Wednesday, March 30, 2011



Our life in the world comes to us in the shape of time. Consequently, our expectation is both a creative and constructive force. If you expect to find nothing within yourself but the repressed, abandoned and shameful elements of your past, or a haunted hunger, all you will find is emptiness and desperation. If you do not bring the kind eye of creative expectation to your inner world, you will never find anything there. The way you look at things is the most powerful force in shaping your life. In a vital sense, perception is reality.

Phenomenology has shown us that all consciousness is consciousness of something. The world is never simply there outside us. Our intentionality constructs it. For the most part we constract our world so naturally that we are unaware that we are doing this every moment. It seems that the same rhythm of construction works inwards. Our intentionality constructs the landscapes of our inner world. Maybe it is time now for a phenomenology of soul. The soul creates, shapes and peoples our inner life. The gateway to our deepest identity is not through mechanical analysis. We need to listen to the soul and articulate its wisdom in a poetic and mystical form. It is tempting to use the soul as merely another receptacle for our tired and frustrated analytical energies. It deserves to be remembered that from ancient times the soul had depth, danger and upredictability precisely because it was seen as the presence of the divine within us. If we cut the soul off from the holy, it becomes an innocuous cipher. To awaken the soul is also to travel to the frontier where experience bows down before the mysterium tremens et fascinans of Otherness.

There is such an intimate connection between the way we look at things and what we actually discover. If you can learn to look at your self and you life in a gentle, creative and adventurous way, you will be eternally surprised at what you find. In other words, we never meet anything totally or purely. We see everything through the lens of thought. The way that you think determines what you will actually discover. This is expressed wonderfully by Meister Eckhart: 'Thoughts are our inner senses.' We know that when our outer senses are impaired, this immediately diminishes the presence of the world to us. If your sight is poor the world becomes a blur. If your hearing is damaged a dull silence replaces what could be music or the voice of your beloved. In a similar way if your thoughts are impaired or if they are negative or diminished, then you will never discover anything rich or beautiful within your soul. If thoughts are our inner senses, and if we allow our thoughts to be impoverished and pale, then the riches of our inner world can never come to meet us. We have to imagine more courageously, if we are to greet creation more fully.

You relate to your inner world through thought. If these thoughts are nbot your own thoughts, then they are second-hand thoughts. Each of us needs to learn the unique language of our own soul. In that distinctive language we will discover a lens of thought to brighten and illuminate our inner world. Dostoevky said that many people live their lives without ever finding themselves in themselves. If you are afraid of your solitude, or if you only meet your solitude with entrenched or impoverished thought, you will never enter your own depth. It is a great point of growth in your life when you allow what is luminous within to awaken you. This may be the first time that you actually see your self as you are. The mystery of your presence can never be reduced to your role, actions, ego or image. You are an eternal essence; this is the ancient reason why you are here. To begin to get a glimpse of this essence is to come into harmony with your destiny and with the providence that always minds your days and ways. This process of self-discovery is not easy; it may involve suffering, doubt, dismay. But we must not shrink from the fullness of our being in order to reduce the pain.

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