Those who seek the spirit and have discovered an exciting new reality through various forms of revelation ever escape God's tests—the challenges that must be overcome in order to strengthen the Self even more and make ready for the truth. The first revelations are uniting; they make us feel special, part of something greater. Then the polarity emerges: we are pulled to a place of doubt, insecurity, loneliness, and disbelief about what happened to us in revelation. We fear the loss of the 'old self' before revelation occurred. The burning question becomes "Where now?"
No one, not even the saints, is immune. It is through the ways we behave in suffering and torment and learn from loss, grief, or sickness that the verdict for our spiritual future is given. The experiences themselves are about breaking down and conquering the old ways of being and about finding more meaning in the present, as well as some faith and hope in the future.
The spiritual battle begins in recognizing the existence of the powers of darkness and of overcoming and absorbing these presences and energies. Trials form a training ground for God. Without recognizing darkness, one cannot see light; without living in doubt, find faith. Doubt necessitates the course of conclusion; in order to embrace the new we need to be strong, certain that we can live up to the responsibilities the spiritual life requires. Through such disciplines as prayer, meditation, and therapy, we have been given means to strengthen ourselves. We become able to face evil, to become familiar with the dark side, the demons n the world and ourselves. We can recognize the powers of darkness even when they parade in the guise of light.
To understand the necessity of suffering is to surrender to the purpose of change. And this is the way to truth and a deeper, more open relationship with God. And through this comes the greatest revelation—the liberation and freedom of truth—the reward of love.
~ Lucinda Vardey
In 1644 an order had been made that no book should be printed unless approved and licensed by the government. This is a part of Milton's great protest against trying to impose a censorship, instead of giving men freedom to choose.
Good and evil we know in the field of this world grow up together almost inseparably. He that can apprehend and consider vice with all her baits and seeming pleasures, and yet abstain, and yet distinguish and yet prefer that which is truly better, he is the true warfaring Christian. I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but sings out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for not without dust and heat. Assuredly we bring not innocence into the world, we bring impurity much rather: that which purifies us is trial, and trial is by what is contrary.
If every action, which is good or evil in man at ripe years, were to be under pittance and prescription and compulsion, what were virtue but a name, what praise would then be due to well-being? Many there be that complain of Divine Providence for suffering Adam to transgress; foolish tongues! When God gave him reason, He gave him freedom to choose, for reason is but choosing. We ourselves esteem not of that obedience or love, or gift, which is of force: God therefore left him free, set before him a provoking object, ever almost in his eyes; herein consisted his merit, herein the right of his reward, the praise of his abstinence. Wherefore did He create passions within us, pleasures round about us, but that these rightly tempered are the very ingredients of virtue?
~ John Milton (1608-1674), Areopagitica
We are coming to the end of the line personally and globally through our rejection of the feminine side of God. Addicts manifest an extreme form of this desecration in our culture, but they are also potential catalysts for the rebirth of the feminine. Not only are they individuals carrying the unconscious of their forebears. As human beings in the history of mankind they are also living out what is unconscious in the social environment.
We can remain blind to our personal shadow until we look into the starving eyes of an anorexic or alcoholic we love; we can also remain blind to the collective shadow until we turn on television and look into the eyes of a starving child.
In a technological civilization geared up for its own heady destruction, we are destined to become the victims of an outworn patriarchal consciousness so long as we collude in equating femininity with biological identity. That kind of consciousness is propelling not only individuals but the whole planet into an addiction to power and perfection which, viewed from the perspective of nature, can lead only to suicide.
Feminine consciousness dare not be limited to unredeemed matter or unconscious mother. The realization that a neurosis has a creative purpose applies globally as well as personally, and surely, in an age addicted to power and the acquisition of material possessions, the creative purpose must have something to do with the one thing that can save us—love for the earth, love for each other—the wisdom of the Goddess. Responsibility belongs in the individual home, in the individual heart, in the energy that holds atoms together rather than blows them apart.
~ Marion Woodman, The Pregnant Virgin
We always look from outside within; from knowledge we proceed to further knowledge, always adding and the very taking away is another addition. And our consciousness is made up of a thousand remembrances and recognition's, conscious of the trembling lead, of the flower, of that man passing by, that child running across the field; conscious of the rock, the stream, the bright red flower, and the bad smell of a pigsty.
From this remembering and recognizing, from the outward responses, we try to become conscious of the inner recesses, of the deeper motives and urges; we probe deeper and deeper into the vast depths of the mind. This whole process of challenges and responses, of the movement of experiencing and recognizing the hidden and the open activities, this whole is consciousness bound to time.
The cup is not only the shape, the color, the design but also the emptiness of the cup. The cup is the emptiness held within a form; without that emptiness there would be no cup nor form. We know consciousness by outer signs, by its limitations of height and depth, of thought and feeling. But all this is the outer form of consciousness; from the outer we try to find the inner. Is this possible? Theories and speculations are not significant; they actually prevent all discover.
From the outer we try to find the inner, from the known we probe hoping to find the unknown. Is it possible to prove from the inner to the outer? The instrument that proves from the outer we know, but is there such an instrument that probes from the unknown to the known? Is there? And how can there be? There cannot be. If there is one, it's recognizable and it it's recognizable, it's within the area of the known. The strange benediction comes when it will, but with each visitation, deep within, there is a transformation; it is never the same.
~ J. Krishnamurti, On God
Jason E. Royle
Welcome to my blog. I'm an open-minded theologian committed to Christ-like compassion & understanding.
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