My name is John Cooper.
It is amazing to me that I started this blog five years ago, in the beginning of 2010…and that since then I have started and completed my Masters in Divinity, two years of CPE residency and more. I am a ministerial candidate with the Unitarian Universalist Association now, on my way to entering professional ministry, and I work as a chaplain. So much has happened since I wrote the paragraphs that follow.
I changed the name of this site. It used to be “Gnosticity, Appreciating Now” and I changed it to “Wounded Walker, One Step at a Time” – and then eventually to simply “Exploring Wisdom.” The journey went from discovering new awareness (Gnosis) into recognizing wounds (Wounded Walker) and ultimately into exploring ways that those wounds lead to wisdom and deeper awareness.
I have been a seeker and technophile most of my life, and more than a bit of a geek. I studied Kung Fu and other martial arts extensively, engaged in many years of meditation and spiritual practice and have worked extensively as a web, marketing and software development professional. Part of the way through my life I had a significant accident, you can read about it in the sermon “The Power of the Moment” that I gave at Pocatello Unitarian Universalist Fellowship early in my seminary career. The gist of the story is that I feel, broke my neck, and woke up paralyzed. I had to learn to walk again. I never got back all of my functionality, and lost the ability to do Kung Fu. It is the event that set me on a more spiritual path. Some joked that a “calling” does now have to be like Paul, getting knocked down in the road…for me, that is exactly how it was.
I originally named this site “Gnosticity” as being about finding our power in the moment. Gnosis means “to know” and that suffix “-icity” is used to represent “of or about.” So, the word “Gnosticity” would be about knowing.
I learned something very empowering during that accident. I learned just how strong my mind and conviction had become from training, study and philosophy. Since I was alone, it took me over 5-6 hours to drag myself to a phone to call for help. After getting into the hospital, the calm that I felt facing my reality was unusual enough that medical professionals who dealt with serious rehabilitation constantly were moved. In rehab, my attitude was different; for the most part, I was less concerned with what I would or would not get back, I recognized and accepted that my recovery was beyond my control. What was under my control is how hard I worked, and how committed I was to recovery. I learned to let go of the outcome.
As a result, I regained a very high level of functionality.
The whole experience increased my understanding of my life, and the world. It helped me to see that the practices I used throughout my life had significant value to me, especially in the face of crisis.
This site is about sharing reflections along the journey, exploring perspective, building spiritual, philosophical, and practical awareness. Maybe finding wisdom. Maybe acting a bit of a fool along the way. This site is also about sharing my ministerial work and journey as I try to learn more about how to give back for the wonderful gift that I got in February 2008, when life took a turn and forced me to live into what I knew and had learned more deeply than I could have imagined.
Please feel free to post comments and share. I hope in the future to set up forums and places where people can share their inspirational stories with one-another, and where we can learn more about the strength, wisdom and dignity that is this life.