Books, Brokenhearted Theology, Quotes

on spiritual growth and unlearning

I’m reading a great book recommended by my friend Don called Addiction and Grace by Gerald May.  Really a fascinating and challenging look at addiction and…well, grace.  I found this quote on growth really insightful:

“It is important to note that the spiritual growth process involves far more relinquishment than acquisition.  In our culture, we are conditioned to expect growth to involve acquisition of new facts and understandings.  To put it neurologically, the functional systems of our brains are used to elaborating upon themselves as growth happens.  We have, in a way, become attached to the very process of expanding our attachments.  But spiritual growth is different.  It cannot be packaged, programmed, or taught.  Although some new facts and representations may help us along the way, the essential process is one of transformation, not education.  It is, if anything, an unlearning process in which our old ways are cleansed, liberated, and redeemed…Spiritual growth does not establish new normalities through more habituation and adaption.  Instead, it frees us from slavery to conditioning; it leads us in the direction of unconditional love.

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