Whoever Said “The unexamined life is not worth living”…

…needed to take a Valium. Or a jackhammer. Sometimes, self-reflexive consciousness sucks. Hurts even. I mean, how does one even begin to know if the examinee’s vantage point is sound or $#!tty? Why can’t we be comfortably numb to the consequences of our actions in the kosmos?


Richard Rohr shared some prescient insights at Soularize regarding the inner witness of the Holy Spirit and our human spirits in contemplative spaciousness. He warned (in a life-affirming and non-gnostic way) against over-identifying with our thoughts, emotions, or the swirl of life’s circumstances. Sometimes I want to be lost in the contemplative love of God, and extend outward to every animal, every stream, every bush. Some days, I just want to disappear.

4 Responses to Whoever Said “The unexamined life is not worth living”…

  1. brotherjohnny November 2, 2007 at 4:53 pm #

    Do you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
    Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death,(you have ‘disappeared’) that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
    (and you may extend outward…)
    (here is why…) For if we have been united together in the likeness
    of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,

    (Here is something to contemplate…) knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin (the whole matter of ‘sin’ or shortcomings, failures, rather they be committed by us or towards us) might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin (These things know longer master our minds).

    For he who has died has been freed from sin.

    (Yep, we are free!!!)
    Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him (or us, since we are in Him).

    For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

    Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Sorry about the extended ‘bible study’ here, but this is something that Lord continues to bring back to my attention.

    Right now, this is the Holy Spirits inner witness in my life.
    I believe that the inner witness always witness’ of Christ. It is when that witness seems to disappear that I find myself in a personal world of darkness.

    The good news is that Christ is the answer to that darkness. We can never answer it in and of ourselves.

    Thank God that you are alive to Him in Christ!!!

  2. Peter K Bell November 5, 2007 at 12:48 am #


    The other morning, possibly around the time you were writing this, I had an experience of being “awake” in a way that most definitely made me want to “go back to sleep” again, or to “disappear.” It seemed that the whole septic tank of my deep subconscious was being stirred up all at once, and different chunks of unresolved conflicts and worries and fears were floating around bumping into one another and all clamoring for attention simultaneously. And in every case the obvious conclusion was, that I am totally guilty!! The temptation was to take some heavy depressant or get drunk or shut off consciousness in just about any way available, to get away from the “swirl of identifying” with all this inner junk–or to borrow from you again, to become “comfortably numb to the consequences of my actions in the kosmos.”

    I like what Johnny says here about the witness of the Holy Spirit, and of Christ being the answer to all that darkness. I found it to be quite a process, not to actually shut off the consciousness or try to force myself to think of Jesus, but instead to invite Him on a trip down to the caverns with me. I figured, if there was any way to minimize the negative influence of all this, without denying and suppressing it just to have it resurface and cause further trouble later, this was it: to invite Jesus on a theophostic trip through all the inner garbage I was seeing and feeling at the time. I know from previous experience that when He speaks to the darkness, it loses its grip and can never keep the same hold on me that it had before. And besides that, since He has paid the full price for ALL of me, I might as well hand him the title deed and key to the basement as well as the rest of the house!

    Well, I got through the “session” and morning finally came. I can’t tell you for sure that my inner landscape has all been re-shaped, but I can surely identify with “Some days, I just want to disappear.” And I can appreciate that seeing the consequences of my actions, even in just a glance, can disturb my surface equilibrium quite easily and affect my ability to function.

    It is apparent that I need the peace Jesus brings, not just to settle my surface issues, but to be established deep down where all my thoughts and feelings come from: “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” If sanctification means anything beyond just the word or the symbol, it has to mean the thorough clean-up process applied to every depth of consciousness and unconsciousness, without guile or deception.

    So as far as I know how to do so, I will continue to yield to this process, and look to Jesus as my light and my deliverer from the darkness. And I will pray for you, too, to enjoy the inner witness of the Holy Spirit and to be led by Him into all Reality, the inner gnosis of the Truth making you free.

    Blessings in Christ,

  3. brotherjohnny November 5, 2007 at 4:00 am #

    Hey Pete, Mike,
    Here’s the words to a song I wrote about a year ago:

    You came knockin at my door lookin to come in
    the place was a mess but I said ‘I guess” and then
    you came in made yourself at home
    fixed up the place now I’m never alone

    Now I can smile without really tryin
    and I can weep when I see my brother cry
    cause you got my heart spinnin and lovin, amen

    yeah you got my heart spinnin and and lovin again
    you healed my soul, became my lover, became my friend
    surrounded me with with your love embrace
    now I see your shining face
    and you’ve got my heart spinning and lovin again

    now I find myself living here in your life
    and you find yourself living yours in mine
    we share our joys and we share our sorrows
    live each day like theres no tomorrow

    and you got my heart spinnin and lovin again

    At the time it was a song of experience.
    Sometimes it is a song of hope.

    Jesus works, and He is working when we least expect it.

    Sometimes He says ‘wait here’ even in the dark.
    Other times He says ‘what are you waiting for, c’mon’.

    I’m just kind of rambling, but somehow these things need to be said.

    All Love

  4. Peter K Bell November 6, 2007 at 12:39 am #

    Yeah, Johnny, keep sayin’ ’em–please!

    Jesus is surely at home here on the inside, and the way he fixes up the place–well, like you say, it is never the same again!


    Jesus gives us an awakened heart, and he shares our joys and sorrows. And when we get to share His joys and sorrows, that is especially powerful, and good, and that changes us too, because then our own stuff changes and starts to be a little more like His stuff.

    I want to be so open to Him that there is nothing of my basement or attic or bathroom or any other room that I am not willing for Him to share in as much as He wants to, nothing to hide from Him. The world and even the church have so few people like that, as transparent as that, but that has to be the only way to live…

    Thanks, Johnny, and please keep sharing….

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