A Reconsideration of God’s Impassibility

When I was in seminary, I abandoned the doctrine of divine impassibility. For readers who do not know, divine impassibility is the doctrine that God is not affected by creation. It sounds weird at first because in the Bible, God answers prayer, gets involved with Israel, and shows wrath against sin.

The reason this doctrine was so important to the early church is that they had the idea that if God changes from one state to another, then God is no longer the source of all being(s). Why? Because God is becoming something else (changing) and therefore not the source of all being. If God is not the source of all being because God is pure ‘being’, then he isn’t divine.

I had decided that any doctrine which claims that God cannot suffer paints a monstrous truth about God: that God is uninterested in the well-being of his creatures. The problem is that I had misunderstood what the early church meant by this idea. I had thought that since the ancient Greeks saw God as impassible, the early Christian converts from Gentile nations just adopted the idea from Greek philosophy without realizing that it cannot be found in the Old Testament. It hadn’t crossed my mind that the idea might be a necessary corollary to some other Christian truth.

A couple of years ago, I spent several months revisiting the ancient arguments for God’s existence based upon the nature of cause and effect, gradations of goodness in human experience, the existence of consciousness, and the nature of logic and mathematics. All of these arguments entail a God upon whom all things aside from God depend for existence. This means that God must be ‘being itself’, thus God is never in any ultimate sense, becoming anything. God is not, by definition, going from one state to another. Of course, this realization forced me to think much more carefully about how I interpreted certain Old Testament passages about God’s emotions. C.S. Lewis mentions this difficulty in Letter to Malcolm, when he observes that the Old Testament authors take no pains to protect any sort of doctrine of divine impassibility from the notion of a stormily emotional Jehovah (51-52).

There is a sense in which what I am saying does not really matter. One can be a Christian without bothering to figure any of this out. Paul’s standard for Christian conversion is rather meager  by many confessional standards (or robust since it requires obedience to Jesus): confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead (Romans 10).

But if you go on thinking about the nature of emotions, particularly in their physical manifestation in human beings, they require a physical/chemical reaction to the environment. God has no environment, if anything, God is the environment in which all space-time has its being. Thus either the Biblical revelation about God’s interaction with creation is wrong or it is given by way of analogy.

The Bible, since it is God’s revelation to the church, requires us to deny the first part of the disjunctive premise, thus God’s revelation appears to be given in Scripture, in some measure, by analogy. But there are certain events in Scripture that are considered ultimate as revelations of God’s nature. For instance, Paul understands the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus as a revelation of the fact that God is loving toward weak and ungodly sinners and enemies (Romans 5:1-11).

Here is a rough outline of the premises and conclusion of an argument for God’s impassibility:

  1. The world made up of things which change.
  2. Things which change, by definition, depend upon causes to change.
  3. God is the cause of the whole world, and therefore not the world.
  4. God depends upon nothing for God’s being.
  5. God is unchanging or impassible.

This may seem opaque. That’s okay, I’m trying to avoid too much philosophical language. But the big idea (God’s unchangeability) can be summarized this way:

  1. God is unchanging, Scripture teaches this (Malachi 3:6, James 1:27) in moments of explicit teaching. Reason dictates that it is so as well.
  2. God is love. Scripture teaches this as well (Romans 5:5-11, 1 John 4:8-16).
  3. Love is a positive perfection of God, God need not change to be loving and caring.
  4. Wrath, sadness, anger, etc are privations of mercy, bliss, and harmony. God suffers no privation, therefore these words in Scripture are analogies about God’s works in creation that correspond to human experience.
  5. Thus, God is, regardless of the state of the creation, unalterably loving.

God’s Love and God’s Impassibility

David Bentley Hart argued in his essay, No Shadow of Turning that God’s impassibility is precisely the guarantee that God’s love is God’s being. Love is not a state from which God could capriciously move or worse, be influenced to move from. As compelling as the idea of a God who suffers with creation can be, it seems that a stronger hope and certainly a more scriptural and reasonable one is that the terrors of creation do not alter God at all, but rather await their sure defeat in space time by God’s own indestructible love and power.

