lord.
That kinda relaxedness that creeped in now was awesome: we prayed for
each other, them guys forgiving me in the name of Jesus, and Cheyanne
would thank God for a brother like me who’d have such a courage. Then
Reko swooped for a guitar and we’d improvise some songs … mostly
about the beauty of forgiving, and of course, being so totally forgiven
by Jesus. I got this impression of being loved through and through by
my Lord … an impression I had lost (or, given up) in our financial
worries. It’s a feeling of being accepted in a way you cannot get rid
of, by a person who is for you absolutely, honestly, unfeigned and
forever. And exactly this feeling was fleshed out in the Hypogeon as I
got to know it when I joined. That kinda love has had a deep impact on
me, and now was probably the time to show what I’ve learned. The time
to accept those four new troubled persons the way I was accepted. I
knew that the ice of this whole conflict had been broken by the
reconciliation of Reko, Cheyanne and me, and felt this community
atmosphere of “brutally honest authenticity” arise again, this
flow-state like area where it was everyone’s enjoyed business to
actively stake our reputation daily by letting our fellow members see
our weaknesses and letting them know our failures, and at the same time
earning the relaxedness and intimacy of such really authentic
friendships.

Explain this: weak strength and strong weakness

In physics, forces are discerned by their results. The same in
church: a “strong” force must be present where lives change to be more
like Christ’s. What comes to our find first are “strong” human
qualities: being assertive enough to get one’s way, or cunning enough
to win arguments, or numb enough to fight through heated quarrels, or
adapted enough to survive in a hostile world. These change actions,
projects, customs, organizations, even societies, every aspect of the
outer world. But not characters, not the inner worlds, not even one’s
own. So they all do not qualify to be the strength in a church. So
human strength let a church remain weak.

Such manipulative forces cannot change characters because there’s a
stronghold around each character: nobody can maipulate my thoughts, my
will, my opinions. I myself am in total control here. So the only way
to change my characters is when I open up the stronghold, when I agree
to be changed. That’s to lose my pride, to acknowledge my poor
character quality, to admit that I’m not in control of my life, to see
there is need to change, to admit all this to others, to accept
encouragement and correction. Let’s summarize: these are the attributes
of  weakness (the human term). Exactly those weak people make up a
strong church, that is, a church where lives change. So human weakness
makes a church strong.

In the Bible, such human weakness is termed humbleness. When people
admit that Jesus is right and they are wrong, they become humble before
God. Then, Jesus’ truth can change their lives because they will allow
it. Sadly, we can lose this precious humbleness: betrayed confidence in
humany and misunderstanding God’s actions make us return to our
character’s stronghold, rendering it unchangeable again. Then, let’s
remember what holy church we desire to be a part of, let’s desire that
holy character that makes us part of it, and desire again these changes
that make us this character. Changing is risky, inconvenient and
renders us vulberable, but it’s surely worth the effort!!

Humbleness is what empowers God’s truth in our lives and in our
church. So a humble person and a humble church are highly dynamic: they
change
from glory to glory. But a proud person and a proud church are highly
static: they don’t change at all. Instead, they think they’re healthy
and refuse the doctor. Just as Jesus said: “Healthy people don’t need a
physician, but sick people do.”
[Jesus in Mt 9:12 ISV]. Humble people, those who acknowledge their
sickness, change without miracles: a humble person accepts
plain truth because it is true, and heals. Such truth can be read in
the Bible
since millenia … no need for Jesus to repeat this to us personally
… and audibly. This means transformation is a natural phenomenon, as
argued for in the previous blog post “Natural
transformation in the church
“. Also, this post gave some hints how
to live out the dynamics of the humble church – Sunday services are far
from enough here. You will realize that this needs much courage, much
breaking of social taboos. But, simply do this, it’s the way Jesus
intended his church to be! Be strong here 🙂

Humbleness, illustrated

If you have some breath left for reading, here’s a nice illustration
of humbleness as the essential part of sanctification and even revival.
It is from Roy Hession who was inspired by the east-African revival
movement.

Add the quotation about “Jesus the door” from Roy
Hession.

Before I end this post, I need to get rid of a bunch of cute names
that I researched for the fictional texts. It would be awfully sad if
they get lost, so here they go, use them as it seems fit to you: Hannah
(f), Yakira (f), Yana (f),
Yonina (f), Kanya (f), Kaylyn (f), Danya (f), Qiana (f),
Raciela (f), Rebeca (f), Rhett (m), Cécile (f), Celina (f), Tam (m),
Abelone (f), Abegail (f), Agrona (f). 🙂


Start date: 2007-09-23
Version date: 2007-09-24 (for last meaningful change)

The Bible talks about the marriage relationship in Gen 1-2
somewhere, saying that a couple will become “one flesh”. This inspired
me to think about what this involves … and I must admit that I’m
deeply fascinated by the idea of “merging personalities” while I am
unable to grasp it due to my all-too-natural, all-too-human, egoistic
attributes. Sad situation. So, before going to sleep today, let me
marvel at a merge of two personalities into one, impossible for humans
yet, possible only in some defect part of the whole, but marvellous
alltogether. As marriage is the best “experimenting area” for
personality merges, the following lines are written from the view of a
(totally fictitious) couple:

Loosing those wishes
that covered my face
and they fly away like in fear
joining with yours to create something complicated in a different place.

What remains is just
us
a deep desire to remove the between
and to never know what will happen to us
now.

My plans for us lost
their meaning
since there is no us any more
leaving something one
that is neither me nor you
and has its own way of life that is nor my nor thine
its own flavour that is neither mine nor yours
its own habits clothing friends food faith and whatsoever
everything new.

And I wondered where
this will bring me
when I realized that there was no “me” any more
and I stopped wondering.
The we is not wondering
but it knows not where it goes either
but it’s brave and curious
so it just moves with the flow.

Flowing with the flow
as if in gravitation from an unknown source
no need to care for our relationship
because there is none
there is just one
we am us.

Start date: 2007-09-16

Version date: 2007-09-16 (for last meaningful change)