Duality vs. Dualism

Duality #15, Leon Berkowitz, 1970.  From WikiArt

Something that keeps becoming more and more apparent in the CPE experience as well as my formation process is that a big piece of my theology involves letting go of as much dualism as I can.  This is more difficult than one might think.  Dualism seems to be hard wired into the human brain.

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Over and over


Okay, okay.  So I am a little OCD.  I once was told by someone administering the “put the blocks together” portion of an IQ test, “You probably lost 15 points on the test because once you put them together, you had to squish them together just right and you lose 2 seconds on every one you did.” But for the record, I don’t eat Skittles like this.  I DO rotate through the colors, but not quite as organized as this.  ‘Nuff said. Continue reading

Singing the tough lyrics

For several months now, I have emotionally struggled with the lyrics of two hymns and, oddly, the CPE experience is teaching me to break it down into smaller parts and discover what’s behind that.  One of the things I listed as a part of one of the goals of my learning covenant had to do with that blank spot I’d talked about in my spiritual autobiography.  I said in my learning covenant, “I wish to explore that part of my spiritual autobiography by paying close attention to my feelings in the CPE process and explore where that rubs up against the narratives of my life from that time.” Continue reading

Well, I survived my first verbatim…


Last week, I had to give my first verbatim.

For the uninitiated, a verbatim is one of the major teaching tools in the CPE process.  It starts by the chaplain intern recalling as best as (s)he can the dialogue of a patient encounter, particularly one where the intern realized some things went well and other things being uncomfortable or difficult or unsure.  As well as documenting the conversation as closely to the actual one as possible, there is also a great deal of self-reflection at the spiritual, psychological, social, and cultural level. Continue reading