The Incarnation and God’s Impassibility

It it indeed the case as a part of God’s work when the Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us, the Son of God suffered as a man. Paul Gavriluk argues in chapter two of his book The Suffering of the Impassible God,

…by calling the Christian God impassible the Fathers sought to distance God the creator from the gods of mythology. In this debate the major goal was to rule out popular pagan modes of imaging the divine realm as unworthy of the Christian God. Second, the Fathers viewed impassibility as compatible with select emotionally coloured characteristics, e.g., love, mercy, and compassion.

Many Christians see the revelation of God in Christ as a revelation that God could suffer and change. But in more ancient times this revelation showed what God was like all along despite the piecemeal and partial (Hebrews 1:1-2) revelation which was given in the Old Testament. The revelation of God in Christ is that God is love rather than capricious like the pagan gods or the forces of nature.

God is unchangeably loving. The Trinity, remains the same even as my own religious state of mind wavers, my character changes (for better or worse), the creation groans, and the gospel is preached well or poorly. God the Father, who sends the Son for our salvation, and who upon the enthronement of his Son sends us the Holy Spirit ever remains love and loving. God is goodness. Thus, though the church and humanity are commanded to imitate God’s love (and indeed my nature would flourish should I choose to do so as I am created in his image), his interest in the final salvation of humanity neither waxes nor wanes depending upon this or that congregation’s spiritual temperature (Peterson, Long Obedence, 44).

Notes:

My Translation of Romans 5:1-11

For Christ, while we were weak, at the appropriate time, died on behalf of the ungodly. You see, with difficulty somebody would die on behalf of a righteous man, indeed, on behalf of a good man somebody might even dare to die. Now God demonstrates his own love for us this way: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Therefore (more so really), having been declared righteous in the present by his blood, will we be saved by him from the wrath. For if, being enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son (more so, having already been reconciled), we will be saved by his life. Now, not only this, but we are boasting all the while in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation.

Aquinas on God’s Joy

Again. Joy and delight are a kind of repose of the will in the object of its willing. Now God is supremely at rest in Himself, Who is the principal object of His will, as finding all sufficiency in Himself. Therefore by His will He rejoices and delights supremely in Himself. Saint Thomas Aquinas, Fathers of the English Dominican Province, Summa Contra Gentiles, vol. 1 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 190.

Aquinas on God’s Love

For it belongs properly to the nature of love that the lover wills the good of the beloved. Now God wills His own and others’ good, as stated above. Accordingly then God loves both Himself and other things.
Again. True love requires one to will another’s good as one’s own. For a thing whose good one wills merely as conducive to another’s good, is loved accidentally: thus he who wills wine to be preserved that he may drink it, or who loves a man that he may be useful or pleasing to him, loves the wine or the man accidentally, but himself properly speaking. Now God loves each thing’s good as its own, since He wills each thing to be in as much as it is good in itself: although He directs one to the profit of another. God therefore truly loves both Himself and other things.
Moreover. Since everything naturally wills or desires its own good in its own way, if the nature of love is that the lover will or desire the good of the beloved, it follows that the lover is referred to the beloved as to a thing that is in a way one with him. Wherefore it appears that the proper notion of love consists in the affection of one tending to another as one with himself in some way: for which reason Dionysius describes love as a unitive force. Hence the greater the thing that makes the lover one with the beloved, the more intense is the love: for we love those more who are united to us by the origin of birth, or by frequent companionship, than those who are merely united to us by the bond of human nature. Again, the more the cause of union is deeply seated in the lover, the stronger the love: wherefore sometimes a love that is caused by a passion becomes more intense than a love arising from natural origin or from some habit, although it is more liable to be transitory. Now the cause of all things being united to God, namely His goodness, which all things reflect, is exceeding great and deeply seated in God, since Himself is His own goodness.2 Wherefore in God not only is there true love, but also most perfect and most abiding love. Saint Thomas Aquinas, Fathers of the English Dominican Province, Summa Contra Gentiles, vol. 1 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 191–192.

What does “grow in grace” mean?

