A SPIRITUALITY OF TRANSFIGURATION
Spirituality is the art of transfiguration. We should not force ourselves to change by hammering our lives into any predetermined shape. We do not need to operate according to the idea of a predetermined programme or plan for our lives. Rather, we need to practise a new art of attention to the inner rhythm of our days and lives. This attention brings a new awareness of our own human and divine presence. A dramatic example of this kind of transfiguration is one all parents know. You watch you children carefully, but one day they surprise you: you still recognize them, but you knowledge of them is insufficient. You have to start listening to them all over again.
It is far more creative to work with the idea of mindfulness rather than with the idea of will. Too often people try to change their lives by using the will as a kind of hammer to beat their life into proper shape. The intellect identifies the goal of the programme, and the will accordingly forces the life into that shape. This way of approaching the sacredness of one’s own presence is externalist and violent. It brings you falsely outside you self and you can spend years lost in the wilderness of your own mechanical, spiritual programmes. You can perish in a famine of your own making.
If you work with a different rhythm, you will come easily and naturally home to your self. Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of your self. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more importantly it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey. There are no general principles for this art of being. Yet the signature of this unique journey is inscribed deeply in each soul. If you attend to your self and seek to come into your own presence, you will find exactly the right rhythm for your life. The senses are generous pathways which can bring you home.
A renewal, indeed a complete transfiguration of your life, can come through attention to your senses. Your senses are the guides to take you deep into the inner world of your heart. The greatest philosophers admit that to a large degree all knowledge comes through the senses. The senses are our bridges to the world. Human skin is porous; the world flows through you. Your senses are large pores which let the world in. Through attunement to the wisdom of your senses, you will never become an exile in your own life, an outsider lost in an external spiritual place which your will and intellect have constructed.