Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The Monk Archetype

 From The Christian Review:

Being ‘alone before God’ demands that we stop running from these inner experiences and let go of fear. In order to do this, it takes faith. When we face our inner existential situation in faith, you could say that we slowly learn to get out of the boat as Peter did and walk over the stormy seas. It must be done. The twelve-step spirituality is a good illustration of this. A conscious choice is needed in order to do this. We do not fall into trust. We choose it.

No matter our makeup, be we highly extroverted, or deeply introverted, our restlessness, and the destructive ways that we seek to self-medicate ourselves, has to be faced. It is our relationship with God that can help us to make this inner journey.

We are all inward creatures. Our inner lives are deep and it is from that place that we interpret the world around us. If we do not ‘deal’ with our inner lives, then ‘it’ will deal with us. We are often driven by unconscious forces that can wreak havoc in our lives.

We can only embrace our inner aloneness when we learn that we can always choose to open up our hearts to consciously allow God’s gaze to look into our depths. In order to do this, we have to trust in God’s love for us and swim upstream, which can be exhausting.

Most of our battles are with ourselves. Many of our outer altercations flow from our projecting our inner chaos and pain onto the community, or certain individuals, or  whole groups. The very human tendency to create stereotypes is seen in the daily news.

This kind of altercation is worthless and leads nowhere. This is the place where gossip often finds its beginning. Gossip and detraction is so common that the serious nature of this ‘sin’ is often overlooked and not even considered. Yet to gossip drains love from the heart and soul. It also leads others down that same path. As long as gossip is a habit in our lives, it will be very difficult to grow in the love of God and others. In fact, the opposite can happen without one even knowing that one is poisoning one’s soul.

In marriage, the wedding vows point to a steep path of inner transformation that is lived out in the sacrificial aspect of being wed, as well as raising children, and dealing with other family members. It is an often painful crucible that has to be traversed before inner peace can be found. This is done through prayer, study, growing in humility, which is the fruit of self-knowledge.

I have talked with many couples, and many of them have told me that marriage does not take away from that deep sense of being alone. They have found that living out their faith at its deepest levels is the only way to healing and overcoming the fear of being unaccompanied. As they both mature, they find that their hearts also expand outward to others. Marriages from my experience of listening come about when the man and wife have a listening heart for one another and are quick to forgive. (Read more.)


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