in the introduction to the text, rohr asks the reader to spend time on certain key phrases, to really mull over them and contemplate them until "the word becomes flesh" for the reader, so to speak. as part of that, i want to spend some time writing about my thoughts on those phrases, what they mean to me, etc. as i do so, each one will be cw'd with the relevant phrases at the top, and i invite you to join in the conversation with me, whether or not you've read the text in question

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But God loves things by becoming them. | God loves things by uniting with them, not by excluding them. 

rohr talks a little bit about the pervasiveness of christ, how everything is in part an outpouring of God into the universe. light is used as a metaphor for this, in that everything has some small amount of light in it, no matter how devoid of light it may seem to us.. jesus is characterized as a kind of outpouring of christ into a human body, divinity acting in flesh so we can see our own ability to act as divinity. we're all connected thru this wholeness, this pervasiveness of christ in the universe. i think it's really interesting to consider that god loved the universe so much he became it, and then became human. part of this love includes humanity in divinity, gives us a connection to one another thru that outporing of christ into the universe.

exclusion, tends to be something we do unconsciously, but we do do it. it's a part of gathering our ideas and perspectives into an ideology. we create a world of an ingroup and an outgroup, a space where those we see as not like us are treated as not human. the concept of the "un-man" is valuable here because we tend to look on those that don't share the same worldview as us or don't seem to walk the same path we do as outsiders, when there is really nothing to be outside of if we wish to include everyone.

it's these "ever-larger circles of union" that we seek that can lead us into these kinds of traps. by wanting to feel included and have community, we end up attempting to crystallize and define with hard rules what our community should be, who we should be in community with. but by doing so we exclude those who we see as not fitting in - not belonging to our worldview.

but this wholeness of being, this notion that we are all unique outpourings of christ in the world, connected to each other and to the world around us by the "light" of christ, that truly unifies us and removes us from exclusion. we are all one, in spite of and because of our individuality. our hunger to be connected with others is a facet of our individuality, and is expressed thru our communities and spaces that we interact with. we wouldn't be who we are without the communities we were born into, but we can also become part of greater communities, ones larger or more diverse than the ones we started in, ones that include the previously excluded. it is by this we fulfill that idea of love by uniting. not by excluding

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re: But God loves things by becoming them. | God loves things by uniting with them, not by excluding them. 

another thing i thought of while at work today was the tension between the collective and the individual. i think that the world is defined, at least in some small part, by interactions. our consciousness defines the world by how it interacts with our bodies, and how our bodies interact with the world. what we perceive is in part defined by our eyes interacting with the light in the world around us, our skin and nerves feeling things, our ears hearing things, and so on. how we process, understand, and interact with the world around us, including objects, living things, and people; and how they do the same to us.

a collective is made up of those individuals, those unique "i"s coming together and doing things as a unit that may be greater than the sum of its parts. but without those individuals you don't have a collective. a collective doesn't just magically form from thin air. it's created by people recognizing the shared humanity of others, recognizing consciousness in others and wanting to form those connections, those bonds. wanting to break down those barriers and unite, to create those aforementioned ever-greater circles of unions.

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"God seems to have chosen to manifest the invisible in what we call the 'visible,' so that all things visible are the revelation of God's endlessly diffusive spiritual energy. Once a person recognizes that, it is hard to ever be lonely in this world again."

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@CyclopsCaveman

> contemplate them until "the word becomes flesh" for the reader

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