“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” C. S. Lewis
This unquenchable thirst for more is surely the common experience of most maturing humans. Of course not all of us mature. And how we perceive the world depends entirely on our level of spiritual maturity.
It is our great fortune to have, readily available, the writings of profound mystics like the late Thomas Merton, and his student, former monk, clinical psychologist & Merton-scholar, James Finley.
As I ever-so-slowly walk along our one common healing path, the path towards becoming whole, mature human beings, I increasingly recognize, understand & resonate with the message Merton, Finley, and mystics of all wisdom traditions have been trying to convey throughout time.
'To arrive at being all,
desire to be nothing.'
The goal of the spiritual life is to discover that there is in fact no goal, that we are to be 'that which, in God, we have always been,' in the words of Meister Eckhart. As Thomas Merton once said at an Asian conference of Christian & non-Christian monks, 'My dear brothers, we are already one. But we imagine that we are not. What we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.' When we're no longer trying to become somebody, when we've ceased struggling to be anything, we are able to rest in the truth of what we already are." Terence Grant. "The Silence of Unknowing: The Key to the Spiritual Life." Liguori, 1989.
"We need each other. 'The begging bowl of the Buddha,' Catholic monk Thomas Merton explains,' represents not just a right to beg, but openness to the gifts of all human beings as an expression of this interdependence of all beings... Thus when a monk begs from the layman it is not as a selfish person getting something from someone else. He is simply opening himself to his interdependence.'
Be open like the monk with a begging bowl. Be open like a flower to the sun. Be open like an artist awaiting her muse...
Recognize that like a monk with a begging bowl, your openness to the gifts of the universe is what holds you in its warm embrace." Frederic Brussat, Mary Ann Brussat. "Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life.” Scribner, 1996.
This imho is Thomas Merton's take on the ancient Hindu greeting, 'Namaste' which he wrote shortly before his death:
"At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God, which is never at our disposal, from which God disposes our lives, which is inaccessible to the fantasies of our own mind or the brutalities of our own will. This little point of nothingness and of 'absolute poverty' is the pure glory of God in us. It is so to speak His name written in us, as our poverty, as our indigence, as our dependence, as our sonship / daughtership. It is like a pure diamond, blazing with the invisible light of heaven. It is in everybody, and if we could see it we would see these billions of points of light coming together in the face and blaze of the sun that would make all the darkness and cruelty of life vanish completely... I have no program for this seeing. It is only given. But the gate of heaven is everywhere." Donald W. Mitchell, James A. Wiseman. "The Gethsemani Encounter. A Dialogue on the Spiritual Life by Buddhist and Christian Monastics." Continuum, 1997.
Blue Rodeo "Lost Together"