Saturday, December 28, 2013

In Quiet Silence...The Light of Peace

Wisdom 18:14,15, 21. Written 200-199 BCE
 
(14, 15) For while all things were in quiet silence, and the night was in the midst of her course, Thy almighty word leapt down from heaven from thy royal throne, as a fierce conqueror into the midst of the land of destruction.

(21) For a blameless man made haste to pray for the people, bringing forth the shield of his ministry, prayer, and by incense making supplication, withstood the wrath, and put an end to the calamity, showing that he was thy servant.

The first of these passages has been variously used for Introits and Benedictions in the Roman mass for Christmas and Epiphany. The words proclaim the arrival of the Word, the Logos, for which the original meaning, per Heraclitus (ca. 535–475 BC) was, “a principle of order and knowledge.” Later, Logos was used by Stoic philosophers to describe “the divine animating principle of the universe.” And even later, the author of John’s Gospel (ca. 90 CE) called Logos the divine incarnation, Jesus. Isaiah predicts this event: Isaiah 9:6 (701-681 BC) For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

A man, an incarnate human, “the principle of divine order and knowledge,” a vessel for the “divine animating force of the universe” would break through the darkness, “the quiet silence of night,” and put an end to the chaos and destruction by the people on earth… And this person, blameless, praying and making supplication under the shield of his ministry, this human, would infuse Life with peacemaking. This Prince of Peace.

~*~ 

Holy and Compassionate God, Source of Life, Spirit of Goodness, Prince of Peace, may we be quiet enough to allow your light to cut through our chaos. May we, in the example of Jesus, be humble enough to order our worlds with prayer and supplication, rather than noise and defensiveness. May the power of peace so full and present in this season be our Logos in every season.
 
Amen      _/\_Peggy

Sunday, December 22, 2013

FOURTH SUNDAY IN ADVENT: PEACE – BE STILL


The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness
has not overcome it. The true light that gives light
to everyone is coming into the world. John 1:5,9

"Every gift of divine awareness benefits our receptivity for a new and greater gift. Every divine gift increases our openness and longing to receive what is higher and greater. To the extent that God is boundless in His giving, our souls are equally boundless in their capacity to receive." 
 

Just as Mary, in complete trust, emptied herself to receive our Lord, Jesus; when our hearts are open and free from preconceptions, when we desire nothing more earnestly than to be filled with the beauty and grace of God, then the gift arrives; the Christ is born in us…again and again and again.

~Meister Eckhart (1260 – c. 1327) was a German theologian, philosopher and mystic.
 
May you bring the quietness of mind and openness of heart to allow the light to birth new life within you every day, in all circumstances. Peace is the ever-evolving outcome of the integrated mind-body - soul. The grace of God in Life is magnified and expressed by our soul's receptive,"Yes!"
 
Namaste and Christmas Blessings! Peggy

Monday, December 16, 2013

THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT - JOY

What joy we experience at the birth of something new!
When we see a new home or a new car, when
we make a new friend, when we hear a new piece of music that touches us, or when we realize and understand something for the very first time; perhaps something that clarifies some confusion - a new insight. Think of all the ways we can realize something new!
 
Arthur Zajonc is a physicist, author of several books related to science, mind, and spirit and a   Buddhist friend of the Dalai Lama. He is also a  professor at Amherst College and president of Mind and Life Institute. He explained the process of coming to a new idea like this:

Sitting quietly we hold our existing knowledge and its implications. We have thought about the way these puzzle pieces fit together. We focus our attention on the point at which we can think it through no further, the very edge of our understanding or the place we meet the resistance of the unknown. Hold that. Look thoroughly at it in your minds eye and then let it go. Let it go so completely that it doesn't even seem to exist any longer, like turning your back on a wall. Be still. Be empty. Release resistance...completely. Wait. ...And a new way of thinking, a new way of perceiving, a new birth will take place.

Of course, this is the essence of any silent meditation practice and it explains why meditation can allow us to deepen our awareness.

This practice, Zajonc says, is the way Einstein came to his theory of relativity. In almost a sleeping consciousness, his variables came together in a new way..an epiphany or a revelation. Perhaps this is why Einstein says, "“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” He also said, ""A new idea comes suddenly and in a rather intuitive way. That means it is not reached by conscious logical conclusions."

There is a lot more that can be said about this process of  CHANGE....of new awareness, of becoming.
(Hegel) thesis plus antithesis = synthesis or
(Gurdjieff) affirming plus denying = reconciling or
(Whitehead) process of occasions with entities plus prehension of subjective aim = new entity

These scholars describe how change takes place: whether changing the mind or changing the social milieu or creating a new being. New "beings," be they thoughts or people are created by a surplus of directed energy meeting resistance and overcoming it by letting go. What is known reality drives against what is unknown reality and, in the void of unknowing, new reality is born.

