Friday, November 29, 2013

Mixing the inner and the outer

Human beings constantly confuse outer practices which approximate religion through forms with inner practices, which are religion.

 What we see of religion outwardly, its organization, its structure, is only a reflection. Its poor state in the outward world is a reflection of its poor state in the inward world; and all religion is an inner condition, not an outer one.  In other words, if we don't like what we see of religion, or anything else, it's our own fault that things are this way.

 This has to be taken on the level of individual work, not the collective, because one must personally come to clearly distinguish between the inner and the outward practice, and see how the inward practice is one of receiving the Lord,  and all of the outward practice only derives from that.  The outward practice is only whole and intact to the extent that the inward practice has integrity.

In this way, The Reality is created within by the Lord, and received within from the Lord, and must be distinguished from the outward, which is nothing more than a mirror that reflects this truth.

In standing between the inward force of Truth, in so far as it is formed in Being, and the outward manifestation of life, we must be clear about the two and see them both. One is formed through the organic sense of being and the inward receptiveness to energy from a different level; the other is formed through the blending of those qualities with external arisings. They aren't the same; confusing them is a grave error that constantly takes place, because we think that the outward form is the inward form. This is why Swedenborg said that men see with their eyes instead of their understanding.

Don't spend energy becoming identified with outward forces. Always begin inside, and, without identifying with that, either, be sensitive. Be intimate. There will always be a life lived where the coarse intersects with the fine; the coarse is obliged to be coarse, because that is in its nature; and the fine is obliged to be fine, because that, too, is in its nature. In fact all of the parts always arise and manifest within their own nature. Trying to change their nature cannot help anything; actually, it's impossible. Seeing their nature will, on the other hand, eventually allow them to reorganize so that a right order appears.

The illusion of control is a dangerous one. Outer life is all about achievement; this is lawful, necessary. Yet we don't ever achieve anything in an inner sense; we can only stand ready for change, hope for it, ask for it. We are unable to effect it; for every change that is great (and the change needs to be very great) comes from the Lord, not from us.

We learn to wait, and to ask.


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