38: The Philosophical Model, Part 1-Continued

Susanna Gallisdorfer, Flower Passing Though Light, 2019

If I say: “Let the darkness hide me
and the light around me be night,”
even darkness is not dark for you
and the night is as clear as the day.
– Psalm 139:12

The Philosophical Model presented by Fr. Thomas in Session 37’s video is admittedly dense.  Many of us may find it hard to understand and even harder to apply. One might summarize the teaching this way: This model describes the evolution and obstacles to unity consciousness, which most of us have not experienced as yet and do not begin to comprehend its meaning and implications. Culturally, we say we prioritize reason even while our emotional programs unconsciously rule us.

Fr. Thomas concludes this video by stating, “In moving through these various levels [of consciousness], we experience the opposition, the downward movement, as well as the upward movement, which challenges us as we try to exercise the faculties according to their nature, and as we try to relate to other people.”

This work, this relationship to God, ourselves and other people involves a movement beyond only the exercise of reason. Rather, it is a whole-being experience! As Meister Eckhart urges us to pray: “Pray so powerfully … to put our every member and strength, our two eyes and ears, mouth, heart and all our senses to work; and not give up until we find that we wish to be one with [the One] who is present to us and whom we entreat, namely God.”

– Meister Eckhart, “Counsel Two-German Works,” Meister Eckhart, The Essential Sermons, Commentaries, Treatises, and Defense by Edmund Colledge and Bernard McGinn

What a joy, then, to discover that the core of reality, our perspectives and inmost capacities, that place of union and unity, already exists in every one of us!


“At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God, which is never at our disposal, from which God disposes of our lives, which is inaccessible to the fantasies of our own mind or the brutalities of our own will. This little point of nothingness and of absolute poverty is the pure glory of God in us. It is, so to speak, [God’s] name written in us, as our poverty, as our indigence, as our dependence, as our sonship. It is like a pure diamond, blazing with the invisible light of heaven. It is in everybody, and if we could see it we would see these billions of points of light coming tighter in the face and blaze of a sun that would make all the darkness and cruelty of life vanish completely. … I have no program for this seeing. It is only given. But the gate of heaven is everywhere.”

– Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander         




“Our task is to wake up to the truth of our reality. … This waking up requires interiority and
centeredness. Hence the first step toward justice is focusing the mind on higher-ordered levels of
love. Life in evolution requires living inward and moving outward, that is, living from an inner
unifed space of conscious awareness and presence whereby we see the divine light shining through
every aspect of our world – even the ugly parts – because nothing is outside the embrace of God’s
– Ilia Delio, The Omega Center blog, August 17, 2017

To Practice
  • Reflect that “Nothing is outside the embrace of God’s love.” Hold the reality of your life today.

Can you bring these two together into one and know that all circumstances of your own life, all that exists, is within the embrace of God’s love?

Notes and Reflections:

Additional Resources