Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A flight to Shanghai, part III: By Grace it may arrive

So I see myself.

If I see myself, already, I see apartness. There ought to be togetherness, but I’m fractional. This becomes apparent in my failure to sense myself as Being within the small world of my own soul, which touches the outer in such limited ways. If I touched the outer with real Being at more times I’d have more respect for it, but this sense of myself, which relies on its apartness, its separateness, to define itself, lacks any sense of respect. It respects itself rather than the other.

This is the peculiar thing; real self respect is not respect for myself, but rather self-respect for the real self, which is not apart, not separated into fractions. Because I don’t know this self very well- and even after years of sensing it and knowing its truth, it does not endure within me in the way that I by now know it should-I am always forgetting it. This is like forgetting God and going my own way in the darkness. I do this so often; and apparently I would rather grope in darkness than acknowledge the light.

I see that help is needed, but within myself, within this part that separates and predicates its being on separation, I forget that there is an agency larger than me. Myself sees only its own agency, despite the fact that it lies in the grip of forces it can’t possibly master.

Sometimes I think that I’m in love with my own agency through habit alone; the ideas and thoughts of a lifetime, along with the concurrent lack of an inner intimacy, have become routine. There is a perverse comfort in my own stupidity, my own lack of sense. If I see this, it comes as a bit of a shock; how complacent I am. I resent it when others don’t care about me, but in fact I don’t care about myself enough. I don’t want to look here, at home, where this struggle must ultimately be recognized, so I look to others and struggle with them instead. Even if I do look here at home, within myself, where the issues truly lie, my struggle at once becomes a psychological one. Turning my inner face towards the silent partner of sensation is forgotten, even though this is the ground floor for my Being. There is an affirmation in sensation of Being that transcends all of the affirmative thoughts I could ever have. Perhaps it’s here that I begin to see that my thinking is Holy Denying, the rejection of the Lord; my sensing is Holy Affirming, the acceptance of God; and my feeling is Holy Reconciling, the joining together with God.

If the sense of inner prayer and sorrow arises anywhere, it’s within this intersection which I so stubbornly resist. I am so stubborn, in fact, that I cannot even bring myself to the crossroads; I need to be led to them, and the only path in that direction comes through a humility that, like Being itself, does not belong to me. By myself, I can never have humility; but by Grace it may arrive.


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