Monday, April 11, 2011

imagination and reason have taught you all they can


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... imagination and reason have taught you all they can and now you must learn to be wholly given to the simple spiritual awareness of your self and God....

he told his disciples, who were loath to give up his physical presence (just as you are loath to give up the speculative reflections of your subtle, clever faculties), that for their own good he would withdraw his physical presence from them,  He said to them, "It is necessary for you that I go," meaning, "It is necessary  for you that I depart physically from you."  

St. Augustine, commenting on these words, says: "Were not the form of  his humanity withdrawn from our bodily eyes, love for him in his Godhead would never cleave to our spiritual eyes."  And thus I say to you, at a certain point to is necessary to give up discursive meditation and learn to taste something of that deep, spiritual experience of God's love.

...  always and ever strive toward the naked awareness of your self, and continually offer your being to God as your most precious gift.  Inasmuch as this awareness really is naked, you will at first find it terribly painful to rest in for any length of time because, ... your faculties will find no meat for themselves in it.  Let them fast awhile from their natural delight in knowing, It is well said that man naturally desires to know.  Yet at the same time, it is also true that no amount of natural or acquired knowledge will bring him to taste the spiritual experience of God, for this is a pure gift of grace.  And so I urge you: go after experience rather than knowledge.  On account of pride, knowledge may often deceive you, but this gentle, loving affection will not deceive you.  Knowledge tends to breed conceit, but love builds.  Knowledge is full of labor, but love, full of rest.

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~ from The Book of Privy Counseling
written anonymously in the fourteenth century 
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2 comments:

Sarah said...

lovely discourse on letting go, compassion and the selfless self.

thank you for digging this one up!

smilingheart said...

you're welcome. I enjoy finding others who share my appreciation for the insight and clear expression.

dean