Fearless Reason

Fearless reason in an age of frightened absurdity.

Tag: contemplative

Inward Regression or Outward Reform

Though I have undergone drastic internal transformation since my awakening, the external aspects of my life have been more resistant to change. Each year brings gradual reform to my habits, circumstances, and outward identity. But the outward circumstances of my life are ever lagging behind who my soul is calling me to be.

Since 2011 I have changed political affiliations, cities, jobs, adopted a daily meditation practice, become a vegetarian, and have found spiritual community. There are many other outward changes I might list, but these are a few that stick out. What is most notable about these changes is that all of them have slowly been moving me towards a more loving and peaceful way of being in the world.

Over the years I have come to see a decided pattern to these periods of change. Each major change is preceded by a prolonged period of discomfort and unhappiness. A circumstance or habit simply has to become unbearable to my soul, until finally, I reach a point where I must choose between inward regression or outward reform.

I am still moving toward a more perfect alignment between my soul and outward circumstances. But as I become more inwardly peaceful, I have become more acutely aware of those places in my life of tension, discomfort, and unhappiness. I know what makes me happy and what does not, and I know the direction I need to move in, if not the destination.

Fear is the Absence of Love

After my awakening my heart opened, and I was raptured with divine bliss. But while the bliss has never left me, my heart almost immediately began its retreat. I awakened to a life built by a self that did not know love, that could not understand it or believe that such a thing existed as a real force in the world. It was an unconscious and loveless life, and my newly awakened heart was horrified by what it found.

I knew that embodied love could not live the life I was living. Love demanded I change everything about my life at once to serve god and my fellow beings. Love asked me to forsake my identity, my profession, my ambitions, and all my preconceptions about the world. Love demanded that I die completely to myself – and I feared death.

So my heart retreated, but did not close. It stayed open just as much as my life could bear. Like a candle in the night it continued to burn, illuminating those things that were loveless and wrong, and calling me to change them. First it illuminated my violent and selfish thoughts. Then it came for my careless and loveless actions. One by one, on and on, it has illuminated my sins and called me towards conversion.

I have changed much over the years, and have shifted many things about how I choose to be in the world. But many loveless circumstances remain that are informed by major life decisions undertaken by my former self. I brush up against those circumstances with love, and try to shift or transform them. But I fall short of rejecting or abandoning them outright.

So I allow them to do violence to my heart, because I fear letting them go. I hold onto an identity that is no longer true, a profession that does not serve me or others, and remain attached to habits, big and small, that separate me from god and others. Truly, fear is the absence of love.

 

Violence to My Heart

I cannot keep doing violence to my heart. I can no longer ride the inertia of the great omnicidal world destroying machine. I am asked each day to deny the god in others and the world, and with each denial my heart grows more heavy and finally numb. Then the greatest sin of all. I no longer feel the suffering of the world. I no longer notice the god in my fellow beings and the creation. I turn my eyes upward and cry out, “God why have you forsaken me!”…and he responds, because you have forsaken me in others and my creation.

I can no longer keep doing violence to my heart. I can no longer forsake my god in others and in his creation. I can no longer passively ride the inertia of the great omnicdal world destroying machine.

I Noticed God Noticing Me

Did I notice god, or was I noticed? I think he must have always been there, waiting to be seen. Supporting me as he supports the universe, with tenderness and infinite love. Always reaching for me, and waiting patiently for me to reach back. Yes, that must be it. I noticed god noticing me, and I reached back.

I noticed god noticing me and reached back, and I was welcomed by a bounty of bliss. I was invited into the divine dance between finite mankind and our infinite god. But we aren’t just dancing, we are drawing closer.

I prayed that there be no separation between us. I prayed for all that does not serve my highest good and the good of others be taken away. I prayed for sanctity. I prayed for the dance to never end and that I be drawn into unending union.

I prayed many prayers, with no small amount of trepidation. How I sympathize with St. Augustine’s wayward words, “Lord make me pure, but not yet!” But the time for wayward prayers has passed.

Seek God Within

It is sad to see the spiritual ambition of seekers without a contemplative practice turn to heresy. It is only by our regular pilgrimage to the well of faith that we cultivate discernment, and purify our hearts and minds. Those who forego this sacrament inevitably get lost in the false corridors of the analytical mind, and worship the false gods of their ego. Forsake heresy and seek union with god through inner silence.

Unbend your neck.
Get off your knees.
Sit upright with poise.
Seek god within.

In Silence

In silent
surrender
I purify
my soul.

In silence.

I cleanse
my mind
and open
my heart.

Finding myself.

Formless
creature
of the
now.

In silence.

I grow
virtue
and god.

Finding myself.

Timeless
creature
of love
and bliss.

In silence.

I vanquish
darkness
with the
presence of
light.

Finding myself.

Awareness
in an
awakening
world.