Participatory Knowledge

The Divine Dance2

In Richard Rohr’s, Divine Dance, he writes

“Like probably nothing else, all authentic knowledge of God is participatory knowledge.  I must say this directly and clearly because it is a very different way of knowing reality–and it should be the unique, open-horizoned gift of people of faith.  But we ourselves have almost entirely lost this way of knowing, ever since the food fights of the Reformation nd the rationalism of the Enlightenment, leading to fundamentalism on the Right and atheism or agnosticism on the Left.”

“Neither of these know how to know!  We have sacrificed our unique telescope for a very inadequate microscope.”

“Divine knowing—some would call it spiritual intuition—is actually an allowing of someone else to know in us, through us, for us, and even as us.  It demands what I often call an identity transplant.”  (page 49)

Rohr goes on to say “Spiritual knowing is often called wisdom, and must be distinguished from merely having correct information or knowledge…But divine things can never be objectified in this way; they can only be ‘subjectified’ by becoming one with them!  When neither yourself nor the other is treated as a mere object, but both rest in an I-Thou of mutual admiration, you have spiritual knowing.  Some of us call this contemplative knowing.”

For me, one way to get in touch with this kind of “knowing” is to get to know myself and embrace how God created me.  Seeing that I reflect the image of God through my personality, my likes and preferences, and my unique challenges allows me to see God in me.  This is hard for me because I like to look first at my challenges and then look at my strength.  There are certain strengths that I have a natural preference for liking in myself and other strengths that I don’t use as often because I am not as comfortable with that strength yet.

For example, on the DISC personality assessment, I am a High D (Dominance-big picture, blunt, results, confidence) and a High C (Conscientiousness-accuracy, expertise, independent).  In a male, this profile would be extremely prized, but in a female, I have experienced a lot of hurt especially when my High D leads the way.  To please others, I have prized using the High C instead! This is not necessarily wrong, but my High D is actually more prominent in me than the C and if God made me this way, I should hold both equally beautiful and important.  My leadership coach is helping me access the High D without so much fear and trembling.  So, I bluntly tell myself, “Get over it!  This is how God made you.  Live like you see God in all parts of you even the ones you fear.”  But that is how I talk to myself because I can handle it!!!  LOL

If I am open, I will come to experience a fuller expression of God by allowing God within me, through me, and surrounding me to bring me to the best expression of myself.

When I see God within myself, then I am better able to reflect a clear image of God to the world.




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