And so, from an Advent perspective, we wait in darkness. We embrace quiet. We LOVE by opening ourselves to this process of change. We HOPE, with a certainty that is more like Trust in the unknowing, the darkness. We realize JOY can be found through the process of awareness, the birth of the new coming through these postures: Waiting in LOVE, with HOPE...WAITING for light to break through the limits of darkness. 
 
“Where is he who has been born as king of the Jews?” MT 2:2

“Pay attention now to where the birth of Jesus has taken place. This eternal birth takes place in the soul totally in the way it takes place in eternity, neither less nor more. For it is only one birth and this birth takes place in the being and foundation of the soul....

God is present, effective and powerful in all things. He is only generative, however, in the soul. For all creatures are a footprint of God, but the soul is formed like God, according to its nature. Whatever perfection is to enter the soul, be it divine, unique light or grace or happiness, all of it must come into the soul of a necessity through this birth of divine awareness and in no other way. Wait only for the birth of Christ within yourself, And you will discover all blessing and all consolation, all bliss, all being, and all truth.”

~ Meister Eckhart 1260 – c. 1327 German theologian, philosopher and mystic.
 
JOY IS TO BEHOLD GOD IN EVERYTHING!
 ~ Julian of Norwich, 1342 – 1416 English Anchoress
 

May you be blessed to hold this holy process in your silent, waiting heart, as the baby is created in all the splendor of God's perfect New....may the JOY of Love and Hope be yours!
 
_/\_Peggy


 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Takers and Givers – inspired by Eric Butterworth

I woke Empty
With a hole
In the middle of me
And my oatmeal did not
Even fill it up.

Was it there yesterday?
How could it have gotten so big so fast?

When I walked to my car the cold wind blew through it and gave me chills.

No coat to cover this hole.

At the office people said,
“Good morning!”
And their words floated right
Through the hole to the
Other side.

At lunchtime
I ate a sandwich
Hoping it would fill me up.
My boss popped his head inside the door and said,
“Are you doing okay?”

“No.”

The hole was still there.

When I went home that night
I called a friend
And had nothing to say,
I ate ice cream
It numbed my tongue,
I watched a movie
And fell asleep.

Sometime
In the middle of the night,
In the deep
Darkness of the Taking
I said, “Enough of this hole!”
I reached through my belly
and grabbed the world.
Delicious!
This will fill my hole.

I gobbled it up like fried chicken
Finger-lickin’ good!
It slid down my gullet
And landed inside of me.
Satiated, filled…
…No…..Empty.

Then promptly,
It sucked me in
Inverted me like
A black hole
Vortex
Turned me inside out.
I floated in nothingness
Attached to nothing by
The length of my gut
Omentum dangling like
Rickrack in a low rider,
Tethered
Like an astronaut’s
Breathing gear.
But no breath
Just Emptiness.

Afloat in deep silence
No time to speak of
No me to speak.
No feeling
No form
Exposed, vulnerable
I touched everything
Owned it all
Was at its mercy.

Sensation
Overwhelming threshold
Of perception,
Such pain I could not bear
And thus, did not.

The Universe
On the other hand,
Held me tender
Naked sinew.
In submission
I rested.

And then,
Eternity.

I
Changed…transformed…
Found the lost
Fullness of Grace.

Consumed by the Taker.
Somehow in silence
Redeemed by the Giver.

Silence spoke,
“All is you. You are all.”
Nothing
Everything.

I woke Full
With a hole
In the middle of me

Was it there yesterday?
I don’t remember.

All I know is
Today
When I reach into
That hole
The world pours out of me.


© Peggy Beatty Dec 2010


This is a little different than my usual blog. Its pretty different than my usual poetry too. I wrote this after reading these passages from Eric Butterworth. Its about consumption and kenosis and grace:
 
"The takers are the people who believe their lives will always be the total of what they can get from the world. They are always thinking get, get, get. They plan and scheme ways to get what they want in money, in love, in happiness, and in all kinds of good... but whatever may be their spiritual ideals or lack of any, no matter what they take, they can never know peace or security or fulfillment.

The givers, on the other hand, are convinced life is a giving process. Thus their subtle motivation in all their ways is to give themselves away, in love, in service, and in all the many helpful ways they can invest themselves. They are always secure, for they intuitively know that their good flows from within."
Eric Butterworth

We live in a culture that drives us to consumerism and external fulfillment from the moment we can watch TV. Which is not to say that we aren't made that way to begin with. The "mine" stage of a toddler is certainly about getting what I need from outside myself, and rightfully so. Its a good survival  mentality for a 2 year old. The thing is, when we mature, when we realize that we won't always get what we think we need from outside ourselves, then we learn that our needs are not so plentiful to begin with. We learn to back away from always looking out there with expectation and, hopefully, we realize, that all we need is right here, right now. We draw our expectations into the presence of Now, a time/space intersect. Kairos, the "moment of opportunity,"  that graced moment (moment used figuratively here) when, if we open ourselves fully to life, we realize the paradox of being empty and full at the very same time.

