Get your head around it

I've been coming dead up against a wall lately while trying to absorb spiritual stuff. Specifically the spiritual stuff written by well-known authors.

The basics I can understand. I get doing good, and bringing a taste of the Kingdom to those around you, and caring for creation, and rethinking all people as God's children. I can do those. They make sense to me and they're easy to put into practice.

But then I hit terms like "mysticism" and "orthodoxy" and "evangelical" and "incarnational" and others that a lot of folk seem to know a lot about. And suddenly it's like my brain has gotten swaddled in sound-proofing. Whatever's being said with the long words doesn't penetrate or make sense, or even get a nod of understanding.

I've just finished re-reading Brian McLaren's "A Generous Orthodoxy", this time slowly, over weeks, and not in bed just before I sleep. I thought I'd be able to better understand the more complicated stuff - although, to his credit, he's done as much talking down to us simple folk as is academically possible. Yet I still get the little stuff and can't make sense of the big things.

Same thing happened when I finally finished off his "The Last Word & The Word After That", concluding a couple of month's break to rethink what I thought I knew. And, contrary to developing, expanding or confirming what I believed about the Big Issues, all I came away with was a longing for the kind of friendship group he ends the book with - spiritual mentors and folk who can take you further on the journey, challenge you, or bear you up when you start questioning everything.

I have similar trouble with theological (or computer-related!) blogs or articles written by people who Know Stuff. Can't get the head around it and end up totally frustrated. I WANT to know what they're saying, but it's not getting through.

(I wonder if those couple of days of excessive drinking in my Wild Past actually did put paid to the last understand-this brain cells I possessed....? I wonder if I'm not eating enough veggies or drinking enough water to make the brain function efficiently? I wonder if, instead of using up to 10% of my brain, I've only been delegated 2% to work with?)