The reason why I love Pink Floyd is because their albums are, what is called, concept albums. They pick a concept/theme they want to explore and all the songs in the album are a progressive exploration of that theme. (For example, The Dark Side of the Moon is about man’s unconscious dark side taking over his sanity. A Brick on the Wall is about life experiences becoming a form of isolation from other people.)
Having completed my adventure through my completion of M.Div., looking forward to the next adventure of fostering a community of Christ-like spiritual vitality (aka Church Planting), I wanted to go on a sort of a road trip. Special thanks to one of my best well wishers, Doug and Karen Meikle, who very generously offered me one of their cars for this trip – so that way I did not have to choose between taking a rental car or riding my motorcycle (that latter option would have been disastrous!).
Being a Floydian, I needed a theme for my road trip. Initially, I thought it would be Mountains, Lakes and Trees – the point being that I have never seen the reflection of a huge mountain on a large lake at its foot. I figured I will take a trip to Colorado. As I was thinking about this more, I was listening to the Fransciscan friar, Richard Rohr talk on the podcast On Being. Rohr talked about living in “deep time” – living in deep time is about contemplative living where one is not merely passing time moment by moment but one is aware of the deeper connecting of the dots, when eternity invades the present.
Moment by moment way of living life is a way of attempting to define time as a means of getting what one wants – a rather narcissistic apprehension of time, I might opine. Living in “deep time” is giving up the compulsive control of time as a personal commodity and resting in the union with Christ. (To be fair, I am not sure that Rohr would describe “deep time” the way just did now… I took his terms and defined it the way it makes sense to me. My sense based on the podcast is that Rohr wouldn’t bring in the union with Christ part into this deep time concept.). The essential component of this is to be able to live in time by the way of resting in union with Christ. After all the Spirit of Christ is always with us. It is just that our awareness of His presence in us keeps fluctuating because our inner faculties of apprehending the presence of Christ is often dulled.
As I was pondering this, I reckoned that Richard Rohr’s contemplative retreat center is in Albuquerque, NM. Just then it occurred to me that perhaps I needed to make this road trip into a pilgrimage of sorts living into deep time. I decided that I will go to Rohr’s retreat center and then to the Grand Canyon… experience its arid beauty the way the Desert Fathers went into the arid desert furnaces as a way of purifying their souls. This purification of their hearts, away from the distractions, they hoped would sensitivities their jades faculties to be present to the presence of the Spirit of Christ.
For me going to the Grand Canyon as pilgrimage of living into Deep Time (in union with Christ) means the following I am not going to allow myself to be bothered by any compulsive need to 1) be productive or 2) fill up my itinerary to the brim or 3) attempt to control my time to consume all experiences I can get when I am here. Instead, I am going to have a contemplative mindset which means 1) I allow myself to rest in the deep union with Christ. 2) I am going to read the writings of Christ-loving monks and meditate on it through the day allowing it to seep into my consciousness. 3) I am going to stop often and take a long loving look at the beautiful creation of God and enjoy His handiwork.
Just as I have made the list above, I realized that I am already failing on a number of counts there. The human predicament is to keep getting sucked into superficial time of compulsive productivity. I am typing this, sitting at Albuquerque, NM. I am excited to visit Richard Rohr’s contemplative retreat and then making my way to the Grand Canyon.
Just like Pink Floyd has concept albums. Mine is going to be a concept road trip. The theme for my trip is going to a pilgrimage into deep time, I will keep posting anything I am moved to write about as a result of contemplative excursions into Deep Time!
Disclaimer: I appreciate Father Rohr’s contributions as a incisive critique of modernity and Evangelicalism’s hyper-rationalism. However, I do not espouse with all of Rohr’s theological musings, especially his Christology (which probably is a topic for another post).