Rich Paxson

In the Discussion Forum of this unit, share ways in which you have noticed the content, questions or insights from the previous session showing up in your lives.

Peaceful Listening, acceptance of people and situations that would have been bothersome before my time studying here come to mind as Forgiving Victim insights ‘showing up’ in my life more frequently now. James writes “[Our] being is given to us from what looks to us like a future that is opening itself into our midst, making us alive to it as it does so.”

These ongoing irruptions of ‘new beginnings’ seem to fit James’ idea of “secondariness,” which we encountered in section one of Essay Eleven: “While I’m held in that experience [of secondariness], part of the aliveness of the moment in which I glimpse my “secondariness” is that it is a moment of someone else’s presence towards me which opens up for me my own relationship, simultaneously, to my past and my future. The longer I’m held in their regard, the more easily I am able both to remember, to cope with, my past, and to imagine a future to which I can aspire.”

The concept of secondariness intrigues me. I need to follow Moses’ example at the burning bush. I need to stop, to leave my usual path paying attention to the unpredictable, Godly irruptions of ‘secondariness’ in my life.