Sunday, June 2, 2024

We are Called

    “In Europe there is a long tradition of telling, during long train journeys, one’s whole life story to complete strangers. It allows the heart to ruminate on matters we are fearful of broaching in the company of those it may concern.” David Whyte, “The Heart Aroused. Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America.” Crown Business, 2002.

    Now that to me sounds like a beautiful, meaningful adventure, for both storyteller and rapt listener. But in our present culture, honest meaningful self-disclosure and deep listening seems like a rare & precious gift - mostly found in highly-skilled psychotherapists' offices.

    “That which is threatening to the ego is liberating for the heart.” Amaro Bhikkhu

    “The human mind (ego) was not designed by evolutionary forces for finding truth. It was designed for finding advantage.” Albert Szent-Györgyi, Nobel laureate 

    Indeed, our usual way of being - perceiving, thinking, speaking & behaving - is more or less adversarial & at best transactional. Most of us are unconsciously trapped in primitive survival mode - not life but ego survival: opinions, status, popularity, influence, etc, resulting in at best shallow 'ordinary unhappiness.' While struggling to keep (our ego) from drowning, we cannot hear the gentle call of our heart towards truth.

    And yet, some of us can sense a great, wise, unconditionally loving force always subtly inviting us back to our authentic Self. Saints, mystics, artists, writers & poets are this force's messengers.

     Like we from time to time, Frodo finds himself desperately overwhelmed and understandably, just wants to back out of a dire situation, in the movie, "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 2001 (Prime Video).
rodo: “I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.” 

    But Gandalf, the wise old wizard reminds Frodo - and all of us - of our vital role in the greater scheme of things.
andalf: “So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.” 

Your task is not to foresee the future,
but to enable it.”
            Antoine de Saint-Exupery 

    These are dark times and each one of us is being called to remember & embody the very best in us! This involves: being aware of who & what is right here in front of us right now, sensing what is needed, and wisely, lovingly nurturing so that we may all collectively flourish.

    “It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving.” Mother Teresa

    “Were one asked to characterize (spiritual life) in the broadest & most general terms possible, one might say that it consists of the belief that there is an unseen order, and our supreme good lies in harmoniously adjusting ourselves thereto.” ​William James,​ ​“The Varieties of Religious Experience"

“There is a light in this world,
a healing spirit more powerful
than any darkness we may encounter.
We sometimes lose sight of this force
when there is suffering, too much pain.
Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge
through the lives of ordinary people
who hear a call
and answer in extraordinary ways.”
Mother Teresa

    “There is more hunger for love & appreciation in this world than for bread.”
Mother Teresa

    “The important thing is not to think much, but to love much, and so to do what best awakens us to love.”
Saint Teresa of Ávila

    Many have ruined the term 'God,' hence the increasing use of less tainted, non-partisan, non-proprietary, more descriptive terms like love, force, truth, universal intelligence. Saints - like Mother Teresa, mystics, and serious meditators, contemplatives, artists, writers & poets still use the term 'God' in its original potent, meaningful manner:
    "Former CBS anchor Dan Rather found himself unprepared for a television interview with Mother Teresa. Ron Mehl described the newsman’s encounter:
    “When you pray,” asked Rather, “what do you say to God?”
    “I don’t say anything,” she replied. “I listen.”
    Rather tried another tack, “Well, okay … when God speaks to you, then, what does He say?”
    “He doesn’t say anything. He listens.”
    Rather looked bewildered. For an instant, he didn’t know what to say.
    “And, if you don’t understand that,” Mother Teresa added, “I can’t explain it to you.”


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