A dawning epiphany

“Epiphany” means manifestation, as in a mystical awakening. It may refer to a new spiritual awareness or, simply, a moment of inspiration. I now see inspiration as cumulative. One inspiring moment leads to another, then another, until the original “ah ha moment” becomes a new paradigm, a new worldview, a new way of thinking and being. This is how inspiration becomes transformation.

I’m in the early stages of a dawning that is both new and connected to life-long experience. I’m learning new dimensions about some old truths. I see realities that have been present but invisible, or dimly lit. It’s a dawning, an awakening that’s helping me make sense of some of the craziness of our world today. Some interwoven themes are religion, violence, racism and authoritarianism.

This dawning began over the weekend through a presentation by Anthea Butler. It crystalized for me during last night’s History Channel documentary about Theodore Roosevelt around the firestorm that erupted when Booker T. Washington was TR’s dinner guest at the White House–in the heyday of racial lynchings. We have much to learn. It’s still dark, but I see a dawning.

From “Nearly 2,000 Black Americans Were Lynched During Reconstruction,” by Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, June 18, 2020

5 thoughts on “A dawning epiphany”

  1. Did you attend that southern lights conference? What did you think of Brian McLaren? His thoughts are often featured in that daily meditation from the CAC.

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    1. I didn’t travel to St. Simons, but participated virtually via Zoom. I’ll try to unpack some of it in the next few posts. Brian used the term “evangelical authoritarianism” in his description of where the US is headed. I think he’s right. That has been our trajectory since 2016. The current administration is an interruption caused by COVID. The ’22 and ’24 elections could move us back toward the middle, or they could further erode democracy by locking in power for the MAGA/QAnon coalition.

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  2. As always, well said.

    I try to approach life more as a “both and” rather than an “either or” condition when divergent situations confront me. I always appreciate the epiphany moments when they seize me – the “of course, I must have always known this but now I see it clearly” kind of thing. I am also aware of Morris Massey’s concept of individuals that posits an early formation of a world view that is only changed by a significant emotional event that results in a radical reorientation of a persons world view. One approach seems more internally focused, the other more externally focused. But, as you can tell, I am still struggling here. Thanks for getting me started on this. I picked up my copy of Massey’s book and am going back over it to try for more clarity – and I will keep reading Butler Bass et al as well.

    And, I like your closing picture. I hope you will like mine

    John Whitley 850-819-3524 / JohnGWhitley@gmail.com Sent from my iPad

    >

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    1. Thank you, John. The longer I live, the more I feel like a neophyte. That’s not what I expected when I was young, but now I see that this is how life works. The good news for me is that, along with the endless data and endless possibilities for learning and growth, we learn that a lot of it doesn’t really matter. Just a few things. That prioritization makes the journey more focused and less chaotic. At least, that’s the way I see it today. Tomorrow may be different!

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