Tuesday, August 30, 2011
To Be Born Again
The biblical expression for such existence is "eternal life." We can be easily misled by this term into thinking that what is being offered is an unchanging status of some sort, a blissful terminus to all our journeying in which nothing new can ever happen again; indeed, in which nothing at all can happen. It is useful to recall that the great medieval mystic Meister Eckhart preferred the term "eternal birth" as a way of indicating the dynamic element in the life of prayer. Eternal birth is something of a contradiction, of course, for it is difficult to imagine being born over and over again through an eternity. One often suspects, however, that persons who enthusiastically claim to be "born again" mean to be born into a state in which they will hold out against all further change, as though to be born again is a specifiable condition in which one may remain forever. To be born again under these terms is more like dying than living. Eckhart instructs us that we are not to be born again, but to be born again, and again, and again, and...
James P. Carse, The Silence of God: Meditations on Prayer