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Echo from Eden

by John Riesenman MD


Here's a rough attempt to articulate my first float: I began to contemplate my "thereness"--not in terms of simple location, because in a void there is no "whereness" just "awareness." The thereness to awareness is the inner place, which the "echo from Eden" addresses. The echo from Eden is the first question God posed to man, "Where are you?" Taken literally it would be about simple location (behind the bushes). Taken metaphorically, it's about levels of consciousness. As an echo, it's the archetypal question which confronts everyman, in the stillness of his innermost soul. Further ponderings: The question is raised when man is hiding. Again, not literally, but metaphorically. The question was first asked not to authentic man, but to estranged man--hiding from his true self. What do we do in response to the question, "Where are you?" Look at what man has done throughout history. We drown out the question with our own mind chatter and our meaningless rituals. Arthur Hauck, my mentor, referred to common prayer as "holy motion" to quench the stillness where we hear, "Where are you?" When the congregation collectively prays, it's "holy co-motion!" Church is not a place where man finds himself, it's a place where man sanctions his estrangement. He's still hiding in the bushes, he's simply clipped them into a spire shape. Therein he bows before the gods of his own making. The true meaning of the world church (eklesia) is the "called out ones"--out from the bushes to what Hauck calls heaven--"the celebration of authenticity." The answer to the question, "Where are you?" in that sense might be, "home."


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