~converting vice to virtue on the path of personal transformation
Or perhaps you and I like our insecurity and instability compared to the thoughts of God. ~Karl Barth in Watch For The Light, p. 139
At this time of year, Christians around the globe are celebrating the season of Advent, whose literal meaning is coming. This observance is directly related to the coming of Christ; which, in mystical terms, may be considered the birth of Unconditional Love afresh in each one of us at any time. The ritual of commemorating Advent helps to remind us and connect us to this vibrant possibility. This hope is the transcendence of our insecurity and self-absorption to live into the spaciousness and liberation of our True Nature.
Likewise, the philosophy of the Enneagram Personality Typology System (EPS) purports that humans have a choice in each moment. This option is to connect to Essence (Unconditional Love) or to personality (conditional love/the conditioned self). Through awareness of the mental fixation, customary emotional reaction, and habitual unhealthy behavior associated with our EPS type and by engaging in consistent contemplative practice, we are able to let go of our conditioning and offer a willing womb for Essence.
Abraham Maslow, the famous American psychologist who authored Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, hypothesized that the ideal, mature human being is one who embraces transcendent values and does not locate their sense of self geographically. Similarly, philosophers Michael Stark and Michael Washburn proposed that from an Eastern perspective, self-transcendence is a change in point of view that relieves suffering and requires a relinquishment of one’s constructed persona. In line with these premises, the express intent of the EPS is to relieve the anguish that occurs from responding to life in a conditioned, habitual way; and the promise of Advent is that within each one of us there is a virgin place that can bear the fruit of Unconditional Love.
Now begins the practice of yoga. ~Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, 1:1
From another spiritual tradition, we read a statement that encapsulates the core of the EPS and Advent because yoga means to yoke up or join with Higher Consciousness or Unconditional Love/Essence. This short sentence can be used as a mantra to remind us of the holy desire that lives in each of our hearts. Right now, we begin the practice . . . and now when we’ve lapsed into our conditioning . . . and now . . . and now again. This process is one of noticing and letting go, noticing and letting go. It is not a state of being that we create for ourselves. Rather, it enters graciously when we make room.
There is a story in the Christian scriptures that addresses how our attachments, such as the fears of our personality, serve to bind us. I offer my own adaptation of this recorded exchange between Jesus and a rich young man.
“What must I do to experience Unconditional Love/Essence (eternal life)?” inquired the young man.
Jesus looked at him and loved him (reminding us that we are cherished in our humanity, not shamed); then replied,
“You lack one thing. Let go of the unhealthy attachments that have your attention (sell all you have and give to the poor). Then come and follow me.”
I have to chuckle when I read the disciples’ response,
“Well then we’re all screwed (Who then can be saved?!)!”
Yet Jesus reassured,
“From personality, (for mortals) it is impossible, but not in Essence (for God); in Essence (for God) all things are possible.”
Mary offered only space, love, and belief. ~Loretta Ross-Gotta in Watch For The Light, p. 99
I believe that God’s Love Song is always singing in us. How we try to make sense of things, the aching mental commentary, and the meaning we assign to events are the background noise that distracts us from that sweet lullaby. Yet, we are pregnant with this Eternal Melody that longs to be heard and sung aloud.
To hear and respond to this hymn does not require effort, but silence. There is nothing we are obliged to do. We don’t have to make anything happen. There is no need to force an issue. The prophet’s invitation is still significant,
Be still and know.
Our natural, conditioned love that is self-promoting and abides in the realm of duality, can only foster strife. It is into the environment of waiting and trusting that the nondual arrives, pristine and unconditioned by the desire for personal gain. When the Unconditioned manifests, the conditioned self is transcended.
In the stable of our always innocent hearts, we hear the calling; and in the sacred stillness, we respond not by creating an action plan, but by making room for a birth to take place. The Unconditional Love that is eternally serenading us is simply waiting for our,
Yes, be it done to me according to your word.
May your mind be peaceful and calm,
may your body be relaxed and comfortable,
and may your heart be filled with love.
Thank you for reading.
Blessings and gratitude,