Saturday, November 4, 2017
I have been working with spirits and also people who are in the process of dealing with terminal illnesses. I am clear that I do not know what the outcome will be in any of these cases, that the outcome is not up to me. I often have the feelings of being lost and over my head, though I suspect I am doing well. I keep asking for guidance and doing the next right thing. I use a lot of prayer, meditation and proceed slowly. "The life of prayer is perhaps the most mysterious dimension of all human experience. We come to be at home with a God we cannot see. We discover that it is only by giving ourselves away totally that we truly come to possess ourselves, that we are most free when most surrendered. We begin to realize that light is darkness and darkness light. We become lost in a trackless desert — and then, if we persevere despite our disorientation, we begin to realize that it is only being lost, in losing ourselves, that we are found. The whole of our life and not just our prayer life, becomes a paradox, an apparent contradiction concealing and revealing a deeper truth, because we begin to realize that we must live as we pray" (Thomas H. Green, S.J.)
Friday, November 3, 2017
Yesterday I wrote of the "I am" portion of myself, the part that is connected to and part of God. That part of me has an acute awareness of worldly things and happenings but very little attachment to what goes on. When I succeed in living through that part, I have increased capabilities, joy and my life is very fulfilling. I am still exploring and expanding that. It is important to note that, as I explain in my book, everyone has that part in them. It is an expansion and development of "that small quiet voice" and if a person listens to and acts on it and it will become stronger. As the spiritual leader Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj said "Get to know that "I am" without words which arises in the morning. Knowing the Self, abiding in the Self-knowledge, is not a mere intellectual knowing. You must be that, and you should not move away from it. Remain firm." He also commented on our connection to the Absolute or God by saying: "There is only one state, not two. When the "I amness" is there, in that consciousness you will have many experiences, but the "I am" and the Absolute are not two. In the Absolute the "I amness" comes and then the experience takes place. In the Absolute there is no individuality, no memory that I am this or that, but there is continual stirring."
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Several times each day, especially when being of service to another being, I become and act out of the "I am" portion of myself, that part of me that is connected to and part of God. I become filled with explosive, loving power. I like the analogy of being a drop of water in the ocean. I am the ocean and a drop at the same time. At those times, my separate self will is gone and there is only the will of God. In the words of Saint Faustina Kowalska "Neither graces, nor revelations, nor raptures, nor gifts granted to a soul make it perfect, but rather the intimate union of the soul with God. These gifts are merely ornaments of the soul, but constitute neither its essence nor its perfection. My sanctity and perfection consist in the close union of my will with the will of God. God never violates our free will. It is up to us whether we want to receive God’s grace or not. It is up to us whether we will cooperate with it or waste it."
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Today was a very mixed day in terms of my feelings. My activities were primarily ordinary. During the day I played the parts of both the actor and the observer, ending up with a feeling of gratitude for the day. I began the day with exercise, then grocery shopping and then spent most of the day cooking a large batch of tasty spaghetti sauce, all activities that challenge me physically and I am grateful I can do at all. With all of these activities I watched myself going through a mixture of feelings. For example, awareness of the risks of high speed driving, appreciation for the humor of the check out women or concern over the taste of the sauce, all very human feelings. Finally we had fewer trick-or-treaters than expected so I watched myself go through some feelings of disappointment. The path of humanity and my very human feelings is convoluted! In the words of Gilbert Kilpack; "To resign one’s self to the fact that one must travel much in the dark and be greatly sifted and tossed about is an inevitable step in the way of spiritual growth."
Monday, October 30, 2017
I have very little memory of my education up through the middle of high school when some teachers were creative enough to consider and explore my potential by having me teach and tutor the other students in what they wanted me to learn. Until then the teachers considered me less than average so I was bored, restless and had no interest in what they were teaching. I assumed they were right about my level of intelligence, though I also knew something was wrong with that assumption. In fairness to those early teachers, I was a stubborn, self-willed, extremely unconventional puzzlement who had no interest in showing them my potential. No-one could reach me, but then no-one tried during those years. I still tend to under-rate myself. "There are many territories of imagination and many strange regions of emotion that we may not enter without throwing our sanity into question: Until we cross some borders, we are likely to remain rational, banal, boring, bored. A major concern of any therapeutic psychology should be to help an individual lose identity." (Sam Keen and Anne Valley-Fox)
Sunday, October 29, 2017
Most commonly, when I get up in the middle of the night to pray and meditate, I ask for guidance concerning the coming day being careful to listen primarily to messages that are loving and "other" directed rather than guidance that would bolster my own ego. Jesus once said "you will know me by my fruits" and "The fruits of the Spirit have been translated as ‘love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control’" (Galatians 5:23 NJB). Following such guidance will "increase the integrity of the universe", as I suggest in my book. The guidance is usually to act selflessly, lovingly and to do the next right thing. Loring comments that "It requires even more discernment to discover whether the ministry called for from a particular individual in a particular instance requires prophetic speech, humble and hidden activities, bold and dramatic action, professional service or some, novel and previously unimagined course."