Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Episcopal Priest All in for the "Second Axial Awakening"

This was not what I had in mind for the Wednesday in Holy week , but Peter Ould tweeted this story yesterday, and my head has been spinning ever since. The article was posted by an Episcopal priest serving in a tiny church in Brewster New York at "The Contemplative Journal" web page and was reprinted at a certain "progressive" Episcopal blog. If you are familiar with the time-line of the decline of the Episcopal church, you should be able to understand how this type of teaching has come to be so acceptable that it is celebrated as revealed wisdom by progressives in the church.

Here are a few excerpts from the "Second Axial Awakening,"

"Slowly we are beginning to discover that there is ultimately no separation within the field of existence—only one seamless dance. We belong deeply to this world, interwoven fully into its fabric.

This realization is forming the headwaters of a Second Axial Age, another great shift in consciousness equal in weight to that which gave rise (roughly between 800 and 200 BCE) to the impulse that eventually manifested as our existing great religious structures. With that first great turn of the wheel, we opened to the beauty of the individual and the possibility of the Transcendent, and a new human journey began. But in the process we lost much of an earlier, collective sense of belonging rooted in tribe, and a deep, felt sense of connection to Earth.

In this next great turn in the spiral dance, we are picking up what was lost—no longer at the tribal, but at the global level. We are entering a period of deep integration, weaving together the primal, collective, and cosmic with the rational, individual, and transcendent—binding together Heaven and Earth. The Divine Heart is moving towards the fullness of its expression in form. With this new turn of the wheel, we release our sense of exile and settle in for the work at hand. Our Second Axial awareness begins from a new starting place: union. We have never been separate: not from one another, not from the Earth that holds us, not from the Infinite we long for...

...We see it in the birth of Christianity, directly in the life of Jesus, who rejected a First Axial ascetic path in favor of one that fully embraced the world—he feasted, danced, and wept, all the while associating with those designated outcasts and sinners. He refused to recognize the expected divisions between sacred and profane. This full on embrace of phenomenal existence was enshrined in Christianity’s core doctrine of the Incarnation—that “the Word became flesh” in the world “God so loved”—but the Second Axial impulse of its founder was repeatedly roped back into the existing First Axial road maps.

I believe that our hope still lies in our religions, and that we abandon them at a great loss. They hold much of the wisdom we will need in this next great transformation. But the invitation now is to a dance, not a lecture. The traditions will no longer be only the teachers, but the students as well. As they teach us, we will teach them. The evolution, like all such dances, will be mutual. The wheel will turn once more and the waters will flow powerful and strong, the Divine Heartbeat loud and full."

In that last paragraph, he touches on one of the important tenets of Episcopal revisionism, and that is the notion that the Church has more to learn from us moderns than we have to learn from the Church.

The rest is such inordinately showy, colorful, non-revelatory New Age Episcobabble that it leaves me feeling oh so very happy that I'll never, ever be able to write like that.

I think most of us would agree that this priest has found his niche.

The fact that this kind of thing is not merely tolerated by the Church but is celebrated is both cause and effect of the following,

Episcopal Church Decline in ASA 
I say "effect" because the increasing homogeneity of the church into a little group of biblical, social, and political liberals leads to the placement of priests with this type of revisionist mindset smack down into small town parish ministry.

You may rest assured that the Episcopal church's decline into niche or "boutique" status will continue well into the next "Axial Awakening". 


  1. Pewster,
    "Running through the history of our planet is a current of spiritual awakening. Beginning as a trickle, it flows through the cracks of history, touching at first individuals, now washing out, over and through interconnected circles, building in force, moving to gather up all things in its embrace."
    This sounds like a line describing 'VGER' in the first Star Trek movie.

  2. He has boldly gone where no priest has gone before, to explore strange new axes, to seek out new awakenings....

  3. Pewster,
    He is definitely a man with an Axes to grind. Sorry, couldn't help myself.