May you find yourself enjoying many moments of opportunity, as you open humbly to the Spirit of the Universe, the flow of life, the arms of eternal Christ...may your taking become your gracious giving as the world flows through you~

Namaste, Peggy _/\_


About Kenosis~

In Christian theology, kenosis is the concept of the 'self-emptying' of one's own will and becoming entirely receptive to God and the divine will. Kenosis, or self-emptying, is only possible through humility and, in a Monotheistic sense, presupposes that one seeks union with God. Or stated another way, one seeks to humbly remove all barriers to Love. Kenosis is essentially the same as non-attachment in Buddhism. Relative to human nature, kenosis denotes the continual redirection of spiritual energies (self will and externally directed neediness) toward Loving humility.  Kenosis is a paradox and a mystery since "emptying oneself" in fact fills the person with divine grace and results in union with God. Kenosis is the process of transcending one's attachments to psychological ego needs. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

This Much I Know: I Cannot Know

 Everything has its time and place.
Ego is not in control of what’s happening.
LIFE is in control of what’s happening.
To insist that something can empower us,
all at once, to dive into ourselves
and see anything and everything we need to
see to awaken, is working at odds
with human experience.

Everything happens in its time. We’re not in control. This isn’t something we want to hear, though. It isn’t something our mind wants. Mostly we want to hear things that empower our sense of control. And we radically push away anything that does not empower or sense of control.

When you start to accept what you see as true – not what I say, but your experience – that’s when everything starts to change.

All I know is that I am. Everything else is in a state of flux and uncertainty. I don’t know what the outcome of that flux and uncertainty is. But I know that I don’t know. And this knowledge has not disempowered me. Quite the contrary, Life has a part to play through me, and I play that part. I am in union with the part of Life that changes all the time, no longer arguing with it, Life gets to play it’s part through my agreement. And it seems that when we’re in the deepest state of agreement, the part Life plays though us is very satisfying.

~adapted from Adyashanti, The End of Your World
Art: Helena Nelson-Reed
 
The phrase "I know that I know nothing" or "I know one thing: that I know nothing" (Ancient Greek: ἓν οἶδα ὅτι οὐδὲν οἶδα hèn oîda ὃti oudèn oîda; Latin: scio me nihil scire or scio me nescire), sometimes called the Socratic paradox, is a well-known saying derived from Plato's account of the Greek philosopher Socrates. This is the nondual perception of a contemplative/mystic. She senses (knows what is) and she intuits (cannot know all that is). this is, in Christian theological lingo - kataphatic perception (I know what is;concept embodied) and apophatic perception (I know what is not;concept cannot be fully embodied).
 
Everything changes when we accept that the ultimate nature of, and outcome for, reality is Mystery and always Mystery. This is something theology and science have in common. Science can only determine what is objectifiable (created form). Theology imagines subjectively and attempts to impose it on the objective (story, philosophy). Neither can define What Is, for if it could, it would no longer be What Is. And BOTH are accurate depictions of What Is, within their own context, for they describe the same thing, What Is. The God of Israel's "I Am" is the most expansive thing we can put in words about "What Is." What we do not know, we cannot define with words. Or stated differently, we can only partially define with words. What we cannot define must be assumed larger than what we can, for it lies beyond and includes what we can define.
 
Hardwired for Truth as a highest priority, I have learned that in the relative world of physical form there are infinite truths, depending on context. In the absolute world of mysterious eternity there is but one truth, and it is mystery and will always remain mystery. The paradox is, mystery (what I do not know) contains all that I do know in physical form - all the words and concepts that I can imagine, everything that I say "I know" and more, all relative truths, and it is in mystery that we dwell as both object (what is known) and observer (the mysterious one who knows....and knows nothing).

And I chose to have Wisdom rather than the light, because the splendor of her never yields to sleep. — Wisdom 7:10
 
Rest in the Mystery! Therein is the peace that passeth understanding. _/\_Peggy

Friday, September 27, 2013

Presence - Awakening and Keeping Faith

This is about presence:

Bodhicitta, the awakened mind,
Is known in brief to have two aspects:
First, aspiring, bodhicitta in intention;
Then active bodhicitta, practical engagement.

From bodhicitta in intention
Great results arise for those still turning in the wheel of life;
Yet merit does not rise from it in ceaseless streams
As is the case with active bodhicitta.

For when, with irreversible intent,
The mind embraces bodhicitta,
Willing to set free the endless multitude of beings,
In that instant, from that moment on,

A great and unremitting stream,
A strength of wholesome merit,
Even during sleep and inattention,
Rises equal to the vastness of the sky.

