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The infinite and the finite.
By Rod Mitchell in All Sorts
reflections after the tragedy in ChristchurchWhat a couple of weeks we have had since the horrendous events in Christchurch that have sent shock waves through all people not only here in New Zealand but throughout the world. Against this background I have tried to settle my thoughts and emotions wondering what words, stories to share in this connections article. What I have distilled at this moment in time is an awareness that something of the “infinite” has broken into the “finite” in some very powerful ways that cannot have been pre-planned or logically expected. How do you measure the outpouring of goodwill and love that has been shown from the corridors of Parliament to the next door neighbour laying flowers of beauty in the street? How do you count the tears and words of sympathy from unlikely people? How do you account for the influence of sensitive photos that have gone global? I can only say for me something bigger than a tragedy in Christchurch has been released in our world. The “Infinite” breaking into our ordinary finite lives is one way I would have to describe all the many ripples of goodness on the pond of New Zealand and the world that we live in. With this thought in my mind I was reminded of a book I have read and appreciated called, “The Presence of the Infinite: The Spiritual Experience of Beauty, Truth and Goodness.” By Steve McIntosh. Let me quote from his very first paragraph, “This book is about spiritual experience, which can be understood as an encounter with the presence of the ‘Infinite within our finite’ universe of time and space. While the human experience of spirit takes many forms and can be conceived of in a wide variety of ways, I have found that the idea of spirit as the presence of the Infinite sheds a considerable amount of light on this complex subject. Gaining a deeper understanding of spiritual experience is
important because as we better appreciate what spiritual experience is and how it works, this enhances our ability to have such experiences more abundantly and to use them more effectively for our personal growth and for our service of caring for others.”
If all that comes from the Christchurch event is more hatred and bitterness then I for one would be doubly saddened. But if we appreciate a bigger and better spirit, a sense of the “Infinite” at work in our world of events then our hearts and minds will heal and a new found strength will emerge that can embrace more than we could before this event took place.