Ben Turner

Hi Sheelah, Thank you for the welcome.

As I said, I have been suffering a lot over the last few years but I have always had a deep inclination towards the spiritual side of life, indeed I was brought up in the church ( both Anglican and sometimes more evangelical)- I feel there has always been a strong spiritual undercurrent to my appreciation of reality (and this was encouraged by my study of Fine Art at Uni which is one of my main “beneficial practices”). This I know has left me with some sense of the reality and tenacity of hope and I think at some deep level this has helped carry me through the very tricky times I have gone through like some kind of tacit buoyancy aid. Yet in terms of trying to let speak and then flesh out and fully define this sense of spiritual, quiet almost unconscious deep flowing contact I have felt which I have found has fairly recently become more properly pronounced as an act of communication, “a call” I guess, I have realised that its the sheer Strangeness of God, almost “what God is” as much as who He is that we need time to deal with. And as James gets across in the video how paradoxically “out there” this whole process is hypothetically, these burning bush moments of communication are despite, as the contemplative tradition shows, being so “in here”, so close and within.
In relation to our religious problem of moral theory vs intimate communication/revelation I suppose I realise now that “God is always greater” God is so total that in order to be humble and become part of this Bigger Picture we need to become less of a “blur”, let the most dimly lit parts of us be exposed to the full colour of God if you like, to be still and a more focused part of the divine light and life. So I suppose its about learning to accept all this paradox in the context love:
For me with regards to Christianity it has always been a case of asking the question, If we really take the Gospels and Scripture as a whole as seriously and credibly as they seem to come across as upending historical narratives and great mythical stories then this is either too good to be true or for want of a better phrase, completely amazing. All about relationship. The last year and a half have shown me that the latter is the case and I don’t know why it has taken me so long to begin to receive this gift properly as it were. But no doubt, I think I will learn to become more habituated to being able to fully hear the healing voice of the Son as I do this course.