Shantideva, The Way of the Bodhisattva, 15, 17-19

Bodhicitta is the (student of the) awakened mind. Verse 15 points out that the awakened mind takes 2 distinct aspects: aspiring with intention and active engagement. For Christians, this should ring some bells. Its the Mary (Being) and Martha (Doing) story. The awakened mind being practices PRESENCE - aspiring to be in the moment so that any intention directed into action will be mindful. If you think about it, intention can be both aspiration and action. We can set our intention on being present and also on doing mindful action. So the student of the awakened mind, you and I, Mary or Martha, the bodhicitta, must always practice Being Present (as Mary was) to the mind of higher consciousness (or the Christ-mind, if you are Christian) in order to bring mindfulness to action, to the Martha, the Doer.

Shantideva then tells us that the bodhisattva of intention is great for Being, but in order to truly put practice into action in a way that will "be the gift that keeps on giving," so to speak, we must bring that cultivated Presence of being to our action, to our doing. This is what is meant by “merit rising from a ceaseless stream.” The presence of the practitioner must be brought to the action. Mindfulness in practice equals mindfulness in action.

Now there are other implications of this mindfulness practice. One is that we can make discernments about our actions in a more conscientious way if we take the time to be present/mindful. So in verse 18, when Shantideva speaks of "willing to set free the endless multitudes of beings," he is saying, we can sort the voices or thoughts in our heads that direct our actions, in a responsible way if we practice presence or meditation so that our actions will be directed skillfully. In meditation practice, or through cultivating presence, we learn to free our thoughts and allow for inner wisdom to inform an action intention. This part requires what Christians would call "faith," because many of us have been taught to doubt the validity of our inner truth. But "truly I say to you" all people have the wisdom of ages available to them from within, stored in the unconscious mind from literally thousands of generations of those who proceeded us in life.

Hebrews 11:1 "...faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."

Do you have the faith that if you can free yourself from the busy mind of thoughts that quickly directs you to act according to the safety of ego, that you might make better, more skillful choices of action?

Ego security is always on patrol in our thoughts. Ego defends us, always helps us save face, be right, come out the winner, even if its at someone else expense. Our rapid response from ego is like the Martha character who would rather her house be perfect and the food be delicious than spend time present to the honorable guest, Jesus. Let me tell you what drives the ego at the very roots of its arising: fear. The ego is our defense for survival, for power and control, for esteem. And all of those "needs" arise from fear, if we look deeply and honestly at them.

Shantideva tells us in such beautiful prose that when we "set the multitudes of beings free," when we quiet the thoughts that direct our actions like voices, for example:

"… there is the lover, the fool, the cynic, the optimist, the rancorous, the generous, the unforgiving, the doubter, the believer, the narcissist, the extrovert, the coward, the nihilist, the compassionate, the despicable, the serious, the vain, the self-righteous, the saint, the selfish, the atheist, the violent, the meek the capricious, the arrogant and the humble." Raymond Carl Sigrist, Apophatic Mysticism

"A great an unremitting stream of wholesome merit...rises to the vastness of the sky." We tap into higher consciousness, what some call Buddha-nature and others call Christ-mind. Higher consciousness is expanded awareness, a consistent mindfulness that becomes who I am so that when I direct my action, which is truly what humans are on the planet to do - to act and interact, - my action issues forth with my highest integrity of being.

Actions play out in many ways, of course. Have you ever made a mindful choice or been so present in your activity that you seem to lose track of time, or you feel a sense of such bliss or synergy that you don’t have to even think about whether or not you are on the right track? Most of us have felt this. Often we realize we just, “had the best time ever,” in retrospect.  That’s because you are PRESENT in those moments.

When we learn to be PRESENT, that is, to trust or have faith or “aspire” always to our bodhisattva of intention (our Christ-mind, our Buddha nature, our inner truth; that inner wisdom of the ages), when we have faith in that, our actions will derive from our highest consciousness and they will transcend all the thoughts or voices that we use to qualify, minimize, analyze and otherwise ground our reality in rational thinking. It feels like acting on a different plane of consciousness and it is. This is where we meet the story of Peter walking on water.
 
Few people trust themselves, their inner truth, this way. Highly intuitive people do, but we all are capable of using intuition. Many people look to an external authority to tell them what is true, or they may say, “what is right.” But “right” is the wrong word. “Just” is a better word and it means balance or equanimity, not right or wrong.

When read only with the rational mind, the story of Peter walking on the water is described in a way that appears to seek external authorization or assistance. In fact the whole story of Jesus is widely interpreted in this way, setting Jesus the Christ outside of our own being, as if Jesus is meant to represent someone else, not our self. There is another way, a transformative way, of understanding the story. It is through awakened intuition or a "spiritual" or wisdom way of comprehension. The rational way of understanding story makes great use of the human tendency for projection. Many of us need an object upon which to project our glory and our failings. Many of us need someone else to “save” us, to love us, to keep us on track. But let’s get real. In reality, we must do these things for our self. The wisdom way, or contemplative way of understanding scripture identifies the self with Jesus, the enfleshed man of action and the mind of Christ, the awakened or enlightened consciousness. Buddhist philosophy does not use projection. It speaks directly the the responsible awakening individual without an avatar. Removing projection from the Buddhist wisdom literature, facilitates, for many of us, recognition of inner truth. We are not tempted to look to another for blame or for authority, but rightly assume with confidence, responsibility for our own being and action.

