You know that the seed is inside the chestnut tree and inside the seed there are blossoms of the tree and the chestnuts and the shade. So inside the human body there is the seed, and inside the seed there is the human body again
Thinkers, listen…. tell me what you know of that which is not inside the soul: Take a jug of water and set it down on the water – now it has water inside and water outside. We shouldn’t give it a name, in case silly people start talking again about the body and the soul.
If you want the truth, I’ll tell you the truth: Listen to the secret sound, the real sound which is inside you. The One nobody talks of speaks the secret sound to himself, and he is the One who has made it all.
The mind is luminous, brightly shining, and this is never absent. However, it is sullied by incoming defilements, coloured by the thoughts and emotions that people put upon it. If you were to see the luminous freedom of the mind, you would cultivate it before anything else, keeping it free from all attachments
It is always a trauma for the human psyche when those elements it has over-invested itself in at the periphery of life are withdrawn, and the spring-like world of growth and opportunity seems to close down, as if the old currencies have become worthless while we as yet do not know how to value or harvest the following season. But this form of trauma has also been seen by many of our great religious, contemplative and artistic traditions as an invitation back to another kind of valuation, a return to a more internal focus, an opportunity to revive an old friendship with the place from which all the peripheries are recognized, priced and named. This internal, alchemical, almost catalytic core of identity-making and decision-making has long been associated with the soul of an individual; the part of us attempting to belong to the world in the biggest way it can; the part that witnesses our outer actions, stirs our conscience and quite often seems to be at odds with those other parts of us trying to game the system at the periphery.
Childhood events and interactions can cause wounds which manifest later in the form of an inner critic, making us feel smaller when faced with stressful situations. It is good to practice resting in our inner innate goodness – the light that comes from within – and not give other persons power over our moods or thoughts.
The object of this learning is to remove outside authority from your inner life. Eliminate the old habit of listening to others about your own comfort and convenience
The Christian calendar is quite wise in placing the feast-day of the Slaughter of the Innocents today, just immediately after the Christmas celebrations. It faces into the reality of this world, with the sad turns which we cannot understand, and the fact that we can lose that which is most important to us, due to factors which are unexpected or outside of our control. It is the opposite to the distracting tactics which we see scattered all through the modern understanding of this holiday.
One cannot be deeply responsive to the world
without being saddened very often.
photo Mstyslav Chernov
Underaged refugees in a camp located at the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, 30 January 2016.