Main Points

  1. Common definitions of God’s grace are true, but incomplete.
  2. Peter’s command to grow in God’s grace makes more sense when grace is seen as a patron-client/gift-loyalty relationship.
  3. Peter’s understanding of growth in grace appears to be explained in 2 Peter 1:3-11.
  4. Dallas Willard’s aspects of the human person and V-I-M pattern can help us think about growth in grace in specific terms.

Introduction

17 Therefore, beloved, having been made aware, you should guard yourselves so that you will not lose your security by means of being carried away by the error of unprincipled folk, 18 but instead, you should grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:17-18). [1]

In the passage quoted above Peter says a great deal which diagnoses the spiritual condition of many of us today with respect to errors, unprincipled people, and the need for self-vigilance, whether Christians or not. While it is important for pastors and Christian teachers to expound upon the first sentence in the verses above and explore the rest of Peter’s letter to express the danger of false teachings on the one hand and false teachers on the other, the aim of this present series of essays is to focus on one clause in verse 18. Peter commands Christians, saved Christians, to grow in grace. This particular command is reiterated in several ways throughout the New Testament.[2] But I want to hone in on the way Peter says it here.

Definitions matter.

A good definition can control a debate, clarify an argument, or protect you from making bad decisions. The situation in contemporary evangelical culture has granted us a common definition of grace that is limited to: “unmerited forgiveness.” Along with this definition of grace, we have a commonly expressed definition of faith, “believing Jesus is my savior who gives me forgiveness.” What I fear is that definitions like these have lead many (myself included in my younger years), to think that “I’m saved by grace through faith” means that “I am saved by God’s unmerited forgiveness, simply by believing that I am saved by God’s unmerited forgiveness.” Our definition of faith has literally nothing to do with loyalty to or trust in the person of Jesus Christ or his Father, who raised him from the dead.

These common habits of vocabulary and popular theology can have a devastating effect upon how people read Scripture. For instance, if grace and salvation are viewed merely in terms of forgiveness, then passages like Titus 2:11-14 make very little sense:

11 For God’s grace has appeared bringing salvation to all humanity 12 training us so that we might denying the desires which are impious and worldly we might live wisely, justly, and piously in this present age 13 as we await the blessed hope: both the appearing of the glory of the great God and our savior, Jesus Christ,[3] 14 who gave himself on our behalf, so that he might redeem us form all lawlessness and that he might cleans for himself a people of his possession who are zealous for good works.[4]

Above it is most likely that God’s grace refers directly to Jesus. But, the point of citing it is two-fold:

  1. Context Matters
    When we allow the context of the Bible to help us understand the meanings of words, we can discover that favorite ideas are challenged by the Bible. Unmerited forgiveness cannot train us to renounce anything, but a person and a message about that person (Jesus) can do this. Not only so, but this grace trains us for wisdom, justice, and piety. This is the sort of life demonstrated by Jesus in the gospels and taught by him in Matthew 5-7.
  2. Jesus Centered New Testament
    The New Testament is a collection of documents about Jesus. When key words like grace are used, we need to ask, “How is the author relating this back to Jesus Christ. Observe whose grace Christians are to grow in in 2 Peter 3:18: the grace of…our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Grace, Faith, and Response

If grace does not always mean “unmerited forgiveness,” what does it mean? Well, it depends upon the context, but in 2 Peter 3:18, it appears that a feature of the social realities of the ancient world may help us. In the ancient world, patron-client relationships wherein a resource rich benefactor would offer favors in exchange for honor or loyalty were a part of the social fabric in which our New Testament was written. These relationships are the foundation upon which “grace/thanksgiving” language are built. In our New Testaments, God the Father is often portrayed as a heavenly patron who gives lavish gifts (salvation, forgiveness, Jesus himself, personal transformation, promised resurrection bodies, the church community, and so-on) in exchange for loyalty to his person and mission in the world.[5] If this is true, we should read God’s grace as “his gift which demands a response.” I would add that perhaps the reason the Bible says that we’re saved by “faith” and “saved by grace” is that we receive the gift by having faith. The only way to receive a check is to cash it, the only way to receive Jesus is by having faith/loyalty in/to him. [6]

If this is the case, then to “grow in grace” means to grow in response to God’s grace or more fully, “to grow by receiving God’s grace in the fashion in which it was designed to be received.”