True empowerment, the true healing (Shandtideva even says, "A strength of wholesome merit,") comes from realizing our self as capable of having a mind of enlightened consciousness. Peter doesn’t trust his inner truth. Unenlightened minds don’t. They rely on law and rules to set their authority. They are not ready for wisdom. So Peter asks Jesus to give him the faith to walk on the water and Jesus says, "Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” In other words, have faith in what your eyes do not tell you! Don't let your ego prevent you from confidence in your higher power, your mind of presence and intention, your inner truth and wisdom of the ages. Peter steps out boldly. He sees Jesus and he feels empowered. Just hearing Jesus’ encouragement, Peter trusts. He has faith that "Christ will save him," which is to say, he no longer doubts his own capacity because Jesus is there. In truth, he just needed the encouragement. He is relying fully on his own mind of Christ, his highest nature...the awakened bodhisattva in action, through which higher consciousness (merit) flows in ceaseless streams, allowing presence (the bodhisattva of aspiration and intention) to guide his steps.
He is in the ZONE! J

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?  Matt 14:25-31
 
Oops! Peter lost it! His ego fear let his eyes tell him he could not walk on water; that doing so is physically impossible. He relinquished his faith in a higher power to the rationale of the world as it appeared to his eyes. Don’t we all? We can hardly continuously act from our mind of presence, as fallible and ego-protected humans. But we can do better. We can keep practicing contemplative prayer and meditation, methods that bring us to presence and mindfulness and can be translated to skillful, mindful actions.  Contemplative practice, it’s that simple. We must take quiet time for self reflection, to quiet the ego thinking, to allow inner truth and wisdom to make itself known to the discerning mind.  This is the ultimate way of being human. To bring our inner wisdom and peace through presence to all our actions in the world, so that harmony, balance, equanimity and justice are the way that we live in relationship with our self, with each other and with the planet. This is how we live in “a great and unremitting stream, a strength of wholesome merit, rising equal to the vastness of the sky.” This is how we learn to walk on water.

Namaste _/\_ Peggy


Shantideva was an 8th-century Indian Buddhist scholar at Nalanda University and an adherent of the Madhyamaka philosophy of Nagarjuna. Shantideva is particularly renowned as the author of the Bodhicaryavatara (sometimes also called the Bodhisattvacaryavatara). An English translation of the Sanskrit version of the Bodhicaryavatara is sometimes called, A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way Of Life or Entering the Path of Enlightenment. It is a long poem describing the process of enlightenment from the first thought to full buddhahood and is still studied by Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists today.


Saturday, September 21, 2013


ECONOMY AND SELF VALUE

As I have been studying first century culture, I have come to realize the impact that social economies have played in determining where we place value.
 
To Love is to value.
 
It seems to me that as we began to value things as a society external to ourselves - money being the most impactful - we also devalued each other and, more importantly, our inner self. (Substitute Love for value in any of that last statement).
 
So all that we have been saying about needing to love ones self in order to love another, in order to love for the sake of loving or from an identity as Love, and not for the sake of needing someone else to love you/value you, can be framed in this social tendency to value things outside the self - thus neglecting to know the self as that of the greatest value; the value from which all other beneficial value springs forth. ("Love the Lord your God" means love yourself - God in you).
 
I have always been intrigued with the Christian use of terms coming from the Greek culture that externalize the dynamics of self-loving (value)  - all based on the term Oikos - eco  or household/family - these translations from Hebrew coming at the same time as the economic culture of society was developing moved the "household" and everything that is associated with a balanced and loving household, exterior to the individual psyche or soul. Our interpretations of value in a religious sense began to emphasize how we behaved more than who we are.

Incidentally, Ecumenicus (Latin) comes from Greek oikoumenikos, oikein to inhabit, oikos house. The spirit inhabits (oikein) the same house: the body, the community, humanity, the Earth...the cosmos...

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own..." (1 Cor. 6:19).

Who is living in you?

While we humans are both doers and be-ers, we express something active or we hold it as our "being" nature (identity), we seem to default our most obvious sense of self very often to the doing, the active expression of desire, which is external and "worldly" expression of the self. While within, in the being, is the True Self, the expression of God self. When we are present in the being self, we remember who we truly are. And the do-er should always emanate from the Be-er. The active Lover should always emanate from the Love, that we are - our divine nature. We don't 'purify' or find our essence in the Doing in the same way we can find it in the Being.

Personal integrity is your first priority. Your I AM is your relationship with God. You cannot be honest or effective or TRUE in the world unless you have your "house" in order first. This is why you must learn to BE and let your DOing come from your BEing. 

