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Center for Action and Contemplation

At Home in Mystery

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


At Home in Mystery
Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Discernment (1 Corinthians 12:10), rightly understood, is not choosing between a total good and a total evil. Authentic wisdom is found at a much more subtle and nondualistic level. It is choosing between two partial goods. If you hold both sides seriously, within this space you can grow morally and begin to understand what really matters. That is the space in which you can go deep and learn mystery—which is endlessly knowable, as I wrote yesterday.

The source of spiritual wisdom is to hold questions and contradictions patiently, much more than to find quick certitudes, to rush to closure or judgment, as the ego and dualistic mind want to do. The ego wants to know it is right. It wants to stand on its own self-created solid ground—not the mysterious solid ground of the abyss. This is why so much religion remains immature and is a hiding place for many “control freaks” instead of people trained in giving up control to a Loving Presence.

A mature spiritual director will teach you how to negotiate the darkness, how to wait it out, how to hold on, how to live in liminal or threshold space. The dualistic mind just doesn’t know how to do that. The dualistic mind cannot deal with paradox, but the nondual mind can. In fact, it almost relishes and revels in mystery. Nondual consciousness is at home inside of the abyss.

I invite you to offer a simple, full-hearted “Yes” to the moment as it is, into the whole field, the full horizon of God and future. Choose every now in its wholeness. Whenever you choose or allow or surrender to the now, you can hold it in its entirety—the good and bad, the satisfying and unsatisfying, both what fulfills and what disappoints you. Saying yes to paradox positions you in a place that is bigger than your pain, bigger than your own thoughts. Here the Divine Friendship holds you. This is nondual consciousness.

Gateway to Silence:
Welcome what is.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Holding the Tension: The Power of Paradox (CAC: 2007), disc 3 (CD, MP3 download).

Image Credit: Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery (detail) by Pieter Breugel the Elder, 1565.
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