An Agent of Change

It is written …

Joh 6:45

There is a Polish psychiatrist, Dabrowski, that came up with a model of five levels we go through when we undergo major change. I am leaning on his findings here for demonstration.

It first starts with integration. We are well integrated into a belief system and a community. We believe what the members of that group believe, we aspire to act just as the members of this group act, or at least in a way that we do not lose belonging to that group.

But external factors, internal unctions, and sometimes our conscience have us, on a second level, doubt some of the premisses and we start an internal battle. For quite a while, gravity towards the group is much stronger than those centrifugal forces. But at some point, they propel us outward.

Next, we start seeing things differently on profound multiple levels that are in clear conflict with the former integration. You fight this opening gap and do not allow to consciously follow the path that is opening up before you, but inner and outer forces are pushing and pulling. You have hit a roadblock full of turmoil that awaits breakthrough or breakdown.

If at that point we start to consciously search for the new and press in, we break through that psychological wall and break free into fourth level. We have not reached inner peace yet nor have we grasped the new. But we are beyond the point of no return and well on our way. This is when we on multiple levels start to embrace and even consciously form the new.

And at some point we will reach a new level of integration, level five. Here we can rest for a while – come to me all that you are weary and heavy laden, I will give you rest. Before we realise …, and off we go again.

Why have I chosen the phrase above for this text? What does “it is written” have to do with all this?

I found today’s Christianity in most places to be one of the most gravitational forces on the first integration level there is. It prohibits most of growth and awakening to the reality of God and the trajectory he has put us on as human beings.

“It is written” has been used in the Bible in most cases to fill an old testament scripture with a deeper interpretation, not as a justification and proof text as we usually see it.

“It is written” has a lot in common with the phrase Jesus uses in the sermon of the mount: You say, but I tell you.

Some of the old testament scriptures that are used in the new testament as a remesh (a pointing back and giving meaning to) are explicitly highlighted with “it is written” for the listener to go back and read.

And yes, the stories those verses are embedded in shed light on what is going on in the new testament and give it interpretation, but the other way around is true as well.

Today’s Christianity has defined such explicit references as either fulfilment of an old testament prophecy or, and this is where they become a gravitational force, a justification, proof text and explanation for the new testament facts.

Instead of looking at the old testament story with a new lens, they take that single verse in the old testament and turn it into an unmoveable, unchangeable lens for the interpretation of the new.

Thus, there is no change. “It is written” has become the change killer par excellance, killing each and every dialog in its infancy.

Doubt has been made the opposite of faith, and therefore doubt is wrong, bad, evil. “It is written” does not let you doubt, yet doubt is the first centrifugal force in change.

If we have a closer look, certainty is the opposite of faith. Certainty does not need any faith, it knows, because “it is written”.

“It is written” values and even demands a closed mindset, when we understand it as most of Christianity does today.

Of course, certainty is a save haven. There is nothing as secure as knowing from a well defined, doubtless body of doctrine in a beautifully painted belief system.

But faith is not that. Faith doubts, searches, lets go, finds, embodies, and doubts again, and therefore grows.

That is what the writer of Proverbs means in saying

God gets glory from concealing things;
kings get glory from investigating things.

Pro 25:2

There are deeper layers, there is hidden truth, there is other meanings to scripture than “it is written”. Frankly, in the Bible, “it is written” is used that way: to point to a deeper meaning of a story.

Dabrowski saw three kinds of people regarding this change process, which he called disintegration.

The first ones are those that stay in level one integration. “I will not, I will not be moved.”

The second ones experience negative disintegration. They either fall back into earlier stages of integration, lose their mind, or kill themselves. “It is written” has been redefined as a gravitational force to prevent negative disintegration and save people from death, insanity, or falling back into prior worldviews.

It is rather ironical that in that, Christianity fell back themselves into the law and order stage of the old testament, the duality of right and wrong, and the notion of One Truth.

The third group experiences positive disintegration. Their path leads forward into a greater – to stay with the Christian paradigm – Christ consciousness. They search for the concealed matters and treasures of God and sell everything they have to attain that field the treasure is hidden in.

On the way it looks like chaos. As it did for the Sadducees and Pharisees in Jesus’ time. But chaos is what God created the world from, and chaos is what God creates worldviews from.

Today I have placed you over nations and kingdoms
to uproot and to tear down,
to destroy and to demolish,
to build and to plant.

Jer 1:10

Deconstruction, doubt, disintegration, and chaos are at the root of the new. “It is written” as a way to fill the old with glory by deconstructing a narrow old interpretation we have grown certain of and constructing a new interpretation that is closer to the truth and more what we need at the moment, yet prone to be temporal in and of itself.

It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Math 4:11

Bread has been baked into form. A word is fleeting, formless, but fresh. Since we have the Spirit, let’s not forget the fresh words of God by just relying on the word “that is written”. We fall prey to value our narrow interpretations and the truths of a passed age more than the growth path we are on.

I pray for Christianity to become part of the external factor of disintegration, growth and awakening, as it used to be for a short period of time, as is written in Acts.