(Again, this is very much your friend trying to get his thoughts into order. It’s not a quick read. Grab a coffee, or leave it till later or to others. This is not a 'likes'-gathering exercise)
Taking my lead from C.G. Jung, I toy with the idea that religion as we know and practice it is an expression of something deeper – call it ‘general religious subconscious’, ‘fundamental spiritual current’, peopled with archetypes and energies we struggle to intuit and understand – and that this something is not static, but changing over time. Where a particular form of religious expression moves too far from this lame de fond and is no longer able to tap into its energies, it disintegrates and dies. But this something seeks expression, and will do so in new formats.
It seems to me that these new formats are becoming increasingly clear. They include a strong emphasis on sustainability and responsibility for the planet, a rebalancing of male-female relationships and the related questioning of gender-related moral boundaries, empowerment, and a move away from racism.
All this begs the question of whether Christianity as we know it will be able to espouse this underlying current, accepting to die to certain no longer viable formats, and to resurrect in new ones. For the spiritually sensitive, this of course begs the question of whether this reformatting is ‘of God’ or not. I am increasingly prepared to wager that much of it is, and that standing, bible or cross in hand, trying to halt a rising tide, is an exercise in futility.
Actually I suspect that we are already a long way down the road here, ‘we’ being here what I call ‘kitchen Christianity’, displayed in how people react to particular situations, rather than what their priests tell them to believe or what their hierarchies proclaim in fora like the European Institutions.
A more complex question for me – and here I admit to being at my own boundaries and operating more at the level of intuition right now – is that I sense this substrate to be full of very powerful energy – a bit like the magma which swirls under the earth’s crust and can break out in volcanoes –itself morally neutral, which it is mankind’s task to harness for good or bad, for weal or woe. It is the energy that demagogues from Napoleon to Hitler to Trump instinctively tap into, but which we ‘good boys’ feel rather helpless to direct. Is there, I ask, a form of very deep prayer – symbolized for me by Mount Athos, hermit prayer and the lone priest saying daily mass – which feeds into this underlying current, and which is essential to keep this energy flowing in a positive way for the world?