FCN Hicks offers this wonderful summary of human perichoresis: "The ordinary man is apt to say that, for him, the idea of 'mutual indwelling' is unreal, a thing, perhaps for 'saints,' or of exceptionally religious people, but without meaning in the ordinary experience of the world. Yet, as so often happens, it is precisely in the common intercourse of life that the highest truths of religion find at once their analogy and their justification. Because God is Personal, our intercourse with Him will prove to present analogies to our intercourse with human persons in the affairs of every day. And it is just in this intercourse that we can see most easily what mutual indwelling can mean. . . .
"For the experience of life is that in friendship, and still more in friendship that has ripened into love, two living persons grow into each other's lives, or selves. Love, as we say, takes us out of ourself; and that is another way of saying that it takes us into the self of the person whom we love. Each self remains distinct, but each penetrates the other, and in this interpenetration a common life is first created, then developed, which in turn gives a new fullness to the individual selves, or lives, which contribute to it. And the closer this union, the more that thoughts, feelings, wills, actions, are linked together, the more literally true is it that each lives in the other. This is 'mutual indwelling' in common human experience. And its nature, its possibilities, its value, are revealed in a common element in experience that the wholly self-contained, self-absorbed, selfish, personality is narrowed, cramped and starved. It is in unselfish expansion into the lives of others that personality is developed; in the instinct of the love of family, or social, civic, national, world-wide obligations; in friendship in all its degrees; and, most of all, in the intimate relationships of life between brother and sister, parents and children, husband and wife."
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Friday, November 09, 2007 at 08:14 AM
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