All humans are innately spiritual
and if they develop/mature properly
they feel a need to celebrate
with ritual and sacrifice
their participation in Ultimate Mystery.
Confucians (followers of Master Kung Fu)
believed in the goodness of human nature
and encouraged this goodness to come out
through a sacred culture
that elevates humans in love.
“Belief in the goodness of God/humans/life
is not just a choice, it is a Resurrection.
When we believe in the Source of Life
we are raised to a new spiritual level of being.”
– Thomas Merton
But “First we fall, and later we see our fall
as the Mercy of God.” – Julian of Norwich
We live far away from God until we are broken
and return to God.
The Fall is the ‘happy fault’ sung at Easter Vigil –
the Great Mistake that caused our Great Savior
to come and pitch his tent among women and men.
In Confessions Augustine wrestled
with the triple temptation:
“lust of the flesh/lust of the eyes/and pride.”
Spiritual pride leads people to claim
God’s sanction for their own projects –
this can lead to the worst injustice
because any opposition to “my way”
is considered satanic.
All spiritual disciplines have one purpose:
to rid us of the illusions of the flesh and the eyes
so we can see clearly and live in Reality/God
but most cultures are trapped
in the trance of materialism:
“It’s all about the money.”
The grand displacement of culture
happened when materialistic science
replaced religion as the answer
to all questions of ultimate concern
and of what we should trust
and pledge allegiance to.
After medieval times culture was unified
no longer by God
but by the self-thinking individual subject.
Each person had to figure out the world and life
using rational thought alone.
Nietzsche saw this as the death of God.
People want to turn inward
but dualistic, either-or thinking
can lead to the misconception
that inner work is self-centered navel-gazing
out of touch with Reality – the material world.
However, depth psychology teaches
genuine holiness is not just self-abnegation
not just being totally other-centered
with no thought for the self –
rather it is both self-awareness
and self-transformation for others.
If you give in to the temptation to resist transformation
you never become a spiritual adult.
In any case the only place
you can simultaneously
touch Jesus/the Holy Spirit/
and the kingdom/queendom/kindom of God
is within you.
Beyond searching just for comfort
if we want a more full and passionate life
we need the type of curiosity
that does not shy away
from looking at painful things.
And we need the realization
that we can endure a lot of pain
in our search for truth about God/the world/and our self.
If we pursue truth wholeheartedly
we will eventually conclude
only Christ can heal
all our pain/lust/illusions/temptations/and pride.