I finally have a name for what’s been going on inside me for close to 15 years. I’ve been having a “spiritual emergency.”
I’ve been struggling to be who I really am in a postmodern culture that says material reality is the only reality.
We have the trappings of spiritual life, but very little of its substance. Politicians talk about God and appeal to his name and authority. Preachers build empires that cater to the social needs of middle-class families.
Families participate in religious groups — churches, synagogues, whatever — to provide structure and values for children. Singles show up to find dates and mates. And various other people who feel the need for something spiritual missing in their lives show up in hopes of touching some unseen wisp of something they can’t name.
But if you take it too seriously, we’ll send you to see a shrink. If you have spiritual experiences of the sort that have been common to people of every human culture, we’ll say you have a mental illness. If you talk of the spirit living after this body has died, we will call you superstitious.
If you take anything spiritual very seriously, we’ll call you crazy. We’ll look down on your primitive superstition and tell you to trust science.
I’ve been in rebellion against all this. I wanted more than the feel-good experiences of a religious life. I needed to take Truth seriously. That’s brought me into conflict with my culture. It’s been a spiritual emergency — because spiritual emergence was going on.