_/\_Peggy
 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Eros and Logos ~ The Energies of Relationship

Eros is LOVE energy – not just sexual energy. Eros in philosophy and psychology is used in this
wider sense, as an equivalent to "life energy."

Desire is another word that has been used for eros. Not just sexual desire (as we, in the West use it), eros is spiritual desire, it is the holy longing. Erotic or creative energy IS the spiritual aspect of human beings.

"Spirituality concerns what we do with desire (eros)...healthy souls must do dual jobs: The soul must give us energy and fire, so that we do not lose our vitality (chaos) and it must keep us glued together, integrated so that we do not lose our spiritual identity as Oneness.” Ronald Rolheiser OMI, The Holy Longing

Marc Gafni, philosopher and Rabbi, Director of the Center for World Spirituality discusses the exile of eros, “The fall of the temple symbolizes the exile of the Erotic energy. Where did it go? The erotic is exiled in the sexual! We have to understand, that the sexual models the erotic, but it doesn’t exhaust the erotic.”

In Carl Jung's analytical psychology, the counterpart to Eros is Logos, a Greek term for the principle of rationality. Jung considers Logos to be a masculine principle, while Eros is a feminine principle. According to Jung:

“Woman’s psychology is founded on the principle of Eros, the great binder and loosener, whereas from ancient times the ruling principle ascribed to man is Logos. The concept of Eros could be expressed in modern terms as psychic relatedness, and that of Logos as objective interest.”
Aspects of the Feminine, Princeton University Press, 1982, p. 65.

What happens when our notion of God as psychic relatedness is tossed out the window for a dominant idea of objective interest?

With every reconciliation of opposing forces or views, something new is created.  The relationship between two is - in and of itself- an entity. "Wherever two or more are gathered, there am I also..." Between the human, Jesus, and God, the Christ is the new entity (or at least our realization of the Christ is new). Christ exists for every human relationship with God. And Christ is realized through the path of LOVE, by accepting an identity of LOVE for yourself, just as Jesus accepted LOVE as his identity. When we become psychically related to God as LOVE, then we can act – we can have objective interest - in the world as LOVERS.  

"Love God. Love your neighbor as yourself. Love your enemy." These Loves are the reconciling force for humanity. If you practice these Loves in extraordinary humility, both inner love and active outer love, you will attain the "mind of Christ" the divine relationship through which God and man are reconciled.

But you must practice LOVE through your actions and your thoughts. And you must LOVE God first, by loving who you are; by claiming your true Self, which is LOVE. And you must open yourself to God through silence, for "Silence is God's first language." This communication with God is necessary for recognizing yourself as Godly. As you resolve within, as you reconcile yourself with God, bringing forth Christ in you, you reconcile your actions with others. Communication with God and communication with others is how reconciliation takes place. Prayer, meditation, receptivity is communication with God and speech or artistic (creative) expression is Logos – communication between humans.

Reconciliation implies communication as the means by which it is achieved; communication flowers fully where reconciliation exists. The two reinforce each other.

Eros and Logos, yin and yang, being and doing, inner essence and outer expression, let LOVE be who you are and what you do….this is the mantra of all religions, in the words of each unique culture.

Peace be with you~ _/\_ Peggy 


Artwork: Lord Shiva, Parvati and Shiva Linga

Notes on the origins of Eros and Logos (from Wikipedia)

Logos (/ˈlɡɒs/, UK /ˈlɒɡɒs/, or US /ˈlɡs/; Greek: λόγος, from λέγω lego "I say") is an important term in philosophy, psychology, rhetoric, and religion. Originally a word meaning "a ground", "a plea", "an opinion", "an expectation", "word," "speech," "account," "reason,"[1][2] it became a technical term in philosophy, beginning with Heraclitus (ca. 535–475 BC), who used the term for a principle of order and knowledge.

Eros (/ˈɪərɒs/ or US /ˈɛrɒs/; Ancient Greek: Ἔρως, "Desire"), in Greek mythology, was the Greek god of love. His Roman counterpart was Cupid[2] ("desire"). Some myths make him a primordial god, while in other myths, he is the son of Aphrodite.

According to Hesiod (c. 700 BC), one of the most ancient of all Greek sources, Eros was a primordial god, that is, he had no parents. He was the fourth god to come into existence, coming after Chaos, Gaia (the Earth), and Tartarus (the Abyss or the Underworld).[5]

Parmenides (c. 400 BC), one of the pre-socratic philosophers, makes Eros the first of all the gods to come into existence.[6]

The Orphic and Eleusinian Mysteries featured Eros as a very original god, but not quite primordial, since he was the child of Night (Nyx).[3] Aristophanes (c. 400 BC), influenced by Orphism, relates the birth of Eros and then of the entire human race:

At the beginning there was only Chaos, Night (Nyx), Darkness (Erebus), and the Abyss (Tartarus). Earth, the Air and Heaven had no existence. Firstly, blackwinged Night laid a germless egg in the bosom of the infinite deeps of Darkness, and from this, after the revolution of long ages, sprang the graceful Love (Eros) with his glittering golden wings, swift as the whirlwinds of the tempest. He mated in the deep Abyss with dark Chaos, winged like himself, and thus hatched forth our race, which was the first to see the light.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Opposing-Transcending Life Forces (dual and nondual perception)


I have recently been meditating on kataphatic and apophatic perception - active and passive ways of seeing/describing an experience. What it "is" and what it "is not." These terms are used in Christian literature to describe approaches to union with God.