In 2 Peter 1:3-11, Peter explains what God’s grace offers and how to respond to it (receive it): [7]

In just the same way as his divine power has given us everything for life and piety, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and virtue, (4) through which he has given us his precious and very great promises so that through them, you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the decay which is in the world by evil desire. (5) So also and for this reason supplement (doing everything thing you can to do so) your faith with virtue, then virtue with knowledge, (6) then knowledge with self-mastery, then self-mastery with endurance, then endurance with piety, (7) then piety with friendship, then friendship with agape. (8) For if these things exist in you and are increasing, then they will ensure that your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ is neither ineffective nor fruitless. (9) For to the one who does not have them, he is blind from being short-sighted, having forgotten that he received cleansing for his former sins. (10) Therefore, all the more, brothers and sisters, work hard to make certain your calling and election; for those who do such things will not ever fail. (11) For in so doing, the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be provided to you.(2 Peter 1:3-11)[8]

Peter says that in order to receive the benefits of God’s gift we should respond with faith and to that faith we should add: virtue, knowledge, endurance, piety, friendship, and agape (the type of love described perhaps in 1 Cor 13 or Romans 12:9-21). He says that in so doing, we make our calling and election sure. In other words, we grow in the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by adding these traits to our lives.

A big question for many Christians then is this: what must I do to grow in grace? Well, if grace is a word that signals a relationship wherein gift leads to thanksgiving and response, then what the Bible says to do in response to God’s grace is where the answer lies. “Grow in grace” is a command and commands are meant to result in action. I hope to offer, over the next several days, reflections on how to grow in grace.

I am no expert in this. Many who know me know how graceless I can be. What I can do is examine Scripture and other competent authors are try to synthesize it and say it in the most common sense way that I can. I hope to accomplish this using two rubrics provided by Dallas Willard.

Rubric 1: The Aspects of the Person

In his book Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ, Dallas Willard divides the person into 6 distinct aspects:[9]

  1. The mind (with reference to thoughts, beliefs, and reasoning)
  2. The mind (with reference to our feelings, passions, and emotions)
  3. The will/heart/spirit
  4. The body
  5. The social dimension
  6. The soul[10]

The idea here is that our growth in grace happens through every aspect of our self.

Rubric 2: V-I-M

The second rubric, from the same book, is VIM, which Willard takes from the phrase “vim and vigor.” He uses the acronym in order to make the process of personal transformation easy to remember:[11]

  1. Vision – The picture of who or what you want to be and accomplish for the future.
  2. Intention – The conscious decision to bring this picture into reality.
  3. Means – The specific steps taken in order to reach the vision.

Obviously, this pattern would work for becoming a bodybuilder, getting rich, or learning karate. But just because something is human, doesn’t mean it is bad. Grace redeems and ultimately upgrades nature, it does not replace or deform it.

Conclusion

The Biblical picture of God’s grace is ultimately that of a gift which demands a response. In other words, it is the initiation of a transformation of character and thus a transformation of relationship to God.

Posts in the Series

  1. What does “grow in grace” mean?
  2. Growth in Grace: Vision
  3. Growth in Grace: The Feelings

References

[1] Kurt Aland et al., Novum Testamentum Graece, 28th Edition. (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2012), 2 Pe 3:17–18, “17 Ὑμεῖς οὖν, ἀγαπητοί, προγινώσκοντες φυλάσσεσθε, ἵνα μὴ τῇ τῶν ἀθέσμων πλάνῃ συναπαχθέντες ἐκπέσητε τοῦ ἰδίου στηριγμοῦ, 18 αὐξάνετε δὲ ἐν χάριτι καὶ γνώσει τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν καὶ σωτῆρος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. αὐτῷ ἡ δόξα καὶ νῦν καὶ εἰς ἡμέραν αἰῶνος.”

