Capitals showing ancient motifs indicating the insemination of divine energies
from L'Abbaye Fontevraud
Photograph by the author
...we strain every nerve in our own interests where anything can fall to our share, and we strive after honor wherever possible; we gladly carry our own will into effect, we esteem and love ourselves in our pleasure, and we gladly seize our outward and inward advantages. For every advantage fills us with delight and convinces us that we are something; and precisely through this conviction we become nothing at all. And thus we ruin ourselves in all respects...
—Hadewijch, Letter # 6
This morning I see that I want to have things that are mine, rather than God's.
I don't understand that everything is actually God's; and so I want it for myself. Whereas if I want everything for God, and only for God, then and only then have I understood.
I believe this sheds light on Gurdjieff's observation that my non-desires must prevail over my desires. Here, it's essential see the connection between the way I wish to have for myself—rather than to have in God. To have in myself and for myself is the essence of my desire; but to have in God and for God—well, this is an entirely different proposition.
The more I have God, and God has me, the more I have everything in God; and what is owned in God is glorious. But when I own a thing in myself, it becomes nothing more than a thing. Every ounce of possession I exercise progressively cheapens its object.
The glory is gone.
Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.