Though the way may be long, the material of your mind intractable, to the eager lover of Reality ultimate success is assured. The strong tide of Transcendent Life will inevitably invade, clarify, uplift the consciousness which is open to receive it; a movement from without – subtle yet actual – answering each willed movement from within.
‘Your opening and His entering,’ says Eckhart, ‘are but one moment.’ When, therefore, you put aside your preconceived ideas, your self- centred scale of values, and let intuition have its way with you, you open up by this act new levels of the world. Such an opening-up is the most practical of all activities; for then and then only will your diurnal existence, and the natural scene in which that existence is set, begin to give up to you its richness and meaning. Its paradoxes and inequalities will be disclosed as true constituents of its beauty, an inconceivable splendour will be shaken out from its dingiest folds. Then, and only then, escaping the single vision of the selfish, you will begin to guess all that your senses were meant to be…
~ Evelyn Underhill
From her book Practical Mysticism
And she was quoting Meister Eckhart (a German theologian from the 1300’s)
I keep contemplating , as I live my life, and do my own spiritual & psychological “work” within –and as I continue working with clients:
–Perhaps this “driven-ness” (of mine and others(?) ) is not of God?! What if it is a neurotic creation of our own doing?!–
We are told by St. Paul to run this race as if we are running for the prize–for the victor’s crown— but we didn’t see Christ himself running around in anxiety about all the things wrong and broken in this world.
We saw/see him present in each interaction, certainly– but not frantic or panicked!
I keep entering in, then traveling away from this truth, this quiet place—then re-entering, re-turning to this silence.
I read this beautiful passage a few days ago from Blessed Theophylact (from @ 1080 AD) who was reiterating “blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” — he said that it is labor and work to join with God to clear out the muck (my wording, not his) that is making it more difficult to see God.
This isn’t neurotic work –but it is work, nevertheless — I’m sure it was some kind of work for Mary, sister of Martha, to be able to let go of external things enough –to choose silence, and “sit at the feet” of the great Teacher, Jesus.
Perhaps it is the work of allowing the working of grace into deeper depths of our soul? Of stepping in to the presence of the ineffable– by daring to enter into this silence, in stillness, without all of our strategies and fixed plans?
I just listened to this passage (above) by Evelyn Underhill this morning –and I KNOW what she is speaking about — but only in glimpses.
I want to know it more! And be afraid of this silent stillness less!
Much love to you on your journey!
~ Dr Cheryl