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Finding the "Real" You

Discussion in 'Mind, Body & Spirit' started by Montana Keith, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. Montana Keith

    Montana Keith Member

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    Here are some quotes I thought you might enjoy. Take care. --Keith :)

    IN GOD, I FIND MY TRUE SELF

    Every one of us is shadowed by an illusory person: a false self.

    This is the man that I want myself to be but who cannot exist, because God does not know anything about him. And to be unknown of God is altogether too much privacy.

    My false and private self is the one who wants to exist outside the reach of God’s will and God’s love—outside of reality and outside of life. And such a self cannot help but be an illusion. . .

    The secret of my identity is hidden in the love and mercy of God.

    But whatever is in God is really identical with Him, for His infinite simplicity admits no division and not distinction. Therefore I cannot hope to find myself anywhere except in Him.

    Ultimately the only way that I can be myself is to become identified with Him in Whom is hidden the reason and fulfillment of my existence.

    Therefore there is only one problem on which all my existence, my peace and my happiness depend: to discover myself in discovering God. If I find Him I will find myself and if I find my true self I will find Him.

    But although this looks simple, it is in reality immensely difficult. In fact, if I am left to myself it will be utterly impossible. For although I can know something of God’s existence and nature by my own reason, there is no human and rational way in which I can arrive at that contact, that possession of Him, which will be the discovery of Who He really is and of Who I am in Him.

    That is something that no man can ever do alone.

    Nor can all the men and all the created things in the universe help him in this work.

    The only One Who can teach me to find God is God, Himself, Alone.


    (New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton, pp. 36-38)

    BEING / GOD

    When you say Being, are you talking about God? If you are, then why don’t you say it?

    The word God has become empty of meaning through thousands of years of misuse. I use it sometimes, but I do so sparingly. By misuse, I mean that people who have never even glimpsed the realm of the sacred, the infinite vastness behind that word, use it with great conviction, as if they knew what it is that they are talking about. Or they argue against it, as if they knew what it is that they are denying. This misuse gives rise to absurd beliefs, assertions, and egoic delusions, such as, “My or our God is the only true God and your God is false,” or Nietzsche’s famous statement “God is dead.”

    The word God has become a closed concept. The moment the word is uttered, a mental image is created, no longer, perhaps, of an old man with a white beard, but still a mental representation of someone or something outside you, and, yes, almost inevitably a male someone or something.

    Neither God nor Being nor any other word can define or explain the ineffable reality behind the word, so the only important question is whether the word is a help or a hindrance in enabling you to experience That toward which it points. Does it point beyond itself to that transcendental reality, or does it lend itself too easily to becoming no more than an idea in your head that you believe in, a mental idol?

    The word Being explains nothing, but nor does God. Being, however, has the advantage that it is an open concept. It does not reduce the infinite invisible to a finite entity. It is impossible to form a mental image of it. Nobody can claim exclusive possession of Being. It is your very essence, and it is immediately accessible to you as the feeling of your own presence, the realization I am that is prior to I am this or I am that. So it is only a small step from the word Being to the experience of Being.


    (The Power of Now, p. 11)

    EXPERIENCE OF “GOD”

    These experiences, besides being ecstatic, were for me aha! moments. They gave me a new understanding of the meaning of the word God. I realized that God does not refer to a supernatural being “out there” (which is where I had put God ever since my childhood musings about God “up in heaven”). Rather, I began to see, the word God refers to the sacred at the center of existence, the holy mystery that is all around us and within us. God is the nonmaterial ground and source and presence in which, to cite words attributed to Paul by the author of Acts, “we live and move and have our being.

    Thus I began also to understand what it means to say that God is both everywhere present and “up in heaven”—both immanent and transcendent, as traditional Christian theology puts it. As immanent (the root means “to dwell within”), God is not somewhere else, but right here and everywhere. To speak of God as being “up in heaven”—that is, as transcendent—means that God is not to be identified with any particular thing, not even the sum total of things.

    God is more than everything, and everything is in God. Being a thinking type, I began studying experiences of God in both mystical and nonmystical forms. I learned that even though these experiences are extraordinary, they are also quite common across cultures, throughout history, and into the present time. Gradually it became obvious to me that God—the sacred, the holy, the numinous—was “real.” God was no longer a concept or an article of belief, but had become an element of experience.


    (Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, pp. 14-15)
     

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