Because religion is so deep, as profound as it is transcendent, it touches upon those issues that motivate us and yet remain hidden from awareness. Not paying attention to the soul, we carry on disconnected from the roots of our thoughts, feelings, and behavior. When we imagine religion to be only of the spirit and not of the soul, high but not deep, the whole world of feeling and imagination is left ignored and chaotic. The struggle for a meaningful life may not be an intellectual quest alone or primarily a hunt for consciousness and values. It may entail a working through of relationships, experiences, memories, and unaccountable desires and fears. Often the deeper narratives and feelings that compel a person in a certain spiritual direction go unnoticed and unreflected even though they play a major role. The path of depth passes through depression, anger, failure, and doubt, but still it can lead to a visionary place. When we dare to enter those difficult places, we discover that life is more intense, more complex, and more interesting than we might have imagined. I am advocating an alchemy of spirit, an honest and imaginative refining of the emotions and life’s complexities to the point of vision. The spirit is squeezed like wine from grapes out of the ugly habits that cause so much pain. By going down into the depths of the soul we find the raw material for a grounded spiritual life, and we discover a different quality of vision, deep forms of prayer and meditation, and a highly individual call to ethics. The spirit that vaporizes from the depths is in tune with body and in league with desire….Thomas Moore
wisdom seeks beauty and experience rather than the kind of all-knowing ego desires which usually guide our days…..can we let go enough to delve into our true ethics? perhaps it is only through this mysticism where the unequivocal quest transcends….
The genuine desire to experience the full spectrum of pleasure, to give and receive love, to find a satisfying mode of self-expression, and to contribute to the well-being of others are shared longings that may be difficult to acknowledge. However, when one admits openly what one really wants, one is well on the way to finding it. Dissatisfaction with symbols of pleasure can be interpreted as a message from the Self. Divine discontent is a call to transcendence. We can never be completely happy with less that total Self-awareness. As long as we are busy making judgments, pursuing conscious goals, and allowing the more subtle aspects of present experience to escape our notice, happiness eludes us….Frances Vaughan
The modern hero, the modern individual who dares to heed the call and seek the mansion of that presence with whom it is our whole destiny to be atoned, cannot, indeed must not, wait for his community to cast off its slough of pride, fear, rationalized avarice, and sanctified misunderstanding. ‘Live,’ Nietzsche says, ‘as though the day were here.’ It is not society that is to guide and save the creative hero, but precisely the reverse. And so every one of us shares the supreme ordeal- carries the cross of the redeemer- not in the bright moments of his tribe’s great victories, but in the silences of his personal despair……Joseph Campbell