So this morning I got another event email from the DDO, he sends them round to us on his list regularly, I think the idea being that we should at least ‘try’ and attend a few.. the last one I actually made it to was a day on rural ministry. At the end someome asked me how I found the day.. the nicest thing I could think to say was ‘well, I now know I’m not called into rural ministry…’. Anyway, I digress, this mornings email had info about a local talk on ‘Developing Consciousness’, the hippy part of me thought ‘oh that looks interesting..’ and by chance it was early, so wouldn’t eat into my precious rest/sleep time! So I went…
Nicholas Vesey, An Anglican Priest somewhere in Norwich has written the book that titled the talk, and subtitled ‘A roadmap of the journey to Enlightenment’. If you are interested he blogs here.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect but it wasn’t what I got! I was really challenged throughout the talk, which is always good, I don’t think I’ve been challenged in this way for a long time. Challenged because to start with I thought, is he actually going to talk about God? (which he didn’t directly for quite some time which made me start to switch off), then challenged because of what he was saying which I had to work to get my head around, and also challenged because I didn’t think I was even anywhere near what he was talking about. Which in essence is (I think) is this:
He started by looking at consciousness itself, noting that we are all experts on our own consciousness, no one can know more about our own conscious than ourselves. We make decisions based on our own conscious which in turn is shaped by our life experiences, and therefore we make decisions, based on our conscious, not always fully aware of what is shaping our decisions. That make sense? bit like having a mask through which we view the world only we’re not always aware we’re wearing it…
He went on to talk about the distinction between our own consciousness and the divine consciousness. To be honest, I really didn’t get to the bottom of this one, had a chat with him after but I wasn’t actually sure where the distinction lay (have got the book, will have to read up). I think he was saying that there is a Divine something that is outside us, but that by focussing more on the self, on ones own conscious, that one can have greater access to that divine something; God, whatever it or He is.
In talking to him after I realise that I don’t think I have a problem with the idea of focussing on ones conscious because actually, what he is essentially encouraging people to do is to seek God. But I do think there is a danger in the trying to reach some enlightened point whereby we can meet God. I think the focus can become too much on the self and not on God and in fact on Jesus, who didn’t get much of a mention during the talk.
What he is doing is finding a way to tap into this trend for people seeking some sort of spiritual experience, but almost surrepticiously guiding them to God. I’m not sure what I feel about that. I mean it’s great to be guiding people to God, but I can’t quite reconcile what he is talking about with my own perception of God….
The book is titled ‘Developing Consciousness’ and is available for £11.99 via amazon