Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Indwelling Spirit: You Must Become a Fool to Become Wise

In medieval times, every King had a court jester. The jester was the only person permitted to criticize the King, to prick his pride, to deflate his ego. Carlos Castenada writes of the "trickster" who is a guide to enlightenment. In the same vein, the ever insightful minister, Ted Nottingham, took the following verses as the basis for his sermon on the "Indwelling Spirit" (a podcast of which is available here):

"Do you not know that you are the temple of God. and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? . . . Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in the ways of this world, let him become a fool so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness. For it is written, He catches the wise in their own craftiness. And again, the Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain."
(I Corinth. 3:16-20)
As rendered in Phillip's The New Testament in Modern English, the verses read (in part): "Let no one be under any illusion over this. If any man among you thinks himself one of the world's clever ones, let him discard his cleverness that  he may learn to be truly wise. For this world's cleverness is stupidity to God."

Or, as the Sufi mystic and poet Rumi wrote: "Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment."

A relentlessly progressive minister who urges his congregation to wake up to the spiritual reality of who and what they are, Nottingham points out the futility and frustrations that are inevitable for those who relentlessly take their life situation too seriously. He urges his congregation to let go of their anxieties and petty fears so that they can attain a higher consciousness and realize their "Indwelling Spirit."

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