Transformation to Freedom

Probably the best book on marriage is David Schnarch’s, Passionate Marriage. Here’s just one quote:

Crucibles are always interlocking. When one partner goes into his crucible, the other partner goes into hers– or gets out of the marriage.

I apply this to any relationship, including yours with the church or any community. Your life task, if you choose to accept it, is to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. If your relationship with a community is increasingly strained by your transformation coupled with its unwillingness to embrace it and willingly experience it’s own transformation, then in some way or another separation is bound to occur.

Good for you!

However, be warned. Your freedom, I have discovered, is a beautiful but terrible thing.

As Carl Jung said:

To become acquainted with oneself is a terrible shock. It’s hard admitting that our lives are full of error and self-deception. But this very admission, though painful, makes possible its opposite– a differentiated life, lived with integrity. Tears of recognition and relief often flow with the dawn of self-awareness. But while the truth will set you free, remember the psychologist Erich Fromm’s observation of humankind’s attempt to escape from such freedom. The truth is liberating– but only when you have the courage to live it.

Although your freedom is urgent and necessary. don’t take it lightly.

About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

    Oh, this has ME written ALL OVER IT.
    I’m not referring to faith, church or atheism but to personal relationships.
    I’ve been constantly struggling with the cognitive dissonance in my personal life. I seem to have no issue or problem applying logic and critical thinking to the areas of work, morals, religion, belief,etc., but when it comes to dealing effectively with my personal relationships, I absolutely suck. I’m the poster child for compartmentalization. I feel unchained and free in some aspects of my life and a complete prisoner in others. It took courage to deal with my religious beliefs (or lack thereof), but I seem to be having trouble getting up the nerve to deal with the “new” me. Perhaps afraid of what I might find?

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    yes TGM it applies to all spheres of life i’ve found.

  • James

    In the Christian communities I was a part of, individual transformation (for the most part) was only looked upon favorably if it fit within certain norms and essentially resembled everyone else’s. In other words, “change” really meant conformity. The level of expected conformity varied from community to community, but as I look back I see a pattern of slowly moving from ones that were almost cult-like to ones that were more grace-filled. I think this was my unconscious attempt to break free of those communities altogether, but I never had the courage to do so until recently. Am I completely free yet? Probably not. But at the very least I am finally “becoming acquainted” with myself for the first time ever. Is it scary sometimes? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Nailed another one, David.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

    @James,
    In the Christian communities I was a part of, individual transformation (for the most part) was only looked upon favorably if it fit within certain norms and essentially resembled everyone else’s. In other words, “change” really meant conformity.
    I see that occasionally with some in the online atheist community. In some circles, it is just assumed that if you are atheist, you are part of a broader, far-left demographic. Of course, most mature individuals understand and cherish REAL diversity, but from time to time, I have come up against what I view as pressure to conform without thinking to extreme left-wing principles.

  • James

    @TGM,
    Yeah, I’m still trying to figure out the psychology of it all, especially as it pertains to me. So far the only thing I am sure of (as far as feeling a need to conform) is that it was easier to just consider myself part of something bigger than it was to really express my individuality, and in turn, to value the individuality of others. This prevented me from developing some potentially good relationships over the years with people who didn’t fit in my circle. I’m trying to remedy that these days, living outside the circle, if you will.

  • http://www.unfoldingtheessentialself.com Allyson

    Rudolf Steiner illustrates, “This is the beginning of the time when authority loses its importance. The child wants to get rid of the ideas imposed on it by mere authority and seeks friends, not lawgivers. If this is not understood there will be conflicts and the greater the difficulties under which the growing soul tries to gain freedom the greater the crises.
    A considerable time is needed from the moment in puberty when the three soul qualities of thinking, feeling and willing are set free to the time when the individuality becomes master of his thoughts, feelings and will. Development continues actually in seven year periods. At 21, Thinking is penetrated by the individual, Feeling at 28 and Willing at 35.” If any of these phases of unfolding are hobbled, there will be repeating patterns of trauma in our relationships. In allowing for the “Fall”(the descent of Gnosis as per Eve and the proffered apple), the separation from Source in order to “know thyself” allows us to develop thinking, feeling and willing in a state of freedom. Through this epic journey down into the bowels of our human experience is the capacity to convert our pain and suffering, ultimately ascending. Through this accumulated knowledge of thyself, we can begin to discern true joy, realizing just how connected we are as autonomous, sovereign and free individuals. It is a delicious, insufferable, polarity!

  • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

    @Allyson,
    How beautifully put and what a pleasure to read! Thanks for sharing that!
    TGM

  • greggmac

    “To become acquainted with oneself is a terrible shock. It’s hard admitting that our lives are full of error and self-deception. But this very admission, though painful, makes possible its opposite– a differentiated life, lived with integrity. Tears of recognition and relief often flow with the dawn of self-awareness. But while the truth will set you free, remember the psychologist Erich Fromm’s observation of humankind’s attempt to escape from such freedom. The truth is liberating– but only when you have the courage to live it.”
    This is a great synopsis of Alcoholics Anonymous 12 step process; which the evangelical church still fails to endorse or understand. Just saying….


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X