Wednesday, April 15, 2009

(1) The Cathedral


British-born, my name is Adrian Dare. I'm a theologian as well as
a psychological scholar. And maybe I'm "daring," in that I have
spun into some strange perspectives when it comes to any sense
of the Deity. Indeed, this whole business of trying to understand
God has led me into occasional serious adventures--and most
of these adventures were about grappling around how we mentally
understand and relate intuitively (as well as in other ways) when it
comes to That Beyond us! And I have come to believe that our mind
is much more an incredibly fascinating *link* to all this business
about God than we have ever realized.

As for this little story I am evolving, it is basically a review of the
various steps I have taken when it comes to my particular God
Quest. And it just might prove to be an interesting (or at least a
curious) exercise. To begin...

My family resides in the County of Kent, in Southeastern England.
Consequently, as a youngster, I was sent to be a boarder at the
nearby King's School in Canterbury. Not too far away, but far away

An independent school, King's School is touted to be the oldest
school in England. It goes back to the days of St. Augustine of
Canterbury, in the 6th century c.e., when his early Christian monks
established a medieval school at their abbey in Canterbury.
However, with the eventual dissolution of the monasteries--
breaking away from the Roman Church in the 16th century
c.e.-- King Henry VIII established the King's School out of the
ruins of the earlier medieval school

That's an austere encapsulated history of King's School, I suppose.
But what was important for me is that the school was situated next
to the great Canterbury Cathedral. I adored that old cathedral.

Believe it or not, the cathedral was first established in 602 c.e. by
the very same St. Augustine of Canterbury. And in the 10th century
c.e. Benedictine monks took residence in the cathedral's attached
Christ Church Priory. This ancient cathedral managed to survive
Saxon and Viking raids, Puritan assaults, fires, and bombing over
the centuries unto the present. It seemed nearly a place of miracles,
managing to survive through all these adversities.

For example, during World War II the town of Canterbury was
seriously damaged by Nazi bombing raids. Many pieces of sacred
art was removed from the cathedral for safe-keeping. And the
bombs fell all around Canterbury Cathedral, even hitting its library.
Due to the dedication of fire-watchers, the cathedral itself remained
mostly unscathed. Considering the damage surrounding this
magnificent cathedral, one has to consider it truly a place of

Need I say that I breathed in deeply the aroma of this wonderful old
cathedral. Whenever I could, I spent many of my spare moments
savoring the stones, the woods, the glass windows, the altar, the
chapel--the all of it--during my years at King's School. I was in love
with this special sacred space.

I had to wonder why I felt such a close attachment to Canterbury
Cathedral. And right off I have to admit to a strange experience that
might explain this attachment. In my very earliest days at the King's
School I found myself one day sitting nearly alone in the cathedral.
Not pondering, really not even thinking, I just was letting the great
building ooze into my pores. Suddenly, nearly like a flick, I had a
vision unfold before my mind's eye.

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