Finished a book detailing some lives of early desert mothers, circa 5th and 6th centuries. They mostly were penitents who had major conversions causing them to turn totally from their previous lives and go out literally into the desert to pray and live out their lives loving and seeking God.
One of the contributors (think it was with the life of Maria, the niece of a hermit desert father named Abraham) mentioned that the early Christians gained in faith and progressed spiritually beyond others due to their ability to think and perceive the spiritual. They did not get caught in the literal, nor legalism, nor in linear, concrete, temporal-type thinking.
The distinction of the early Christians and their flights to spiritual heights and glorious encounter with God, was due to their ability to appreciate metaphor, symbolism, and deeper meaning of various levels in Scripture and in the preaching and teaching of the early church.
It was presented that otherwise, if we do not have this ability to perceive, appreciate, ponder, and plumb the various layers and levels of spiritual thought and teaching, we remain prisoners to concretism, hair-splitting, and bondage to that which is not going to lift us to the heights and depths beyond the temporal realities and into the spiritual realms.
The whole thing reminded this nothing Catholic hermit of its paradigm of the floaters and the dockers. But, it had never read nor considered that in another time period, early on in our Christian roots, indeed there were mostly if not all Christians who could perceive and think metaphorically and spiritually, rather than literally and dogmatically. Thus, floaters abounded then and rose to Tabor and could see and grasp the transfiguration of Christ's life, teachings, death, resurrection and on-going abiding within our souls--our Savior in all details as well as broad sweeps of existence.
In our time period, however, there is more of a divergence, or at least a solid contingency of dockers, of those who have lost the foremost ability float with the Spirit. Rather, the weight of canon laws and fund raising and status and designation and dualities has pervaded, causing disunion among believers who believe with humble, hope-filled hearts and those who believe because they think with determined, detail-filled heads.
Anyway, had never read from one of an early century make the point about Christians' lives and message being unique and blessed due to their ability to avoid the chains that Jesus came to break and set us prisoners free. Yet today, many Christians seem to have the chains wound about their lives in temporal Catholic world debate over details that dim in the fullness of His Real Presence...His Real Presence: Father, Son, Holy Spirit