What eye has not seen,
and ear has not heard,
and what has not entered the human heart,
what God has prepared for those
who love him.
This God has revealed to us
through the Spirit.
– 1 Corinthians 2:9-10
Well, the question arises: Why not let…go a little sooner so that you could enjoy the freedom of choosing the measure in which you’re going to belong to certain groups…peacefully and graciously?
…And along with the invitation to repent – change the direction in which you’re looking for happiness – comes Jesus’ invitation that we have been looking at quite closely: take the divine therapy. If you want to be free, if you want to pray, if you want to heal your relationship with God, enter your Inner Room. It’s a kind of office. It’s where the divine psychotherapy takes place. Close the door, so you don’t run away too fast. Quiet your own interior mind, so that you can listen to what the Spirit is saying to your particular little cell, the little holon that you are within the greater holon of Christ’s Mystical Body.
And the whole purpose of this therapy is to enable us to become who we really are. I don’t know what else you think you can be. But we’re scared of being who we really are. In any case, Jesus has a wisdom saying for this suggestion. And it’s this one: he says, If you try to save your life, that is to say, your false self – it seems to be the meaning of ‘life’ in this context – you will bring yourself to ruin. Okay, so the false self has no future. Its death enables us to discover the true self and who we really are.
…And so to let oneself become no particular thing, no over-identification…with the body, or feelings, or friends, or relatives, or property, our role, and our inmost self too; that is to say, our idealized image of who we think we are or should be or want to be… This is what Jesus invites us to let go of. And the divine therapy is designed to enable us to do this in a humane way, over a period of time, with all kinds of other helps and with enormous Intelligence to guide us through this process and with a love that is absolutely unconditional and determined to bring this about at all costs.
-Thomas Keating, from the Session 91 video
The old and the new.
For the “old man,” everything is old: he has seen everything or thinks he has. He lost hope in anything new. What pleases him is the ‘old’ he clings to, fearing to lose it, but he is certainly not happy with it. And so, he keeps himself ‘old’ and cannot change; he is not open to any newness.
…For the ‘new man’ everything is new. Even the old is transfigured in the Holy Spirit and is always new. There is nothing to cling to; there is nothing to be hoped for in what is already past… The new man is he who can find reality where it cannot be seen by the eyes of the flesh – where it is not yet – where it comes into being the moment he sees it… The new man lives in a world that is always being created, and renewed. He lives in this realm of renewal and creation. He lives in life.
– Thomas Merton, Journals, March 18, 1959
“Are we willing to let God love us with this much unmerited gratuity?”
– Thomas Keating, “The Pursuit of Happiness,” Heartfulness: Transformation in Christ
- Observe your attitudes about God, yourself, your journey. As we move close to the end of our program, can you look back and notice if your attitudes have changed over this time?