Spiritual Life and Leadership
85. Pledge and Consent, with Esther Lightcap Meek, author of A Little Manual for Knowing
Oct 27, 2020
Pledge and consent are crucial in the experience of knowing. In this episode, Esther Lightcap Meek and I talk about chapter 2 of her book, A Little Manual for Knowing. In that chapter—and in this episode—Esther shows us that if we are to truly know someone or something, then we need to pledge ourselves to that which is yet-to-be-known. We need to pledge ourselves to the “knowing venture” and we need to pledge to be open to—to consent to—the reality of that which we are coming to know.
THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
- Esther Lightcap Meek is the Professor of Philosophy at Geneva College and the author of A Little Manual for Knowing.
- To truly know something or someone, one must “pledge” oneself to that thing or person. Pledge to live life on the terms of the yet-to-be-known. Pledge to do what it takes to know it. Pledge to be ok with it once it reveals itself.
- In Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard describes what it takes to stalk a muskrat. One must hold still, give up one’s dignity, and wait. Esther says this is covenantal language.
- Knowing something or someone requires consent. We have to say yes to what or who it truly is. Knowing requires pledge and consent.
- “All of reality is the consent of God. Everywhere your eye lands, your eye is landing on God’s ‘Yes!’”
- The opposite of pledge and consent is acedia, commonly known at sloth.
- Dallas Willard says that if we’re going to love God, we have to consent and say “yes” to ourselves. Saying “yes” to who you are as you are.
- In the movie, Avatar, one of the characters says to the other, “I see you.” It was an act of ultimate consent.
- Markus refers to a poem by Madeleine L’Engle, cited in Visions of Vocation by Steve Garber. The poem shows that in marriage we must pledge and consent to who our spouse truly is if we are to truly know them.
- Esther discusses confirmation bias.
- In the story of the Road to Emmaus, the disciples were able to let go of a preconception that allowed them then to know Jesus.
- “Reality, by definition, is God and His stuff.”
- “All knowing is transformative.”
- Esther connects the knowing venture to the experience of worship.
- Esther is beginning a book series called Doorways, in which each volume will connect the knowing venture to a different discipline.
RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS: