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Living in Threshold Times

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Apocalypse actually means “unveiling” — the emergence of new things. And even though change can feel like the end of the world, it inspires some surprising guides who thrive on the spiritual edge. They can teach us the art of Living in Threshold Times.

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2001 issue of Spirituality & Health.     Y2K came in like a lamb, but make no mistake: the apocalypse is now. Not to worry. Apocalypse actually means “unveiling” — the emergence of new things. And even though change can feel like the end of the world, it inspires some surprising guides who thrive on the spiritual edge. They can teach us the art of Living in Threshold Times. For many in the industrialized West, the end of the twentieth century was filled with a sense of unease, of standing on a threshold. Ironically, the dawning of a new age created apprehension rather than hope. We wondered whether all the computers, our invisible and all-powerful infrastructure, would crash and bring the end of the world. So quite a few of us stockpiled canned goods and gallon bottles of water and bought candles and extra batteries. There was relief, tinged perhaps with a little disappointment at the sheer ordinariness of it all, when life went on pretty much as usual. As the new century dawned, however uneventfully, the c …

Margaret Guenther is the former director of the Center for Christian Spirituality at General Theological Seminary in Manhattan. She is the author of Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction (Cowley, 1992) and The Practice of Prayer (Cowley, 1998). She also teaches and lectures extensively throughout the U.S. and internationally. (2001)


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