In the most recent phase of my journey through this pilgrim land, I have been enamored by symbol in all its epistemological glory. The first class I took in Seminary was Epistemology. We never talked about symbol. And we mostly talked about foundationalism and the virtues of truth derivations from logical categories. My anxt was piqued against the authority everyone seemed to ascribe to all things logical and calculatable. So I wrote a paper on the epistemological value of the mystical. Symbol, parable and, yes, even mystical experience, have drawn me in steadily, ever since. Logical arguments moving precisely from point a to b have their own effect but there is nothing that delivers a smarting slap in the face, as does a well-placed parable or image laden with meaning. Nor can anything leave one in such profound amazement. What is even better is if one can tell a story and it has multiple meanings—the more multiple the meanings, the more genius the parable. This is in large part why I have fallen in love with the scriptures all over again. Before, scripture was God’s operation manual to humankind. Now I read and everything has layers of meaning in some of the most fantastic artistic expression. The prophets took symbol and parable to the nth degree. Many lived their parabolic message. My intrigue and amazement always begins and ends with them because they are actually quite shocking in their presentation. I love it! Take Hosea, who lived a life with an unfaithful wife to exemplify the relationship God had with
Then! If you look closely enough, a harmonic symphony can be discerned when one looks at the movement of the hand, the gift offered there, the word off the tip of the tongue, the glint in the eye, the patterned step on the path and its rain drenched/sun scorched brick. Dissonance evokes its discordant lurching. Harmony sings its melodious dance.