|Erie Canal approaching Lock 32 from the west.|
"The Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God.
Among men, who knows what pertains to the man
except his spirit that is within?
Similarly, no one knows what pertains to God except the Spirit of God.
We have not received the spirit of the world
but the Spirit who is from God,
so that we may understand the things freely given us by God.
And we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom,
but with words taught by the Spirit,
describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms." I Cor 2:10b ff.
What exactly is a person's "spirit that is within?" Apparently it is some identity that knows each person in an intimate and complete way. I could say that this is my "self consciousness." So it somehow makes sense to understand the spirit of the Divine One as divine self consciousness. But really my self consciousness is far from perfect. I don't fully and completely understand myself. But then neither did Paul. How else to explain his lament that the good he wants to do, he doesn't do and the evil he wants to avoid, he does?
Paul is telling me that in Baptism I experience a true ontological change. I am still human but I have been set on a path toward a participation in the life of the Divine One. It is the Spirit that is with me on this journey. It is the Spirit that give me the capacity to experience that path and to describe it, however imperfectly.
I am a new person with a new life, a new way of seeing myself and the world, and a new language to describe all this. It makes no sense without this transformation. It doesn't make a lot of sense even with it. And yet there is a reality there, dimly glimpsed to be sure, but real nonetheless.