Life of Meaning

Belief: Deduction or Proposition

September 23, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

A self that goes on changing is a self that goes on living.” Virginia Woolf

Woolf continues brilliantly…  

Movement and change are the essence of our being; rigidity is death; conformity is death: let us say what comes into our heads, repeat ourselves, contradict ourselves, fling out the wildest nonsense, and follow the most fantastic fancies without caring what the world does or thinks or says.”

Existential Bliss

I am enamored with the idea of Existential Bliss. That we somehow find the deepest of satisfactions within our own core, especially as our core intimately connects with the essence of the Eternal, in whose image we are created.

One way I have accessed this Bliss is by means of pondering what I believe (in the words of author Douglas Adams) about “life, the universe, and everything.” Perhaps, above all other things, what I believe will determine who I am. And so why not give my imagination permission to play a role in what I believe.

After all, Virginia Woolf is so bang on when she suggests that we “… follow [our] most fantastic fantasies without caring what the world does or thinks or says.” In the end, I am the final arbiter of what I intend to believe and do and say.

Permission to Imagine

I am loving giving myself permission to invent and create meaning and truth. After all, I am what I believe. Truly, despite our current love affair with Post Enlightenment propositions of “scientific fact,” most of us nevertheless depend on imagination and mystery as surrogates for truth… or is it… faith?

So. With all this as preamble, here is what I wrote this morning in my journal to me. Bring on mystery and imagination, not as surrogates, but as the very real thing, the most real thing.


It is so true: I live in an interior world of thought and imagination, regularly in the land of mystery and unknowing, understood by both story and theological deductions from the Holy Writ. Little dogma originates from stand-alone biblical proclamations. By that, I mean the great majority of doctrine comes from theological deductions and assumptions contrived from the “Body of Work” we call Scripture.

If my supposition holds any truth, then most of theology is debatable. That is, if theology is based on some sort of truthful writings or recollections of biblical events. Because of the nature of divine interventions (including “miracles”), it is easy, then, to conclude that much of theology is preposterous because it hangs on believing the unbelievable. (NOTE: I wrote more on this a few weeks ago.)

For me, theology holds its highest authority in the realms of mystery and unbelievability. In order for it to be fantastic (and it must be fantastic to be appreciated) one must discover hints of veracity—truths residing in the realms of reason supported by the unreasonable. 

Therefore, one finds oneself left in the throes of mystery and the unknown. Believability on a foundation of the fantastic—a fantastic so attractive that one has no choice but to agree with its magic.  

When Belief is Both

True and Full of Imagination

Photo courtesy of WhataWin at istockphoto

A Life of Pleasure

September 16, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

For the main road and shortest road to heaven is run by desires and not by footsteps… By their life he meant their love and desire, which in spiritual terms are their life.” The Anonymous Author of The Cloud of Unknowing

In the Episcopal communion liturgy, it is written, “Eternal God, heavenly Father, in your infinite love you made us for yourself.”

It seems to me that too little is written about the delights (and yes, the pleasures) of God. It is as if God only desires an emotionally detached sort of obedience that leads to perfection and salvation.
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Judgmental? Yep!

September 2, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Those who are quick to censure may be very acute in judgment, but they are as yet very immature in heart… when our virtues become more mature, I trust we shall be more tolerant of infirmity, more hopeful for people, and certainly less arrogant in our criticisms.” Charles Spurgeon

Truth is, we operate our daily lives with a spirit of judgment.

Our paths are led moment-by moment by “sound” judgment: good or not-so-good, right or wrong, healthy or not healthy, meaningful or trivial, important or urgent… the list is never ending because life’s experiences are never ending.
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Repent and Change Your Heart

August 26, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Repentance is to change direction so you don’t end up where you are heading…” Anne Lamott

Today I am considering the well-known cry of John the Baptist, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near.” As I ponder the deeper meaning of this decree, I must admit that I am perplexed by the common connotations for the word “repent.”

I googled the word and found this definition (which is typical)… “to feel or express regret or remorse about one’s wrongdoing or sin.”

Okay. So what?
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When Impediments Become Pathways

August 19, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Your sadness, your loneliness, your fear, and your anxiety are not mistakes. They are not obstacles on your path. They are your path.” Matt Licata, Lifted from Bill Britton

What if being manic depressive is as much a gift as it is a curse? What if bouts of self-loathing get transformed into stretches of self-affirmation?
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Delight Is Most Usually Unexpected… If You Are Paying Attention

July 9, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Life presents her finest self in the guise of unexpected and unanticipated events.” Journal Entry, 7/3/23

I once was a dedicated life/business planner. Planners think with “the end in mind.” What results do I seek for myself or for my family or for my career? These are indeed good questions.

But all we can really plan for is limited to the big picture: some high-level end result. What we cannot plan for are the unknowns that most assuredly arise. The old phrase always rings true: “You don’t know what you don’t know.” And it is in the “what you don’t” that can be discovered the real magic. Results you never saw coming, both trials and immensely surprising joys.
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The Dissolution of Certainty

July 2, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

The dissolution of certainty is the gateway to real freedom.” Jacob Needleman

The one character trait that most of us find unacceptable is that of the “know-it-all.” Yet, in our current dualistic world of true or false and right or wrong, certainty has become a most desired state of mind. We seem to unconsciously seek knowing it all.
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When the Goal is to “Not Fit In”

June 25, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

Rules direct us to average behaviors. If we’re aiming to create works that are exceptional, most rules don’t apply. Average is nothing to aspire to. The goal is to not fit in.Rick Rubin, The Creative Act

Certain aspects of life demand social agreement. Standards and rules are necessary for civilization to be “civilized.”


We live according to rules and codes designed to establish conformity. But when conformity gets in the way of creativity and personal expression, the question arises, “Where would we be as an innovative society if Einstein and writer Cormac McCarthy were limited by the rules of their crafts?”
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Unbelievable… Or Not?

June 18, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

In today’s world of certainty and scientific proofs, many fundamental beliefs of Christianity seem indeed questionable (at best!). I get it. But it makes me wonder.

Four Unbelievables of Christianity

I am thinking of just four “doctrinal statement” beliefs that challenge credibility and logic: Trinity, Incarnation, Virgin Birth, and Resurrection. All four are incomprehensible and unintelligible. And yet all four hold sway in what is considered essential to the Christian “faith system.”
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