"Napa Valley" Brocken InaGlory. Licensed. Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0
Q begins with his usual seemingly irrelevant blather. This time it's about a horoscope appearing in the paper on the very morning he sat down to write a Dialogue which would attempt to do precisely that.
- So, for starters, what do you make of such "coincidences" or "synchronicities" in your own life? When such things happen to you, do you sometimes get a) weirded out, b) goosebumps, c) . . . well, how do you respond?
(John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, also placed an emphasis on the heart. In his mystical conversion experience, he reported, "I felt my heart strangely warmed." Later, he would talk about his approach to Christian doctrines by quoting Jehu (2 Kings 10:15): "'Is your heart as true to mine as mine is to yours?' If so, then give me your hand." This can be found in a sermon of Wesley's and reading it may repay dividends when considering the contentiousness that roils our society . . . just as it roils the relationship between Snark and Advocatus. It's called "A Catholic Spirit" by which is meant not Roman Catholicism, but a Universal Spirit.)
- Q asserts that the "heart" is somehow basic and, like the carpet Snark and Advocatus sat on, something that connects us. Where does this notion take your in your reflections?
- Advocatus and Snark each root their differing approaches to sacrifice in a specific cultural context, and to which their ideas speak. Is this a useful way to understand some of the churches' ideas . . . to put them in that sort of context? Or does this diminish their "authority?"
- Advocatus winds up practicing some meditation so he can think more clearly. Then Q gives us a description of how the brain functions and how things can go very wrong because of it. Is this information new to you? Do you think such information is useful to people who are in conflict? Have you ever practiced deep breathing to quiet the reactivity of your "alligator brain" so that you could respond out of your uniquely human brain?
- Is "having the mind of Christ" (St. Paul's phrase) possible when the alligator brain is greatly activated?
- Is there a relationship between the ego and the alligator brain? Discuss.