In our community, we tend to find Truth as something emergent, rather than as something already fixed and established in dogma, teaching, or belief. This emergence happens because God, the Divine, Life—whatever you call It—is part of us, and we are part of It. We are always connected, even when we are not aware of being connected. And we are always evolving and growing.
The emergence of Truth is made manifest in our awareness through our interactions. Our Tzaddi fellowship arises through an interplay between inward focus—prayer, meditation, and other expanded states of awareness—and outward expression, through our engagement with one another and with the world from a place of relational respect.
As we evolve we are able to integrate higher and broader aspects of consciousness, and are more able to accept others’ movement and growth as expressions of the Divine, even if their beliefs or consciousness do not appear to match our own. We become more able to listen, to engage in dialogue with respect and curiosity. In this engagement, we celebrate the meeting places of co-creative energy—heart to heart, mind to mind, being to being.
Emergent truth goes hand in hand with the idea of revelation. In their revelations and visions, Tzaddi Founders Amy Kees and Dorothe Blackmere experienced ways of thinking and worshipping similar to some teachings of the Gnostic Gospels of Nag Hammadi, books that were written around the time of Christ. These books are not a part of the modern Bible because they were edited out in the period 100 – 200 C.E. by Ireneaus, the Bishop of Lyons. In 312 C.E. when Emperor Constantine converted and Christianity became the state religion of Rome, the bishops who organized the state religion adopted Ireneaus’ views. Revelatory-style worship and exploration of the Divine were pushed underground; uniformity of belief and lineage became a matter of empire security.
The authors of the Gnostic Gospels “not only recognized diversity but expected and welcomed it, as philosophers did in their discussions, as evidence of original and creative insight.” They also allowed women to preach, to baptize, and to take part fully in the church. One of the Gnostic Gospels of Nag Hammadi refers to “luminous epinoia” (“creative” or “inventive” consciousness) and teaches that “we have a latent capacity within our hearts and minds that links us to the divine … It is, above all, the ‘luminous epinoia’ that conveys genuine insight.” In Tzaddi we nurture this capacity for awareness, this “luminous epinoia.” This does not mean we are free to say, for example, “I have had a revelation: I don’t have to pay my taxes!” Our 21 Principles and Ethics Code provide us with rudders for self-examination and discernment about our own motivations.
A few examples of emergent truth are:
- The growing awareness of being related, for example, in a sweat lodge as each participant takes the talking stick and heartfelt prayers are shared
- A realization that a point of view that has always seemed to right to us, that we have defended and invested in, starts to seem small and limiting and untrue
- The new insights and healing that arise between healer and client as trust is established
- Our growing awareness as parents of our children’s unique and precious beauty
- A sense of the precious time remaining with our elders
When have you experienced this kind of emergence in your own life?
What was the context?
How did it unfold for you?
On September 15, 2008, after a period of several years of the church leaders reviewing our ordination programs, the Tzaddi Board of Directors adopted this resolution about the relational nature of our work as clergy and thus the operations of the church in society:
- We are all centers through which Spirit emerges, fonts of co-creation with the Divine. We all are portals through which Truth can be revealed and emerge. This emergence happens through our interactions with other people, in community, and through our response to the challenges and opportunities of life.
- Often, truth emerges in conversation between people and is not something already fixed and established in a dogma or teaching or belief. To find the truth in the moment, we ask, “How does this touch us? Who are we with this? Who are we together?”
- As we evolve we are able to integrate higher and broader aspects of consciousness, and are more able to accept others’ movement and growth as expressions of the Divine, even if their beliefs or consciousness do not appear to match our own.
- In a healing, counseling, sacerdotal, or other outreach situation, the alignment between congregants, the church, and the clergy representing the church happens through listening, dialogue, respect, and curiosity about where the inwardly experienced co-creative energy meets, heart to heart, mind to mind.
We invite you to join us on the journey of exploring emergent Truth.