Knowing the Unknowable

Written by:
Maryellen May, Transparent Works

"Is it possible to know the Unknowable

Why bother

Is it possible for me personally to know the Unknowable

Why bother

Is it possible for me to personally know and nurture a consciousrelationship with the Unknowable Ultimate Reality

Why bother"

- Amanda Storywarrior


For the past couple of years, my grandparents and I have met forlunch just about every other week. I bring falafel sandwichesfrom a local restaurant, complete with ali geffen and baklava. Shirley and I stuff our faces and utter plenty of mmmms whileWendell talks as much as he likes. We all cherish both thefalafels and our special date.

One of the gifts of these lunches is that my grandparents alwaysask about my work. I am a videographer and provide the videoyou see on this website. But often, I do not understand how todo the work I am assigned to do! My grandparents have been a sounding board for me as I process the stories I get toillustrate. It is still unbelievable to me that I can ask them aboutthis stuff - and they get it. Because they lived it!

My grandparents attended a series of lectures in the early 1960sat the Ecumenical Institute of Chicago. The messages were soawakening, so earth shattering, that they picked up their family ofthree children and moved from their safe suburban life into theSouth Side ghetto of Chicago. And they werent alone!Hundreds of others made similar radical lifestyle choices as aresult of this encounter. Families and individuals moved-intogether so that they could continue to do the work of the OrderEcumenical and explore what it meant to know the unknowable.

The latest video assignment I was given, Life Journey #2- TheUltimate Reality, is a re-statement of a lecture called TheQuestion of God as well as The Bultmann Paper seminar. Wendell and Shirley St. John attended these original lectures. They have now been instrumental in the rebirth of thesestatements in visual form by serving as special advisors.

I often wonder about the question that Amanda Storywarriorposes above, Why bother

The Life Journey series is a personal journey. It is an invitationto YOU and to ME to go on a personal journey. It will shake upyour insides, thats the point. Just as Wendell and Shirley andso many others were shaken up by this message in the 60s, thisvideo series seeks to provide that same JOLT!

Theres a hole in our societal institutions when it comes totalking about, relating to and knowing the unknowable. In thismoment in history, it is far too easy to ignore, deny, escape andavoid the unknowable. No ones talking about the elephant inthe room or teaching us how to relate to it. Our schools, ourinstitutions, our parents, teachers, ministers and mentors arentdoing it because they dont know how. The call to mystery hasbeen convoluted with human-centered moralism, sentimentalism and literalism. The call to know the unknowable has beenambushed by gimmicks and self-help feel-good happy horsedoodoo.

Ive been looking my entire lifeand everything has fallenshort - but not this. Imagine my surprise after going on a questto know the unknowable, when I found the path had been laidbefore my feet. The journey was taken by my own kin beforeme, when they made the choice to explore what it meant to knowthe unknowable in their lives.

Life Journey #2 The Ultimate Reality is ready to engage. Over the next 6 weeks you will receive email notifications invitingyou to encounter each of the final six modules of The UltimateReality exploring the practice of Knowing the Unknowable.

Pope Francis has invited you and me toconsider approaching the world in the contemplative posture of ThomasMerton. As we attempt to find our way on this time between the myths,personally and collectively, this posture represents a transformative optionfor the human family. The challenges of the environment, local and globalpolitics and economics, cultural conflict, military struggle, world hunger,disease, human trafficking, immigration and 1000 other issues will only beresolved as, solitary by solitary, the human family reestablishes itsconnection with the Deep Place, the wellspring of all authentic truth, peace,and hope.

We believe Life Journey #2 The Ultimate Reality provides a contemporaryart form by which the human family can nurture this vitalconnection.

Why bother Why take a journey to personally know and nurturea conscious relationship with the Unknowable Ultimate Reality

That's a question each of us gets to pose for ourselves.

We invite you to ask the question, and see what shakes up inyour world!

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