"Napa Valley" Brocken InaGlory. Licensed. Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0
Q again takes us around his ankle to get to his mouth . . . or so it would seem. Later, Advocatus and Snark present different views on sacrifice and Margaret gives her own.
- On page 142 he uses the phrase going "round the bend" three times. And he's used it before several times. The first time he used it was in Dialogue 3. Can you find it? But so what? What's so important about "going round the bend" and why is it being used in a chapter on getting a new perspective? Will we have to wait until nearly the end to find out? Okay . . . you're right . . . these might not yet be questions we can answer at this point.
- Changing our perspectives (about Christianity, the churches, and ourselves) is what LAST SUPPER RED is all about. As Einstein observed in his theories of relativity, how something appears is relative to the perspective of the observer. We often have few, if any, options about changing some of our external circumstances. Similarly, there are often some things about us that for all practical purposes are incapable of change . . . things like certain physical and cognitive disabilities. Very often, all we can change is our perspective about those circumstances. How has changing your own perspective on some circumstance changed your sense of that circumstance? Did your change of perspective lead you to have a more calm relationship to it? More of a sense of freedom? Did changing your perspective enable you to behave differently with regard to that circumstance? Did your new behaviors help to change the circumstance? Sometimes that happens! Negatively, depression changes our perspective in the direction of hopelessness. Have you had times of depression where that happened? Have you struggled to regain your more normal perspective on things? How's that struggle going? Find a person you trust, inside or outside this group, and talk about that. It's often helpful . . . for both of you.
- Q is again having fun with word play . . . this time with the word obfuscation . . . "the willful hiding of intended meanings in communication" (Wikipedia). The variations of that word in this Dialogue lead to laughter because each variation represents an unexpected change of perspective on the word. Here's another word: atonement. It refers to the various teachings (doctrine) concerning the meaning of Jesus' execution by the Roman authorities. Keep looking at that word and see if, from a different perspective, its meaning appears. If it does, then in what ways, if any, do you think the world (including your world!) needs it?
- There's a footnote on page 149 about miracles. Do you resonate with what Willa Cather wrote about them? Do you think that some or all of the miracle stories about Jesus in the gospels can be understood using Cather's idea about them? Do you think those stories are true? In a literal sense? A metaphorical sense? Nonsense?
- What do you make of Margaret's ideas about sacrifice? There's lots to discuss here, so please do! How would her ideas be used to talk about the meaning of Jesus' being executed?
- Has this Dialogue helped you to change your perspective? Why or why not?