This statement from the OP reminded me of Jesus saying he came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. He was an insider to Judaism but also one that reformed it greatly.A person at the edge of inside can see what’s good about the group and what’s good about rival groups. . . A person at the edge of inside can be the strongest reformer. This person has the loyalty of a faithful insider, but the judgment of the critical outsider.
To me, the money quote is this:“You have learned the rules well enough to know how to ‘break the rules properly,’ which is not really to break them at all, but to find their true purpose: ‘not to abolish the law but to complete it.’”
I sometimes wonder if I am the way I am about the church because of the church or because I just feel most comfortable near the edges of any group. I don't like to get too wrapped up in belonging. I don't drink the kool-aid. It's more insightful to me to be aloof from that pull of a group, to see the comings and goings. It's why I'm also politically independent, why I feel like a "citizen of the world" more than just an American (although deeply American, too, but critical of my own country's culture in ways someone more provincial would not be). Basically, I don't want to get sucked in by loyalties and group norms.The person on the edge of inside is involved in constant change. The true insiders are so deep inside they often get confused by trivia and locked into the status quo. The outsider is throwing bombs and dreaming of far-off transformational revolution. But the person at the doorway is seeing constant comings and goings. As Rohr says, she is involved in a process of perpetual transformation, not a belonging system. She is more interested in being a searcher than a settler.
Insiders and outsiders are threatened by those on the other side of the barrier. But a person on the edge of inside neither idolizes the Us nor demonizes the Them. Such a person sees different groups as partners in a reality that is paradoxical, complementary and unfolding.
There are downsides to being at the edge of inside. You never lose yourself in a full commitment. You may be respected and befriended, but you are not loved as completely as the people at the core, the band of brothers. You enjoy neither the purity of the outsider nor that of the true believer.
But the person on the edge of inside can see reality clearly. The insiders and the outsiders tend to think in dualistic ways: us versus them; this or that. But, as Rohr would say, the beginning of wisdom is to fight the natural tendency to be dualistic; it is to fight the natural ego of the group.
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/24/opin ... _IXsVdIKkY