We seem to get daily reminders as to how our current society – and those who have positions of responsibility in it – seems to have lost its connection to any inner sense of values.
It is no measure of health
to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
Universal Mind is like a great ocean,
its surface ruffled by waves and surges
but its depths remaining forever unmoved.
The Lankavatara Scripture, c.350 AD
Souls get big from opening out beyond the limitations of human knowledge and control.
Everyone is called to be a mystic of some sort, and being open to mystery and myth, the intuitive and the non-rational, to art and ritual, to nature and animals, to absurd ideas and outrageous fantasies gives the soul room to fashion a lovable and thoughtful human being. However simple your life, however ordinary and retiring, you can have a mega-soul, a vast source of vitality, and the capacity for pain and failure as well. You can be noble in your simplicity and deep and wide in your ability to contain life.
Complaining is one of the ego’s favorite strategies for strengthening itself….
The ego loves to complain and feel resentful not only about other people but also about situations.
What you can do to a person, you can also do to a situation: make it into an enemy.
The implication is always: this should not be happening;
I don’t want to be here; I don’t want to be doing this; I’m being treated unfairly.
And the ego’s greatest enemy of all is, of course, the present moment, which is to say, life itself
Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
It has been a very slow transition this year….
One of the beautiful transitions in nature is the transition from winter to springtime. An old Zen mystic said, when one flower blooms it is spring everywhere. When the first innocent, infant-like flower appears on the earth, one senses nature stirring beneath the frozen surface. There is a lovely phrase in Gaelic, ‘ag borradh’, meaning that there is a quivering life about to break forth. The wonderful colours and the new life the earth receives makes spring a time of great exuberance and hope. In a certain sense, spring is the youngest season. Winter is the oldest season. Winter was there form the very beginning. It reigned amidst the silence and bleakness of nature for hundreds of millions of years before vegetation. Spring is a youthful season; it comes forth in a rush of life and promise, hope and possibility. At the heart of the spring there is a great inner longing. It is the time when desire and memory stir towards each other. Consequently, springtime in your soul is a wonderful time to undertake some new adventure, some new project, or to make some important changes in your life. If you undertake this, when it is springtime in your soul, then the rhythm, the energy and the hidden light of your own clay works with you. You are in the flow of your own growth and potential. Springtime in the soul can be beautiful, hopeful and strenghtening. You can make difficult transitions very naturally in an unforced and spontaneous way.
John O’Donohue, Anam Cara
A lot of modern society is driven by the distraction industry – advertising, shopping, surfing the net. It is not a new phenomenon. Nietzsche wrote in 1874 that “haste is universal because everyone is in flight from himself”, but modern technologies of escape, like the smartphone or the tablet, make it even more pervasive and difficult to develop the silence within which is necessary for good health.
All mystics – Catholic, Christian, non-Christian, no matter what their theology, no matter what their religion – are unanimous on one thing: that all is well, all is well. Though everything is a mess, all is well. Strange paradox, to be sure. But, tragically, most people never get to see that all is well because they are asleep. Spirituality means waking up. Most people, even though they don’t know it, are asleep.
People don’t really want to be cured. What they want is relief; a cure is painful.
Anthony de Mello sj, Spirituality means waking up.