Weak and Dependent – and No Longer a New Ager …


Ora pro nobis - not New Age

I am typing these words on a computer connected to the internet.

These words are obvious indeed. But what if we go a little deeper?

How much there is, that is perhaps less than fully obvious.

I am so dependent on this technology, as well as the entire capitalist system which has spawned it.

And even if I were writing you a letter, dear Reader, with a simple ball point pen and paper? The technology that has gone into that pen, that plastic, that metal, that design, that ink …

How many people does it take to make a simple ball point pen?

And has this anything to do in fact, with what I have been trying to say in this weblog? Yes, of course, to my mind it does.

I am confessing here a dependence on a vast community and tradition of effort and learning, without which I could not even put pen to paper – let alone upload to the internet.

I think reflection on that contingency good.

“There but for the grace of God go I” … This old chestnut indicates another form of such reflection. I have lived a life, dear Reader, which has, in my opinion, some degree of “success” so-called – as perhaps yours does too.

But how much do I owe that “success” so-called, to countless factors in this world. The love of my parents. The love, the abundant love of my wife! To countless, countless factors which have nourished me, uplifted me, strengthened and stimulated me.

Where would I be now, without the blessings say, of an interesting variety of food to taste in my mouth – or books to stimulate my thinking? And a vast community of unknown fellow travellers and thinkers?

Where would I be if I lived alone, without all of this support …? With perhaps, the very same broth to sup each day and not a soul with whom to interact?

And this is only to speak of countless tangible supports and props.

What of the supports of God working through the hierarchies of Angels … the innumerable, intangible supports of Grace? There is also the unfathomable, strengthening Grace surging through the Sacraments to me.

Stripped of all this … I confess my weakness. If I am honest, it seems to me, that deprived of this Grace, even in small measure, I would be so very, very weak and frightened. Even supported by His Grace, I am still very weak and frightened.

Yes your words St. Paul, speak to me indeed:

For I do not that good which I will; but the evil which I hate, that I do … For the good which I will, I do not; but the evil which I will not, that I do.” (Romans 7.15,19).

I wonder if there will be readers who think I have devoted this weblog entry to very banal, trite things indeed. Things that have been heard a thousand times before. And that I have wandered from my theme?

My approach in this weblog will be peripatetic indeed, dear Reader. I will be circling, circling the territory, with little thrusts and stabs.

But if you have the patience, you may see I am trying to say something – God only knows if I am succeeding – about a New Age movement fuelled by continual propositions of power, nay omnipotence, and an imagination of independence, which can only lead to hyper-individualism …

As opposed to another kind of spirituality, which it seems to me is, or at least aspires to be, HONEST about our condition and our weakness and our need.

I will also be saying that the honesty of this spirituality is directly related to an ethos which is communitarian.

As I have said, I was once a New Ager from Findhorn – but no longer …

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