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Monday, March 6, 2017

Cycles in Spiritual Growth

In preparing for my sermon next Sunday at the  Methodist Church, I am rethinking the cycles that happen as we strive for spiritual awakening and understanding. We often are in different cycles or paths in different parts of our lives at the same time. This time in my life I see clearly the four operating. Today I want to write a few words about the Via Negativa, the Dark Night of the Soul.

This path is the path of the seed in the dark soil, waiting on its becoming. This path is the one of emptying, releasing, of the death of ego and the death of the fear of death. It underlies the other three cycles/paths. I see that with new clarity this morning, especially in my transformative time in the shower (often new ideas come to me there as I celebrate the warm water flowing over me).

If I am not empty, non-attached, I cannot celebrate this one beautiful flower that is unique and present for me to see. I cannot know we are of the same cosmic light. I cannot fully rejoice in this life and live it fully and fearlessly, if I carry the fear of death. I cannot praise God fully and freely, if I come with decisions already made about who and what God is. If I am full of myself, I cannot be full of God.

If I am not empty, free of biases and pre-conceived ideas, I cannot create anything new. I cannot birth newness. I can only copy what has been done with perhaps slight variations, but not with the fresh newness that comes from the depths of the cosmos.

If I am not empty, there is no space for the transformation into the Cosmic Christ and the birth of true Compassion.

Without emptying, the rest of the journey is somewhat counterfeit. Without emptying, I am strangely empty of the rest of the spiritual cycle: the positive, the creative and the transformative.

I let go of the letting go that has been at work in my life. I turn it over to You to complete my emptying so that I may be a more clear light, a more useful guide to others. I pray the terrifying and wondrous prayer, Thy Will Be Done.

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