Most merciful god. I am in resistance to what is. I have not loved you with my whole heart. I have not loved others as myself. I have sought my will, and not yours.
Most merciful god. I have been blind to your mercy. I have not seen the perfection of this present moment. I muse that if things were different, we might all be happy…we might all be in love…we might all be at peace…we might all seek god. Yet this moment cannot be other than it is. It is, what had to be.
Most merciful god. We must know despair to understand happiness. We must be consumed by hatred to crave love. We must know the horror of war to prefer peace. We must experience separation to seek wholeness.
Most merciful god. May I see this suffering as grace. May I surrender to your will. If this is the path we must walk to the kingdom of heaven, may we tread quickly. Amen.
is the key
Love requires the community of lovers. Alone it shrivels and dies. Perhaps some rare saints and perfect beings can love in the absence of love. But I am not a perfect being. Alone, my heart grows heavy then numb. In the community of lovelessness, I become loveless.
Love requires the community of lovers to stay alive in my heart. It needs gurus of love, who exemplify vulnerability, giving without expectation of return, and abundance. I can rely neither on god nor my own efforts to learn the lessons of love.
Much has been given to me by grace and self-discipline, but my heart requires the community of lovers. Truly, love cannot be learned from god nor the inward directed gaze alone. It must be received from your fellow beings, then freely given, without expectation of return.
I spent this past weekend in Asheville at a spiritual retreat with soulmates. These retreats are rare, and only occur once or twice a year; but the light gained always prompts transformation, healing, and opening of my heart. I see in these moments of retreat the more beautiful world my heart knows is possible. I also see within myself the more beautiful version of myself that is possible.
It is a place where people look one another in the eyes, and enter into silent communion for moments, minutes, or for a period outside of the reckoning of time. There are no perfect beings there, but each being is striving earnestly to be a more perfect and loving version of themselves. There is magic in the air when one or more gather in his name.
My heart seems to have grown three sizes over the weekend, and god’s peace and bliss seems more firmly rooted in my being. But already I find a world and life out of alignment with love and peace chipping away at those gifts. A hectic schedule and stressful job demand that my time, energy, and attention be expended on things that do not serve me or others. People have stopped looking me in the eyes and sharing their souls. The suffering world, that has not yet identified the source of its suffering, lashes out at me in pain.
All these things separate me from god, my soul, and my peace. Is it my duty to forsake them, or try to share some of the peace and love I have found, before it is gone? I know the answer is out there, but I doubt my courage to know.
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.
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.
When I began this blog in November, 2011 I was an atheist, and wanted a place to espouse the virtues of rationalism. That led to several diatribes over the course of several months that extolled strength and the virtue of reason without passion. Then in 2012 I had a spiritual awakening that continues to transmute the dross of my being into the sublime bliss of our infinite and loving god. I followed reason down a rabbit hole of mysticism, and have lived in Wonderland ever since. As a result my posts have slowly shifted from diatribes to prose and poetry. My mind has slowly drifted from the analytical, to constant blessing and praise of the infinite mystery that is you and me.
With each new stage of my spiritual journey I revisit whether “Fearless Reason” is sill an appropriate name for this blog, and each time I quickly conclude it is more appropriate now than ever before. I began this journey as a rationalist and atheist, then in 2012 had an awakening that transformed me into a spiritual seeker and solitary mystic.
Over the years I have allowed god’s grace to transform me from the inside out. The bliss of my initial awakening has never left me. It is always with me, waiting to be noticed. Asking only that I turn my attention towards it and enter the divine embrace. At first this communion was limited to periods of meditation, but is increasingly an abiding companion. As a result, my prayers have been reduced to one: for sanctification and perfect union with the great mystery.
I have often thought that god hid from me until I was thoroughly enmeshed in the world in order to keep me out of a monastery or cave; and that also seems more true now than ever before. Throughout my journey I have continued to live the life of a householder. I have practiced law, built a home, and found a mate. I have been extremely active in the world and honor my obligations to family, friends, and community. But along the way I have always had beating within me the great mantra and sublime bliss, growing ever louder, waiting to be noticed, and now impossible to ignore.
I am now at the beginning of yet another turning point. In recent years I have felt called to share something of what I have found with others. But the appropriate expression of that sharing has eluded me.
However, as I begin moving from solitary mystic towards spiritual community, the mode of that sharing and service are becoming more apparent. Increasingly I find myself in the midst of beautiful souls who wish only to see god; but karma, pain, and suffering hide him from their eyes. Yet by god’s grace and their willing heart, I can alleviate some of their burden. I can hold them in the stillness of my samadhi. I can take their karma and burn it in the fire of my love and bliss. No suffering is too great, no trauma too daunting. We can give it all to god.
Blessings to all the beautiful strangers and soulmates who have read this far. Pray that I have the strength to follow the path god has set me upon.
a more beautiful
is the way
god takes care
of the rest.
body and soul.
Make of me
of thy will.
of the new
of the old.
of thy peace
joy and love.
that I may
to do thy will.
that I may