The main interest of my work is not concerned with
the treatment of neuroses but rather
with the approach to the numinous
(a sense of the holy).
But the fact is that the approach to the numinous
is the real therapy and inasmuch as you attain
to the numinous experiences you are released
from the curse of pathology.
The altitude at which I was living had been achieved by at least four means. First, I had been trained as an intellectual not only to think- an activity I greatly value- but also to live largely in my head, the place in the human body farthest from the ground. Second, I had embraced a form of Christian faith devoted less to the experience of God than to abstractions about God, a fact that now baffles me. Third, my altitude had been achieved by my ego, an inflated ego that led me to think more of myself than was warranted in order to mask my fear that I was less than I should have been. Finally, it had been achieved by my ethic, a distorted ethic that led me to live by images of who I ought to be or what I ought to do, rather than by insight into my own reality, into what was true and possible and life-giving for me. I never stopped to ask, ‘How does such-and-such fit my God-given nature?’ Eventually, I developed my own image of the ‘befriending’ impulse behind my depression. Imagine that from early in my life, a friendly figure, standing a block away, was trying to get my attention by shouting my name, wanting to teach me some hard but healing truths about myself. The figure calling to me all those years, was, I believe, what Thomas Merton calls ‘true self.’ This is not the ego self that wants to inflate us, not the intellectual self that wants to hover above the mess of life in clear but ungrounded ideas, not the ethical self that wants to live by some abstract moral code. It is the self planted in us by the God who made us in God’s own image- the self that wants nothing more, or less, than for us to be who we were created to be. True self is true friend. One ignores or rejects such friendship only at one’s peril…….Parker J. Palmer
we feel so pressured to do so many things….to achieve, to become, to rise above…..and yet we often miss our calling anyway….what is our shadow leading us to notice?…..remembering our true self somehow rearranges us on a molecular level…..we cannot ignore what we suddenly come to see…..this is the work of revering life…..
You imagine yourself
But probably not one
who does so;
is to prevent this.