Change of Geography is not a Change of Mind

A change of geography is not a change of mind.

And for us to be transformed, it is the mind that needs to be renewed.

We can change locations, churches, styles, formats, platforms and words. But unless our minds have been changed then nothing significant has really changed.

It amazes me when I talk to people who have made a significant move. They’ve made some kind of exterior change and feel all radical about it. But I’m still talking to the very same person. There really has been no change. They still grasp on to the same theology or philosophy as they did before. They’ve only rearranged the surface. Like makeup.

I recognize this in others because I recognize this in my self. I know how easy it is to change the appearance or the geography and give the impression that I have changed when I haven’t changed at all. We often use these external modifications to distract others from the fact that we are still the same old person we were before. It’s a ploy.

This is because change is the one thing we are most afraid of and resist with all of our might.

The mind itself refuses to die and will do all kinds of tricks to prevent its own demise, which is necessary for its own renewal.

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  • Thanks for this perfectly timed reminder.

    My family and I just moved from Oregon to Tennessee. Just this week, as I found myself in similar habits, I was reminded that being here has not changed a thing about me.

    Thanks for keeping us honest…

  • I suspect we only have a few rebirths in us, which is approximately what I think you are speaking about. I feel I can count in my life exactly two… reborn to incarnate the Christ in my life and reborn to my feminist birthright. In both case, when I allowed my thinking to be open to new possibilities in a radical way, God did the changing…toward a more genuine version of me! I’m still being changed/transformed, but that is a far more painful process, frankly. I fight the daily transformation with large percentages of me…as if Christ’s ongoing reformation of me is something that won’t be for my best and that my constant putting on the brakes is doing me any good!
    This is a great piece you’ve written. Every time I think I’m a fairly smart chick, you come up with one of your thoughts, ANY thought, and I realized “man, I’m not that smart after all.”

  • ha thanks celtic! and brent!

  • John

    Has any of your thoughts ever changed anything at a depth level?
    Can even a “renewed” mind, full of the same old repetitive compulsive automatic stream of thinkety-think-think ever change anything at a depth level?
    The world is now saturated with propaganda produced by nearly 2000 years of the Christian mind, and yet it is becoming more and mnre insane every day. And some/many of the leading vectors of this now universal insanity are right-thinking Christians, who are full of Christian mind forms and ideas – even aggressively so.

    What if the entire and only purpose of the conventional left-brained mind that (mis)informs all of our usual thinking, philosophy, and “theology” is the preservation of the status quo.

    Or to provide an unbreachable wall around the hell-deep fear and trembling which at the “core” of our normal dreadful sanity?

    Or around each and ever always separate and separative tower of babel/babel, both individual and collective.

    REAL intelligence is tacit, or intrinsically wordless living existence.

    First transcend the mind, not the body.
    Inwardness and all of thinking, or mind, is flight from Life and Love.
    Only the body is Full of Consciousness.

    Therefore, be the body-only, feeling into Life.
    Surrender the mind into Love, until the body
    dissolves in Light.
    Dare this Ecstasy, and never be made thoughtful by birth and experience and death.

  • Jane

    Even extreme change can do very little to alter our course. We shake off the uncommonness eventually and then return to auto-pilot. In those crucial moments, the ones where we haven’t resettled yet, we have to ask the questions then. The spirit is awake, smarting with pain, but awake is the key word. I find talking to people, asking questions and reading very helpful in trying to confront these important insightful times. My questions are big, my mind is small but I’m willing to ask. Conversation, what a wonderful thing. If we can see our weaknesses and admit them we can keep the door of change open a little longer.

  • Tom

    Religion in a new place is still religion. I sometimes catch myself religiously trying to be nonreligious. It is hard to just rest in Christ and let Him lead me. I need to rest in what He has done, what He is doing, and where He is leading me. When I do, it is surprising what He does. It is more surprising when He includes me.

  • ilike this!

  • Ihadanidea

    In my family, this sort of thinking is called a “geographical solution to a nongeographical problem.” Once you have a name for it, it’s quite astonishing how often you see it in the lives of those around you and, if you’re particularly self-aware, in yourself.

    Solving the wrong problem never brings the results for which you were hoping.