Wednesday, March 30, 2011



Sometimes our spiritual programmes take us far away from our inner belonging. We become addicted to the methods and programmes of psychology and religion. We become so deperate to learn how to be that our lives pass, and we neglect the practice of being.

One of the lovely things in the Celtic mind was its sense of spontaneity. Spontaneity is one of the greatest spiritual gifts. To be spontaneous is to escape the cage of the ego by trusting that which is beyond the self. One of the greatest enemies of spiritual belonging is the ego. The ego does not reflect the real shape of one's individuality. The ego is the false self born out of fear and defensiveness. The ego is a protective crust that we draw around our affections. It is created out of timidity, the failure to trust the Other and to respect our own otherness. One of the greatest conflicts in life is the conflict between the ego and the soul. The ego is threatened, competitive and stressed, whereas the soul is draen more towards surprise, spontaneity, the new and the fresh. Real soul presence has humour and irony and no obsessive self-seriousness. It avoids what is weary, worn or repetitive. The image of the well breaking out of the hard, crusted ground is an illuminating image for the freshness that can suddently dawn within the heart that remains open to experience.

Freud and Jung illuminated the vast complexity of the soul. A person is no simple one-dimensional self. There is a labyrinth within the soul. What we think and desire often comes into conflict with what we do. Below the surface of our conscious awareness a vast unknown rootage determines our actions. The mythic story of the earth and the gods whispers within us. We become aware of the patterns of blindness and obsession which unknowingly drive us. We find ourselves so often returning to the same empty places which diminish and impoverish our essence. All psychic activity is at first unconscious; this is the realm of concealed wishes. The unconscious is a powerful and continuous presence. Every life lives out of and struggles with this inner night; it casts its challenging and fecund shadow over everything we do and think and feel. We are earthen vessels that hold the reasure. Yet aspects of the treasure are darker and more dangerous than we allow ourselves to imagine. When the unconscious becomes illuminated its darker forces no longer hold us prisoner. This work of freedom is slow and unpredictable; yet it is precisely at this threshold that each individual is the custodian and subject of their own transfiguration. Outside us, society functions in an external way, its collective eye does not know interiority, it sees only through the lens of image, impression and function.

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