The human psyche is complex and with all the knowledge humankind has acquired down through the millenia we still know little about what makes any of us "tick". The commentary last week and this from Francis relate this own, lifetime personal search to understand self. Indeed, his entire book might be labelled with that theme. Ultimately though, he argues, we need to let go of our mind and take on the Divine mind. As his own journey reflects that is often easier said than done. Included at the bottom of the page is a track of Pacabel's Canon in D which might aid your reflection. You need to activate it manually.
"I know how to be poor and I know how to be rich too. I have been through my initiation and now I am ready for anything anywhere: full stomach or empty stomach, poverty or plenty. There is nothing I cannot master with the help of the One who gives me strength." [Philippians: 12-14]
St Paul is one of the most energetic founders of the Christian Faith God has given us. I learn much from meditative reading of his letters. In the passage above, a glimpse of the wisdom he has gleaned from Jesus of Nazareth who was a young Jewish man who set out to enlighten his fellow Jews about the wisdom and content of the Hebrew Scriptures.
I am exhorted to be only in this world but not of it. In the above passage I see that I am meant to be master of my life in this world, using it to communicate with my fellow humans to teach only love and to direct me to my real home, the Kingdom of God. I had developed a persistent and even obstinate holding on to the idea of separation from God and my fellow humans. This philosophy has developed a world that seeks but fails to find peace. The best I had come up with was co-existence and that had failed so often. I found my mind split between a desire for worldly happiness and a wish for something better. I saw myself as a sinner but grasped at anything that might make me happy. Any happiness I found was not lasting. I became a seeker thinking I have to acquire something outside of myself. All along I have had what I was seeking and my function is to extend as God did in Creation. I have been given a mighty treasure. Am I to keep it hidden? Or am I to extend the treasure through the creativity given as part and parcel of the treasure? Do I dare show the treasure to the world? Would the world remain in darkness if I did?
I had been trying to live life within narrow constraints based on the beliefs of separation, of being outcasts, of being fragile, of being finite and condemned to death, of being a body and stuck in time, of being in a boxlike dimension from which I could not escape, of having hopes left unfulfilled, of being so limited and of being a victim of circumstance or outside force.
Now that I have awakened to the fact that Love is here and now, that God is the Presence of Love, that I am a presence of Love in this world and that God is All-That-Is, brings joy and peace.
To walk this planet as an enlightened master I decide to use the "time" I see myself tied to by firstly making a total commitment to awakening from those narrow constraints. I decide to make something of the best I see myself in this space-time dimension: a tiny ray of sunshine in a world of darkness. I decide to use that tiny ray as a beginning until I see my being as a full sunbeam emanating from the Sun. I make that decision accepting that the totality of wisdom in Sacred Scriptures sees me as intimately linked to God.
Secondly, I bring awareness to the definitions of my self that have over years become taken for granted. "That's life!" or "Life was not meant to be easy" are common expressions. I become aware in a detached way of my personal history and see the beliefs I hold about myself.
Then, I deliberately redefine myself according to the relationship I know intuitively I have with my Creator who is the Source of me, the effect. I still my mind and allow the Spirit to enter bringing my mind back to the moment of Creation when God is extending from the fullness of Divinity. 2006
Mind my Mind
"Have that mind in you which is in Christ Jesus."
I am conscious that my brain-mind is often at variance with the Mind that is eternal and cannot change because it is based on Truth. I have succumbed to a tendency (arising from an illusion of separateness) of following perceptions based on what my eyes see and what my ears hear. These perceptions have led me to believe that I am different from what God created. I see myself as a body and, as such, temporal and limited, weak and fragile, ready to come apart at the seams, unable to make anything lasting, subject to the whims of my fellows, of viruses, of demons, of whatever I submit my mind to. These perceptions have me living in a world of my making, subjecting me to nightmares and unrealistic dreams leaving me frustrated and unhappy. When I seek the comfort of others, even experts I am led to believe stoic forbearance and penance are the solutions. I must steel myself against the forces of evil. "Only God is good and so I must be bad. Fight against the badness you are". Faced with such an awful picture of myself, I feel bereft and utterly alone.
When I look beyond my perceptions, the way I, through bodily eyes, see myself and the world I have made, I begin to have a logical mind and capture the truth. For me to settle into that mind, a degree of peace comes to me because my brain-mind is flattered. My rational thinking is wonderful. My egoic self gets a boost.
But wonder of wonders! I am not created by a Supreme Being as some sort of plaything of the divine, like what Greek mythological gods triumphed in. My Creator, in an explosion of love, extends Its divinity, calls forth a being like Itself, pulsating with love, sharing Its Mind, the eternally Anointed, the Christed one, the Beloved, the forever Embraced. What world God Creates is so much different from the one I have made. What arrogance I have to go against the Creator, to put a brain-mind ahead of a divine Mind.
Yes, I do have a mind which is a sharing of the One Mind, the Mind I share with the Creator. St Paul wrote wisely. I need only to put aside the mind that I have put in place of the Mind of God, to dwell only on the Christ in me as Jesus did, and be awake, as Jesus taught, only to the workings of that Mind. I need only be in that Mind, dwelling there as a wave in an ocean, vitalized and forever creative, expressing its divine self in myriads of ways, forever joyful. Accepting only that Mind, I accept myself as God created me, complete and with enduring possibilities, peaceful though vibrant and exciting, living in this world though not joined to its projections of limitation and foreboding, of good and bad, of discrimination and judgment, of rich and poor, of productivity and poverty. 2006
What are your thoughts on this commentary?