Tuesday, August 27, 2013

learning to engage contemplatively in the dilemma of how difficult it is to live contemplatively

Sculpture by Jeanne Dueber SL
"... Here is a more generous, more robust approach to the dilemma of our ignorance.  This more generous approach consists, not of attempts to overcome our ignorance, but rather of a willingness to gaze deeply within it, learning its ways as we learn to get up with it in the morning and go to bed with it at night.  The tonality of this approach is not about methods of attainment but is the tonality of a willingness to see and accept the dark divinity of our plight of being trapped on the outer circumference of the inner richness of the life we are living. 
"In this humble self-knowledge there is the growing realization that this whole journey of contemplative self-transformation is not simply or primarily about "me" in my private quest for inner peace.  Rather it is about entering into the homelessness of the whole world being uniquely expressed in my experience of it.  Likewise, we begin to discover that the journey of which we find ourselves is not one of rising above or leaving behind our unaware self.  Rather, the journey consists of waking up and coming home to the divinity at once hidden and revealed in the dance of the now so near now so far away, the noble now so Oh-my-God-what-have-I-done stuff of our own life and the lives of those around us.." 
-James Finley, The Contemplative Heart, pp. 39


  1. Replies
    1. thanks for your comment, Claire!

      That notion of a DARK DIVINITY grabbed me: the dark divinity of our plight of being trapped on the outer circumference of the inner inner richness of the life we are living.

  2. The lure of that dark outer circle - the maya of Hindu philosophy - has such a powerful hold over our senses and whole notion of self, while any inner riches appear steeped in certain failure and an awkward "self-consciousness"...

    1. "Maya" is illusion, right? I'm curious about the "awkward self-consciousness" of inner riches of which you speak. Could that be the hesitancy to speak of what in in one's heart for fear of being out of step with the status quo? Upsetting the illusion?

    2. Yes, Maya is illusion but also the created world as it appears.
      The "awkward self-consciousness" is maybe more a reflection of my own limitation: a hesitancy or inner reluctance to engage with others where there's no fixed roles for us to play, and we will no doubt be thrown into a silence which is not yet comfortable..

  3. The Noble Now... where sight fails and Faith, the dark light of Faith, shows the way. Very John of the Cross. This is enough to chew on for a month ! Thanks for posting !

    1. Like the way you've connected the Noble Now with the dark light of Faith, Paul. Says something about surrender to me ...

  4. my 2cents __________________

    good stuff so this *



    as a flower
    blooms *

    across the years
    days of noon *

    of the nights array
    the brightness
    of the day *

    blessings _______________________________



  Kelly Latimore Icon "You have made us together, you have made us one and many, you have placed me here in the midst as witness, as aw...