Vertigo is a sensation of whirling and loss of balance, associated particularly with looking down from a great height, or caused by disease affecting the inner ear or the vestibular nerve. Balance is especially important to us and can be improved with practice, so vertigo leaves us feeling out of sorts and can be very disorientating.
All of us have to learn to balance (think of the child learning to walk and ride a bicycle) and some people, like Travis Horn (see here), become very, very good at balancing. We talk about ‘balancing’ different aspects of life, but perhaps the most important balancing we have to do is between the physical and spiritual realms.
Humans were created physical and spiritual beings and initially these two aspects of being human were in perfect balance. However, when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, a kind of spiritual vertigo set in and now we all have lost touch with our spiritual side (see Eph 2:1, Col 2:13). We are living off-balance since we are living mainly in the physical realm. It’s a bit like losing a dimension (like the difference between a 2D picture and 3D reality.)
God the life-giver has given us spiritual resurrection through Jesus, however (Eph 2:4-5, Col 2:13, Eph 5:14) and as a result, we now have access to ‘augmented reality.’ In military terms, this term refers to a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. In spiritual terms, this means we now have access to God’s spiritual realm as well as our physical realm.
Jesus demonstrated this augmented reality throughout His life, ‘knowing’ things about people (e.g. the woman at the well and Nathanael) which could only have been known by God. We have access not only to knowledge and information, however (often described as a ‘word of knowledge’), but also have access to God’s power. Jesus was involved in healing the sick, raising the dead and controlling nature, but He also told us that we would do greater things than He had been doing (John 14:12).
As we pray, read God’s word and meditate on it and are washed by God’s truth, we have access to the spiritual side of life and need to grow in sensitivity to this side of life. Just as Travis Horn learned to balance by practising, we need to take those baby steps towards God’s knowledge and power; we need to learn to respond to God. Life is about far more than the material and the physical only; we need the augmented reality of the spiritual world which is now available to all who believe.