Here is a status report on this spiritual transition that I seem to be experiencing. “Spiritual” because it’s taking me into unknown territory, unseen stuff, related somehow to God and especially to Jesus or Christ. For shorthand I could say it’s about “Christ consciousness.” That is because I am seeing it, influenced by my recent reading*, as a response to the invitation Jesus brought, to join him in the realm of the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven, which was all about consciousness, a way of seeing.
But you could also say that this is in the realm of my very human psyche, a matter of human development, a psychological transition–one that is open to everyone who responds to such an invitation, whether it comes from a friend, or Christ, or Mohammed, though it seems to be one that requires a conscious choice. It may not otherwise happen in the normal course of human life and development.
(And why would you want to go on such a journey into the transformation of your own psyche? I can’t answer for anyone else. Because it’s possible. Because you feel restless with where you are at and change becomes necessary. Because the invitation brings a swelling of joy to your heart.)
I promised to report on this transition in a kind of spiritual travelogue, in the present, step by step into the fog of the unknown. A lot happened in the first few weeks–every post beginning August 27 has been a report– but now it has slowed a bit.
I’ve noticed that this is about the ego, how to regard it and how to treat it. The ego is not a bad thing. It is a human thing. The ego is the self that . . . No, I promised not to pontificate (let this lovely Pope do that). Start again. This is about my ego, how to regard it and how to treat it now, at this stage of my life and in this particular spiritual transition. The process seems to involve loosening the bonds of ego, not by ignoring the ego but by ceasing to identify with it. The last post, about making mistakes, was kind of about that.
The appropriate attitude toward my ego seems to be something like the way I’d treat a small child or a beloved pet: Oh you poor thing, you are upset/hurt/angry. Just come here and I’ll help you feel better. Or, you are so pleased with yourself and all the tricks you are learning, aren’t you just adorable.
I’ve noticed that the “me” that suffers injury or compares herself, favorably or unfavorably, with others is the ego. I’ve noticed that there is a Me that is never hurt, that has never been hurt, that is neither superior nor inferior, and that can comfort and heal, whether the injury happened last night or deep in the past. In order to connect with that Self, though, I have to let go of the idea that “I” am the injured one (or the accomplished one). I can separate myself from the hurt one, the jealous one, the insecure one (or the proud one) in a kind of loving detachment.
Some might say this larger Self is God but I have found it liberating to recognize it as a capacity in myself, perhaps the God-in-me, because this makes it possible to let go of hurt and injury, especially those in the far past, and move beyond them rather than holding them forever close and letting them define who I am. Does that make any sense? Probably not. I am still playing with and reveling in this discovery.
* Including Cynthia Bourgeault: Centering Prayer, Love is Stronger than Death, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene, The Wisdom Jesus, The Wisdom Way of Knowing; Helen Luke: Old Age; Jim Marion: Putting on the Mind of Christ