When Jesus said, "Don't throw your pearls before swine," and, "Leave the dead to bury the dead," he was saying, "Many people are too far gone to help. Pass them by. And seek out those who can receive what you have to offer." Passing them by seems harsh. Perhaps, if we threaten them with everlasting hell we can wake them up. Which misses what Jesus was really saying: "First, make sure you have something to offer." Jesus did not ever say, "Be sure to tell them they have to believe in me, that I have come to save them from their sins by dying in their place on the cross, and rising from the dead." He said, "Love your neighbor by being everyone's neighbor, love your enemies, love one another, love yourself, by living in loving ways with all people and with yourself." When we transform our relationship with ourselves, we transform our relationships with all people, with life, and with the world. That is the "pearl" we have to offer. Our work is to create that pearl within, and then offer ourselves in loving relationships with the people who receive us well, and let that be that. How to live in ways that are loving with ourselves and the people who are capable of being loved is the work that is ours to do. Anything else is a waste of time. Particularly so is talking about theology. Live lovingly and truthfully. Theology misses the point, and has nothing to do with the truth, or with love.
Start with you— your interests, your loves, your shtick, your qualities, your virtues, your specialties, your knacks, your thing— develop those, serve those, devote yourself to those, and follow that path wherever it may take you, doing what it requires you to do. Believe in that, and trust that it will teach you what you need to know to do what needs to be done in each situation as it arises all your life long, and make all of the adjustments and compromises necessary to accommodate yourself to the conditions and circumstances of your life all the way. Anything else I have to say in the matter is going to be an elaboration of this core concept. You are the center of your life. Live out of you, in right relationship with yourself, the silence and other people, and everything will fall into place around that.
Ambition, aspiration, incentive, drive, desire, fear, anger, hatred, resentment and revenge are all stirred together in the same pot. Silence helps to moderate their influence on our behavior, and keeps our balance and harmony within a normal distribution curve. If we aren't being quiet in a regular way, we aren't doing ourselves any favors. How long has it been since you sat still and quiet, doing nothing? How long can you sit still and quiet, doing nothing? What causes you to end the session and do something? What is it about being quiet that you can't bear? Jon Kabat-Zinn's YouTube videos are excellent entrees into the silence (the shortest ones first). No one ever goes anywhere worth going without going quietly.
The work of the spiritual/hero's journey is that of transforming our relationship with ourselves-- and that is a matter of putting first things first. We are not first. We are second. Getting over this is the heroic part of the hero's journey, and it is the hell part of the trip to the farther shore. The sin of Adam and Eve was putting themselves first. The way of redemption is the path Jesus marked with his, "Thy will, not mine, be done," with the "Thy" being the Self directing Jesus' way. We are not here to serve our idea of our way, to get what we want and stroll through the land of milk and honey, or the Elysian Fields forever. We are the servant, not the master. We are here to do the work that we are directed to do- whether want to or not, whether we feel like it or not, whether we are in the mood for it or not, whether it makes any sense or not, because that is our place. Our dharma/duty is not to serve, but to be served, and to spend our life setting others free, to spend their life setting others free, to spend their life... Get it? Go do it! Sin quietly in the silence open to the other within who meets us there, to guide and direct. Listen to your body, listen to your heart, listen to your nighttime dreams and to your daytime fantasies. Notice what catches your eye. Pay attention to what resonates with you. When you get "That feeling," get up and do the thing you know needs to be done, the way it needs to be done, when it needs to be done, moment by moment in each situation as it arises, and don't allow anything to distract you or stop you, or even slow you down in your work to be who you are, no matter what.
One thought on “May 24, 2021”
Right on, right on & peace… hard to fully love others when we don’t have self love. Hope you are settling back into the silence after ‘the big trip’! Keep calm & see you Saturday, Lord willing and the creek doesn’t rise! e$
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