Sunday, March 14, 2010

Blogging through The Orthodox Heretic day 21

Betrayal... in this little story the wise old teacher is coming to the end of his life and struggling with a faithful disciple who has never gone quite far enough. Finally, after challenging the disciple, the teacher hears the response that the disciple ever has and never will betray his master by questioning the master's teaching or deviating from his path. The teacher responds that in not deviating, the disciple has already betrayed the master.

As a musician this one rings true immediately. It is the ones who see things with new eyes and hear things in new ways that move the traditions forward. I think of Jimi Hendrix who made an electric guitar do things nobody had ever imagined before. Likewise, Michael Hedges took acoustic guitars to places nobody had ever been. If both had just continued to follow their mentors, music would be much less rich today. The same is true in our spiritual lives. I like Karen Armstrong's image of real religion as an art rather than a science... it is only as we push boundaries where they never were meant to go that the art becomes better.

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