Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Learning about yourself

Reminder: This weekend is the monthly Spiritual Open House conference call, Sunday Nov. 19 at 4pm Eastern. Invitations will go out soon, so sign-up if you'd like information on how to dial in.

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I am so eager to see my kids again. I'll see my daughter over Thanksgiving, and then we'll all be together for Christmas.

One of the first things I ask them whenever we've been apart is, "What have you learned about yourself?" I love to hear their tales of self-reliance and good judgment, their ability to be a good friend and to succeed at whatever comes their way.

Often they're telling me something I already knew about them, and now they've discovered it, too. Sometimes they surprise me, and I get to appreciate something about them I hadn't seen before. This is also very cool! They are breaking through limitations and learning they are each more than they thought.

Seeing life as an opportunity to learn about oneself has helped me enormously, especially when I've made a mistake. I'll go out there, try something new, blow it, and learn something. If I've learned something, it's not a total loss. And then, I'll try again and do better the next time.

I think because I have the basic spiritual understanding that this human personality is not all there is to me, I'm more able to forgive its failings. I do my best to improve it, almost as an external separate entity, but at my core I am myself, the idea of divine Mind, perfect already. The perfect reality that is my identity will never be fully expressed humanly, so there will always be room to grow in that arena. So I'm constantly learning more about that which is already established.

What I'm mostly learning is the *how.* I know the *what*—Mind's idea—but the implementation becomes the challenge. I say with Paul,

14 we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

--Romans

Can't you just see Paul sitting in his little cell noodling this out? I see him with a pen to his lips, perplexed and working it out bit by bit. It must not have been entirely clear to him at first either. To me, Paul's talking about the human selfhood when he's discussing sin. The physical body, the fleshly form. This can never achieve perfection—it's limited by definition to matter. But the inward man, the spiritual identity, is sinless, whole, pure, perfect, according to the law of God. The Christ, the divine manifestation of Truth, reveals the inward man and resolves the dilemma.

Learning about yourself is about unveiling the spiritual identity. If the human self needs some adjusting, you can almost treat it as a small child—with compassion and patience. Sometimes I'll think about the human personality I'm dealing with (my own) and say, "Poor thing, it's afraid, or hurt," or whatever. And I'll regard it almost from the outside, and reassure it with Truth.

In the end, there are not two of us, there's only one—the spiritual one. The outward, physical is the temporary and finite. It will go, and we will remain.


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1 Comments:

At 11/16/2006 09:45:00 AM, Blogger ObiDonWan said...

OK, this comment raises a question: To me, Paul's talking about the human selfhood when he's discussing sin. The physical body, the fleshly form. This can never achieve perfection—it's limited by definition to matter. But the inward man, the spiritual identity, is sinless, whole, pure, perfect, according to the law of God. The Christ, the divine manifestation of Truth, reveals the inward man and resolves the dilemma."

People who aren't CS (and some who are) ask: ok, through prayer I can perceive the inward man, my spiritual identity, and see it as perfect...but just HOW does that affect and heal the physical body, which is limited to being less than perfect? Eh?

 

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