Categories
the real self

The Soul of Freedom

If I did not believe in God I think I would be bound in conscience to become an anarchist. Yet, if I did not believe in God, I wonder if I could have the consolation of being bound in conscience to do anything.

Conscience is the soul of freedom, it eyes, its energy, its life. Without conscience, freedom never knows what to do with itself. And a rational being who does not know what to do with [their self] finds the tedium of life unbearable. [They are] literally bored to death.

Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island, “Conscience, Freedom, and Prayer”

I’ve been stuck
Trying to find my voice
To hear it in the clamor of the others
Droning on about scandalous politics
Whining about the downfall of society
What people stoop to to pick up a buck
A pile of which will make them free
Free from something
I don’t know what
Not free from puzzling out
How to spend the next minute

I’ve been stuck
not wanting to say all that
Or just that
Because there is more to say
I know there is
If I can just listen for that voice
Still and small
Telling me to speak and act
Freely and truly

There it is

Could that be Conscience?


Grace and peace to you…
dw

Photo by dw

Categories
hope the real self

That One Voice

Faith is a way of waiting – never quite knowing, never quite hearing or seeing, because in the darkness we are all but a little lost.

There is doubt hard on the heels of every belief, fear hard on the heels of every hope, and many holy things lie in ruins because the world has ruined them and we have ruined them.

But faith waits even so, delivered at least from that final despair which gives up waiting altogether because it sees nothing left worth waiting for.

Faith waits – for the opening of a door, the sound of footsteps in the hall, that beloved voice delayed, delayed so long that there are times when you all but give up hope of ever hearing it.

And when at moments you think you do hear it (if only faintly, from far away) the question is:

Can it possibly be, impossibly be, that one voice of all voices?

Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons, “Delay”

False choices
The next following hard on the heels of the last
Made by a desperate imposter self
Desperate for anything to distract
From its emptiness, its nakedness

False choices
Exchanging dopamine poofs
For the overwhelming reality
There is a real soul in there
Dying to be known and loved

Dying to hear the One Voice
Calling softly, tenderly
Come home, come home
I’m waiting for you
I will wait


Grace and peace to you…

dw

Photo by dw

Categories
the real self

False Choices

We too easily assume that we are our real selves, and that our choices are really the ones we want to make…

Our choices are too often dictated by our false selves.

Hence I do not find in myself the power to be happy merely by doing what I like.

On the contrary, if I do nothing except what pleases my own fancy I will be miserable almost all the time.

Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island, “Conscience, Freedom, and Prayer”

I don’t know enough about brain chemistry to say anything much about it. But I understand that we can easily become like trapped rats poking whatever button we can find that results in a little dopamine poof. And then another. And then another, bigger poof. Each poof producing in our brains what we associate with pleasure. Followed by a lack of pleasure. Followed by looking for that button again. And, can we poke it a little harder and get a little bigger poof this time?

I have been that trapped rat. I have family members who were those trapped rats who I hope and pray found mercy and relief when they left the earth that had become to them a maze with no way out and all the buttons no longer sufficient.

We have thriving industries that depend on our false selves making the choices for us. Until we no longer have any power to choose anything but what we have become addicted to, perfect consumers.

God in heaven, be merciful to us, guide us to our true selves, to choices that don’t go poof.

Jesus, you came that we might have joy, abundantly, not dependent on dopamine and the pleasure pulses it gives. Inclusive of pleasure, yes; thank you. Requiring pleasure, no; thank you. Joy no one can take from us, not ‘like the world gives’. Thank you.


Grace and peace to you…
dw

Photo by dw