Monday, November 12, 2007

Orthopathy as Right Perception

I've been following along, as always, over at Alan's blog...and the most recent conversation has to do with Alan's excellent challenge that we must embrace the Hebraic by acting our way into a new way of thinking, thereby rejecting the Hellenistic thinking our way into a new way of acting. And so I stirred the pot just a bit today by wondering whether right perception could be a kind of bridge between thinking and acting.

Sometimes I think that thinking doesn't involve as much perception as it should...and I think that is a result of presuppositions we bring. And while that is a whole 'nother topic, I think that attempting to perceive things the way God perceives them will always invite the Holy Spirit more deeply into our processes than anything else. This will only help....

Contemplation is, basically, an attempt to listen and discern the proper perspective for the current conversation. And I am looking to discern the proper perspective for what being a faithful Christ-follower looks like for me at the "sweet spot" convergence of these overlapping spheres: What God perceives as best for me, my perceived 3D context and my perceived "virtual" context.

It is an interesting exercise as I look to embrace those actions that will result in a new way of thinking and being (CovenantClusters), because, as I said in my comment over at TFW, I think Berkeley was on to something with his belief that to be is not to be is to be perceived--by the ultimate perceiver: God.

This reminds me of the saying that there is no reality, only perception. For us humans, it is true that we can only claim to know reality based on our limited perception of what goes on around us. We need the voices of all members of the community for the perception to be closest to reality.

Sadly, we are far from this goal...and must be persistent in pursuing inclusivity. We must strive to perceive our brothers and sisters in Christ as he perceives them--his Church and Bride. And we must strive to perceive our neighbors as Christ perceives them--precious ones invited to join his family.

For Berkeley, and for me, there is tremendous comfort here...because God is the Ultimate Perceiver as well as the Ultimate Reality.

May our perceptions grow ever closer to yours, O Lord, our God!

Be blessed.


Ryan Taylor said...

Hey Peggy,
Ryan here. Thanks for stopping by my site. I look forward to visiting the virtual abbess more often now that I'm aware and have also been highly impacted by Alan's work the last couple years.
Grace and Peace

AbiSomeone said...

Welcome, Ryan! The Abbess is used to tall husband is 6'5" and there are many in my extended family between 6'4" and 6'8" ...who knows how tall my children will be? ;^)

And Rich Mullens was like a little brother to my sister and her family in Michigan... although I mostly remember him from church camp --before he was famous-- so he holds a special place in our hearts, as well. I think you will resonate somewhat with the simple things you read here...maybe it's a Michigan upbringing thing?

You might also be interested in what the MO Bloggers in "Abi's Links" have written about our gathering with Allelon in Seabeck last month.

Blessings, brother!

Brad said...

hi peggy. i'm wondering about the overlap between perception and interpretation. and if we are living outside ourselves/outside our comfort zone, and experiencing, and observing, and pondering, then we are online for the "ask and task" of interpreting what's going on/gone on. in which case, the larger our framework from which to interpret, the more perceptive we likely are. [hence, "interpolators" are perceivin' machines!]

the more biblical the framework, the more biblically infused the perception or interpretation. [hence, "Christ-following interpolators" seem to end up interpreting for others, catalyzing Kingdom stuff with others (orthoministering, if we've got to keep using ortho-whatevers!), virtual-connecting others.

that all sounds like gobble-dee-goop, but i suspect there is something in there about perception and interpretation being another one of them overlappy thingees.

have a blessed day, V.Abbess!

AbiSomeone said...


Certainly there cannot be proper interpretation if there is not sufficient perception. That is part of the paradox of the whole "the more I know, the more I know I don't know" reality. And this is why many of the most perceptive are also the most humble....

Hey, what about "orthopolators"? That's a good sounding one, eh? Right mediators... bridge-builders... sounds like saints-equippers to me!

When you talk about the more biblical the framework, the more biblically infused the perception or interpretation, it makes me think of what I call needing "hesed glasses" for primary biblical context...hmmm, I hear a new post rumbling around...

Thanks for stirring the gobble-dee-goop pot, bro!