The concept of active force and passive force exists in many applications and cultures. Hegel's thesis - antithesis - synthesis; Gurdjieff's law of three...and the ancient Chinese idea of yin-yang.

Yin is characterized as slow, soft, yielding, diffuse, cold, wet, and passive; and is associated with water, earth, the moon, femininity and nighttime. (formless, receptivity)

Yang, is fast, hard, solid, focused, hot, dry, and aggressive; and is associated with fire, sky, the sun, masculinity and daytime. (form, causality)

Yin and yang thus are always opposite and equal qualities. The potential for each exists within the other. Thus, they transform each other. A one is receding the other is becoming, like an undertow in the ocean, every advance is complemented by a retreat, and every rise transforms into a fall. The interaction of the two gives birth to things. whenever one quality reaches its peak, it will naturally begin to transform into the opposite quality: for example, grain that reaches its full height in summer (fully yang) will produce seeds and die back in winter (fully yin) in an endless cycle.

What it "is" and what it "is not." Like living and dying…. like this:

“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing,
Love is knowing I am everything,
and between the two my life moves.”

― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

 Saturday thoughts. _/\_Peggy @ ECUMENICUS


Sources: Yin and Yang Wikipedia:
Osgood, Charles E. "From Yang and Yin to and or but." Language 49.2 (1973): 380–412 . JSTOR. 16 November 2008, jstor.or
Beautiful Artwork by Sharon Cummings at fineartamerica


Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Artistry of Conscience - adapted from The Wisdom Way of Knowing, by Cynthia Bourgeault

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

 Conscience in the wisdom way of knowing is not a ethical term, although an ethic certainly flows from conscience. Conscience is the active spirit of consciousness. It is "the heart's own ability to see the divine hologram in any situation, no matter how obscured, and to move spontaneously and without regard for its personal well-being in alignment with that divine wholeness." CB
 
With a purified eye of the heart, one can move into emotional tension with compassion, shifting the energy through the quality of one's own aliveness. Like St Frances of Assisi, you embrace the leper standing before you with his begging bowl, because the eye of your heart tells you that only that embrace will restore the image of God in the brokenness. Or like Jesus, you are willing to go to the cross rather than meet violence with violence.

 "Conscience (acting out of higher consciousness) is the pearl of great price; it is the both supreme realization and the instrument of visionary seeing. It is the capacity always and everywhere to see the whole of God yearning to become manifest in all our human beings and doings, like the full of the moon faintly present behind the crescent. With the awakening of this eye, you no longer see Wisdom, you become Wisdom. You become a channel of God's peace, and the greatest of all artists as you dance with the "the love that moves the stars and the sun." CB
 
May the courage of compassion live pure and strong in your heart, and through the Wisdom of conscience, bring you truth and peace. Peggy

Friday, March 1, 2013

Reconciliation

For in the end,
We will conserve only what we love,
We will love only what we understand,
We will understand only what we are taught.
— Baba Dioum


I recently watched  video program by Franciscan Father Richard Rohr in which he outlined the 4 steps or stages of meditation. He did this as prequel to an exercise in which he instructed students to find an object they wished to commune with (outdoors is a good place to do this) and use the object as the "focal point" of the meditation. The focal point is similar to the mantra or a special word (as in centering prayer), in that it allows the meditator to have one point of "thinking" for the busy mind to return to in order to drop into non-thinking. The focal point allows the meditator to practice observing without judging, which leads to the ability to 1) observe the self, with subsequent 2) experiencing the self.   Baba Dioum's wisdom (above) describes the process. Words in bold type are Bab Dioum's poetic concepts applied to outcomes of Rohr's meditation stages.

The ultimate goal of meditation is to allow the mind to move from conscious duality, that is, a reference place that judges in order to see differences and define thoughts (FORM) to conscious nonduality, which is a mental reference point without judgment that allows for all thoughts and no thoughts (FORMLESS). This latter is the contemplative mind.

The Teaching (which tells the process of reconciliation):
The stages Fr Rohr asked his students to attempt in their mediation were as follows:

Stage I - Be aware of the object without defining it.  To be aware without allowing the mind to react is to begin to REST in a larger consciousness.