[2] For a brief look at various commands in the New Testament that imply that grace (God’s gift in Christ) is something in which we can grow or make progress see: Luke 9:23, Romans 12:1-2, and 2 Peter 1:3-8.

[3] Though many commentators take this verse to be a reference to Christ’s divinity and translate it something like “as we await the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” it is difficult to get that on a natural reading of the Greek text. It is also the case that the Latin Vulgate treats God and Jesus as different referents here rather than treating God as a title for Jesus. The clear teaching of Scripture is that Jesus is divine, but that is not Paul’s point here.

[4] Aland Tt 2:11–14, “11 Ἐπεφάνη γὰρ ἡ χάρις τοῦ θεοῦ σωτήριος πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις 12 παιδεύουσα ἡμᾶς, ἵνα ἀρνησάμενοι τὴν ἀσέβειαν καὶ τὰς κοσμικὰς ἐπιθυμίας σωφρόνως καὶ δικαίως καὶ εὐσεβῶς ζήσωμεν ἐν τῷ νῦν αἰῶνι, 13 προσδεχόμενοι τὴν μακαρίαν ἐλπίδα καὶ ἐπιφάνειαν τῆς δόξης τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, 14 ὃς ἔδωκεν ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν, ἵνα λυτρώσηται ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ πάσης ἀνομίας καὶ καθαρίσῃ ἑαυτῷ λαὸν περιούσιον, ζηλωτὴν καλῶν ἔργων

[5] David Arthur deSilva, Honor, Patronage, Kinship & Purity: Unlocking New Testament Culture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 144, “Besides bringing honor to a patron, it was also a vital part of gratitude to show loyalty to the patron. Attachment to a patron could become costly should that patron have powerful enemies. Being grateful—owning one’s association and remaining committed to that patron—could mean great loss (Seneca Ep. Mor. 81.27). True gratitude entails, however, setting the relationship of grace above considerations of what is at the moment advantageous. First-century Christians often faced, as do so many international Christians in this century, choosing between loyalty to God and personal safety. For this reason, several texts underscore the positive results of enduring hostility and loss for their commitment. First Peter 1:6–9 interprets the believers’ present experiences of testing as an opportunity for them to demonstrate the firmness of their commitment to their divine patron. Even though the mediator of their salvation, Jesus, is presently unseen, they love him and persist in trust toward him. The end result of keeping this trust firm is the preservation of their souls. Their joy in this interim is an outward witness to their confidence in their patron to deliver what has been promised.

[6] D. A Carson, Exegetical Fallacies (Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Books, 2003), 57-61. Carson calls the mistake of assuming a word always has a particular narrow meaning, regardless of context an unwarranted narrowing of the semantic field. The technical name is not necessary. One could just as easily call the problem “not reading carefully.”

