Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Death of the false self

Listen to post:
In a dream, I am sitting at the end of several rows of stackable chairs whispering something in God’s ear, then I slump back , clearly dead. I don’t know my exact words, but I release something and I feel the ache leave my heart.

This was a waking dream during a centering-prayer session and I literally feel the release of my heart. I know I have died, surrendering what I had been holding onto. The change is palpable.
Soon, the silence is broken by the sister signaling its end and reading the day’s selection from The Daily Reader of Contemplative Living by Thomas Keating:
"January 24
The Way to Divine Love
'Behold, I make all things new.'
                            – Revelation 21:5

Divine love is compassionate, tender, luminous, totally self-giving, seeking no reward, unifying everything … the experience of being loved by God enables us to accept our false self as it is, and then let go of it and journey to our true Self. The inward journey to our true Self is the way to divine love … The growing awareness of our true Self, along with the deep sense of spiritual peace and joy which flow from this experience, balances the psychic pain of the disintegrating and dying of the false self. As the motivating power of the false self diminishes, our true Self builds the 'new self' – the motivating force of divine love.

Ephesians 3:17-19
'[I pray] … that you … may have strength … to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.'"
Wisdom imparted at the labyrinth this morning
I am certain it can get no clearer than this for me. I am whole-heartedly searching for my true Self, casting out whatever it not truth. This dream happened yesterday and since, I have experienced the spiritual peace and joy, which balances the psychic pain of the disintegrating and dying of the false Self. I believe that is the pain lifted from my heart and it was real.

This revelation has caused me to question just about everything, including this so-called book I am pushing forward on. It feels oppressive right now. I cling to it merely for identity and to show some amount of productivity. Yes, I am called to spiritual-nurture ministry and the concept of the turtlebox [nurturing space within ourselves to welcome the divine], even teaching and facilitating it. And, maybe completing the book some day. But I think I clutch it because being a writer has provided me an identity for a long time. It’s much scarier to think of myself as a teacher, unacknowledged territory, or an artist with a message. I’ve always said art is what is in my heart. Words come from my brain. They’re easy and the way I have made my living. They buy my way into the business world. What if I want to be part of a different world? One more on the fringes and cutting edge?

Means I have to let go of what is false.

• What moments of truth have I experienced?
• What circumstances allowed them to happen?
• What of my false self was revealed?
• What of my true Self?
• Where am I currently in that dance?

ego props me up
even when I don’t realize

but that’s why it’s ego:
the auto pilot that takes over

unless I intentionally
spend time in solitude,
prayer or reflection

I don’t always have to run
off to a convent for that

regular prayer
Sundays silent worship
the deep companionship of friends

also help my true Self

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