St. John was a contemplative.
And you know the way…
The rational analysis of St. John’s gospel destroys it. As does its spiritualization. Historical criticism. Narrative criticism. Reader-Response criticism. All are as distorting as gnosticism. Certainly my own instruction in it was notional…scholastic; but on the other hand there are no special secrets set apart for initiates. It is a trail map to an alternate realm; and the irony is that we already know the way.
The way is simple; egoless reflection on the words of Christ…those who have my words and keep them…leads directly to the presence of God. Ruminating on the presence of God leads directly to the kingdom. All enculturated distractions that feed egos bar the door. This mystical openness is far simpler than following step-by-step instructions, and infinitely harder. Simpler because there is no analysis involved; more difficult because it means that you have to love and be open to being loved. And because of that we are called to lay everything else aside in order to both receive and to respond to that love. It’s like just sitting with a great friend; it’s intimate, it’s sincere, it’s warming, it’s enough, it’s everything. And people are too self-interested to do that…
(Is it any wonder that there was confusion
We don’t know the way.)