[7] Aland, 2 Pe 1:3–11, “3 Ὡς πάντα ἡμῖν τῆς θείας δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ τὰ πρὸς ζωὴν καὶ εὐσέβειαν δεδωρημένης διὰ τῆς ἐπιγνώσεως τοῦ καλέσαντος ἡμᾶς ἰδίᾳ δόξῃ καὶ ἀρετῇ, 4 διʼ ὧν τὰ τίμια καὶ μέγιστα ἡμῖν ἐπαγγέλματα δεδώρηται, ἵνα διὰ τούτων γένησθε θείας κοινωνοὶ φύσεως ἀποφυγόντες τῆς ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ ἐν ἐπιθυμίᾳ φθορᾶς. 5 Καὶ αὐτὸ τοῦτο δὲ σπουδὴν πᾶσαν παρεισενέγκαντες ἐπιχορηγήσατε ἐν τῇ πίστει ὑμῶν τὴν ἀρετήν, ἐν δὲ τῇ ἀρετῇ τὴν γνῶσιν, 6 ἐν δὲ τῇ γνώσει τὴν ἐγκράτειαν, ἐν δὲ τῇ ἐγκρατείᾳ τὴν ὑπομονήν, ἐν δὲ τῇ ὑπομονῇ τὴν εὐσέβειαν, 7 ἐν δὲ τῇ εὐσεβείᾳ τὴν φιλαδελφίαν, ἐν δὲ τῇ φιλαδελφίᾳ τὴν ἀγάπην. 8 ταῦτα γὰρ ὑμῖν ὑπάρχοντα καὶ πλεονάζοντα οὐκ ἀργοὺς οὐδὲ ἀκάρπους καθίστησιν εἰς τὴν τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐπίγνωσιν· 9 ᾧ γὰρ μὴ πάρεστιν ταῦτα, τυφλός ἐστιν μυωπάζων, λήθην λαβὼν τοῦ καθαρισμοῦ τῶν πάλαι αὐτοῦ ἁμαρτιῶν. 10 διὸ μᾶλλον, ἀδελφοί, σπουδάσατε βεβαίαν ὑμῶν τὴν κλῆσιν καὶ ἐκλογὴν ποιεῖσθαι· ταῦτα γὰρ ποιοῦντες οὐ μὴ πταίσητέ ποτε. 11 οὕτως γὰρ πλουσίως ἐπιχορηγηθήσεται ὑμῖν ἡ εἴσοδος εἰς τὴν αἰώνιον βασιλείαν τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν καὶ σωτῆρος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. “

[8] In a future series, it would probably be helpful for me to explain the virtues in this list using the pattern I outlined here.

[9] Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ (Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress, 2002), 32-39. In one sense, dividing the person up like this isn’t helpful because our body/mind/will are almost indistinguishable. On the other hand, for the purposes of providing an incomplete but data-fitting model, these divisions can be very helpful.

[10] In my own thinking, his use of the word “soul” is not quite accurate and is even a bit unhelpful. When I get to that, I’ll explain his point of view as well as my own which is, in my mind, more tied to Scripture, Aristotle’s reasoning, and daily experience.

[11] Ibid, 85.

 

The Brain, the Body, and Christian Spirituality

Spiritual growth happens in the body.

For many of us, the idea that the brain is the locus of the mind seems obvious. But less obvious is the notion that the body is the locus of the brain. But perhaps even less obvious is that the whole body, including the brain, is the mind. Scott Adams writes:

I am sure you have noticed that your mental state is deeply influenced by diet, exercise, sleep, sex, stress, and lots more. And I’m sure you make some effort to do those things the right way when you can. But if you think those actions are influencing only how you feel, and not your actual thoughts, you don’t understand the basic nature of human beings. And this is the key takeaway:

The source of your thoughts is your body, not your brain.
When I am not feeling good, I don’t ask my brain to fix things on its own. I manipulate my environment until my thoughts change. That’s because I see my body as the user interface to my brain. I don’t let my brain think whatever it randomly wants to think. I constrain it to productive thoughts by manipulating my environment.

Similarly, the Bible teaches that the whole of the human body should be conceived of as the locus of spiritual growth:

Romans 6:13-19 ESV Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. (14) For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. (15) What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! (16) Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? (17) But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, (18) and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. (19) I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

The answer to the question of spiritual growth lies, uncomfortably for many of us, precisely in our conception, treatment, and use of our bodies. Why is this? Because while each of us experiences the self in a somewhat disintegrated fashion, each of us is, indeed, a single person. So there is no spiritual growth without attendance to the body.

How-To Even

Previously, in the formerly current year, many people expressed their inability to even. Here are two examples pulled from a quick twitter search for the phrase:

In this tweet, we read about a woman who is having an eye-brow problem and cannot even because of it.

In this tweet, an anonymous wo/man, who appears to protest ‘man-spreading’, ‘can’t even’ at the prospect of a Trump presidency. It’s hard to imagine the hysterics this individual is currently experiencing.

But I submit to you that you can. You can even. And here’s how:

  1. Stop publicly emoting about your inability to even. Simply note the emotion and ask, “How can I even solve this problem?”
  2. Write down what you will even do fifteen times a day, “I, so and so, will even do ‘X’.”
  3. Actually, start to even do the thing.

In three easy steps even you can even.