I think we’re all in search of wholeness, of a sense of completeness. Not always consciously, of course. But we do know when we are out of sorts, out of balance – with ourselves and with others. Perhaps even with God.
Ancient wisdom has long recognised this desire. In the West we have adopted Yoga mainly as a form of gentle exercise and breathing to counter the stresses and strains of our busy lives. Yes, it will do that, but its origins and intentions are far deeper. In Sanskrit ‘yoga’ means ‘union’. Ultimately, through the practice, a mystical union with the Supreme Being.
Not a concept many of us in the West are drawn to. It’s OK for Hindu gurus and their followers. It was OK too for Christian Mystics in the Middle Ages, but not for us in the 21st century. And yet….some of our recent Sunday readings have led me in this direction.
Sometimes it is in the drama and sometimes it is in the quiet that we find completeness. At Pentecost God’s breath came like ‘the rush of a violent wind’ and though speaking their own languages those present became joyfully as one.
Elijah, felt a failure in the face of all the people turning to worship Baal. His own life threatened, he ended up on his own, sleeping in a cave. The message came that God was passing by. But God was not in the wind, the earthquake or the fire, but in the sheer silence. He re-connected with God in the quiet.
And most striking, perhaps, is the story we heard about Jesus’ healing the man who has come to be called Legion, because he suffers from so many demons. He is restored to himself, balanced and whole, the demons that so plagued him, leaving him. I’m not so sure about the fate of the pigs, though!