The Wrong Use Of The Word ‘Contemplation’

I grew up around people who used the word contemplation with contempt.  And there were two members of my own extended family whose bent was toward spiritualism and aesthetics, and who favoured feelings over historical Christian faith, and these held their share of influence.  But there is grave danger identifying the genuine, direct experience with God that is in keeping with Christian tradition with feelings and intuition.  Historical initiation into contemplative experience is founded on a certain level of self-forgetfulness and not its opposites, namely self-actualization, self-consciousness, self-awareness, in spite of the personal aspect involved.  There are those who nurture irrationality as a subjective reaction against dogma or liturgy or set forms of the true contemplative life.  But true contemplation is by no means individualistic.