Stage II -  (The Understanding) Continue to observe the object without judgment. This is a continuation of Stage I, the difficulty of meditation is to achieve a lasting state of nonjudgmental awareness. This Stage leads to respect for the object and a feeling of JOY within the student. "The judging mind is incapable of joy." RR

Stage III - (The Loving) Allow the object to speak to you, to reveal itself to you, to name itself. This stage further requires the student to let go of the defining/judging mind. If we are listening to the object (or truly listening to another person, for that matter) we are, in a sense, waiting for them to define things for us. Here, we practice withholding judgment as the object speaks to us on a level that invites us into a new way of experiencing the object without thinking it or defining it. We sense our self in relationship with or communion with the object. The outcome of Stage III is deep respect for the object and for our relationship with the object. We realize that we are One with the object. We discover that the source of all thought and feeling about the object is our self. This stage elicits a deep feeling of connectedness and LOVE. In Stage III we realize our self as the source of loving kindness. "The way you love anything is the way you love everything." RR

Stage IV - (The Conserving) Contented Consciousness. Stage IV is often an unconscious experience. It is a stage of completely resting in the spacious universe within. We are One with all else, there are no definitions or judgments. This is nondual consciousness in its completely experiential capacity. At this stage we feel an expansiveness or spaciousness about our self. It is, indeed, our formless being (pure Spirit or energy) that we encounter here.

When you think about these stages of meditation, you may recognize that these are the same stages described for Lectio Divina, divine reading of scripture. Yes, this is exactly the same approach. In lectio divina, the words on a page are the object. Lectio - we  read it or become aware of it, Meditatio - we meditate on it or simply sit in non-judgment of it, Oratio - it speaks to us, tells us something deeper than words and Contemplatio - we rest in com-union with the message in "the eternal presence of God."

This practice of silent prayer and meditation takes many forms and is as ancient as humans are human. This is the practice of evolving, maturing the Spiritual self or the formless self in BEING that which is eternally JOYful, unconditionally LOVE-ing and eternally in harmonious/PEACE-ful relationship (communion) with all of Life. What is reconciled within will find its reflection without.

May the practice lead you to this place of REST, JOY, LOVE, COM-UNION waiting patiently within for your awareness. And may you find, there, sacred union with the Divine that IS you and also so much more than you. Namaste!

Peggy

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday - Humility and Trust


 
 
The Journey of Lent is a Wilderness journey. In the wilderness, survival resources must be carefully rationed. One of the rituals observed in Lent is fasting, a discipline intended to simulate the scarceness of the wilderness.  Some people fast from meat, or soda, or TV. The long- practiced spiritual discipline of fasting is designed to empty one’s self, to reduce one's neediness, in order for the Spirit to keep and fill you. The symbolism of fasting is that doing without your most basic needs, food and water, is an act of trust and submission. We submit our most basic needs in trust that God will provide, much like the ancient Israelites trusted God in the wilderness to provide the manna needed to sustain life.
 
From a psychological standpoint, submission in trust is called humility. Psychologically, humility is to let go the idea that you are in ultimate control of what you think you need for comfort and happiness, be it material or intangible. We like to think we control our circumstances as well as our attitudes and perspectives, but very often we do not. And very often, the attitude we choose is not an attitude that reflects the benevolent love of God…either toward others or toward our self.  In ecclesiastical language we call humility or self emptying kenosis. Fasting is a symbol of kenosis or self emptying, which is essentially the willingness to reduce your neediness – physiological and psychological – to humble yourself in a gesture of trust and prayer before God. It is no mistake that the root of humility is humus – dirt, soil (ashes) – the same root as human. It is in the Wilderness of humility that we accept our humanness – our inability to count on anything but God to provide everything we need.

“But know this,” says YHWH: “Return to me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Tear open your heart not your clothes!” Return to YHWH your God, who is gracious and deeply loving as a mother, quick to forgive, abundantly tender-hearted – and relents from inflicting disaster." Joel 2:12.

“And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8

Peace be with you on the Lenten journey ~ Peggy

Artwork from faithinallah.org

 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Morning Prayer


Matins.

I.
Somewhere out at the edges, the night
Is turning and the waves of darkness
Begin to brighten the shore of dawn.

The heavy dark falls back to earth
And the freed air goes wild with light,
The heart fills with fresh bright breath
And thoughts stir to give birth to colour.

II.
I arise today

In the name of Silence
Womb of the Word,
In the name of Stillness
Home of Belonging,
In the name of the Solitude
Of the Soul and the Earth.

I arise today

Blessed by all things,
Wings of breath,
Delight of eyes,
Wonder of whisper,
Intimacy of touch,
Eternity of soul,
Urgency of thought,
Miracle of health,
Embrace of God.

May I live this day
Compassionate of heart,
Gentle in word,
Gracious in awareness,
Courageous in thought,
Generous in love.

John O’Donohue, Eternal Echoes, Exploring Our Yearning to Belong
 
Blessings of peace, love and joy to all on the cusp of this glorious new day! Peggy