Wednesday, July 31, 2013
There are times when I think of external tastes and how they are sweet, or bitter. For example, this morning when I walked the dog I ate some fresh arugula from the garden... bitter, peppery... and yet I like it. This stands in stark contrast to the sweetness of the papaya I ate later for breakfast.
I liked that, too.
I bring this up because these tastes are external things, not inner ones; and it is important to clearly understand and distinguish between the inner and outer elements of taste within Being. They intersect; but they are separated. One does not taste like the other; and inner qualities are incomparable, whereas outer ones can easily be compared with one another.
Because we don't pay much attention to inner qualities, or even sense them very much as separate and essential things, we don't understand how essential they are, even though they are perpetually active and form all of the expression of self which we bring to any given moment or day. Our unawareness of this is part of why we don't value the inner in the way we ought to.
There is one sweetness of an inner nature that is truly incomparable, and that is the sweetness of the Lord. The best book I know of that speaks of this matter is The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence.
This sweetness is the most essential of all tastes, and it only appears within us as an inner experience—although it deeply influences our experience of the outer. The Lord flows into us according to His own Will and inclination; and all of our inner and outer work is mere preparation for this action of Divine Presence.
It instructs without words, and eliminates the need for inner argument, for it replaces our intellect with discernment, which is of an entirely different order.
Discernement, of course, does not eliminate questions, but it re-orders them, such that doubts we may have had are dispelled; uncertainties are eliminated; and instead of these fractured impressions, concerns and misunderstandings—all of them generated by our intellect—we participate in a deep, worldess understanding of what our service might consist of: both what is necessary and what is possible.
Truly, all the parts of ourselves that touch the lower spheres of existence are soiled in ways that we can't correct ourselves; the Holy Planet Purgatory is the best we can hope for.
Yet this is a great hope, and in the sweetest Presence of the Lord, it is proximate, not distant.
May your soul be filled with light.