Disillusionment: An Unexpected Friend of Spiritual Formation

Publication Year:
2015
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Repository URL:
https://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/dmin/105
Author(s):
Chole, Alicia Britt
Tags:
self-protection; dark night; disappointment; illusion; intimacy; reality; Christianity; Religion
thesis / dissertation description
Is spiritual disillusionment a foe or a friend? Avoidable or inevitable? A failure or a teacher? Our answer will greatly impact our spiritual journeys. This dissertation defines spiritual disillusionment as the act (-ment) of removing (dis-) false spiritual ideas (illusions), and explores the origin, substance, and purpose of spiritual disillusionment through the insights of scholars and Christian writings. Far from being a foe, spiritual disillusionment is a welcome, ancient ally of spiritual formation.Throughout the ages, mystics have viewed disillusionment as a wise mentor toward intimacy with God. By abrasively removing layers of inaccuracy and self- protection, spiritual disillusionment can sensitize souls to Christ’s mysterious, indwelling Presence. Redefined and respected, spiritual disillusionment can be experienced as an unexpected friend of spiritual formation that frees us to relish God’s Presence in mystery and pain.