Dark Night of the Soul
My last few posts have been from a space I did not embrace, although most of us have those moments in our lives. I think it might have been a "dark night" as St John of the Cross called it. That is very interesting, since I have been in that "whoa is me" or "Where is God?" place before, but in the past those times have been short. Prayer and meditation usually put be back on the path again with confidence. This occurred a lot in my early spiritual life when I was searching for God with no direct feedback from my spiritual other or true self regarding how I was doing. But as time went on these time came less and less. And,when I saw my spiritual director, I was re-directed. Although living in the world with all it's temptations remains a challenge I seem to have gotten past this time.
I read a great book recently called 25 Books Every Christian Should Read and found it uplifting and very educational. Seems all Christians, be they Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox have at least one thing in common. That one thing is a desire to do the will of God in their daily life. God speaks to us in various ways. Through scripture, homilies, or various anologies or metaphors that demonsrate the perfection of the Creator in our worldly existence. I have made the comment to friends on more than one occasion: Wouldn't it be nice if you could call God on the phone and ask him for his three year plan for holiness and divine intervention in our life. I think practicing contempletive prayer is the closest thing to that.
I am reading three books now. The first is to help me maintain healthy eating and exercise. It is called "You are not your Brain", by Jeffrey Schwartz and Rebecca Galdding who are both doctors. The book describes a 4 step process for changing your own behavior such as bad habits (like eating too much of the wrong thing) and/or negative unhealthy thoughts. It teaches something called Self Directed Neuroplasticity. Which is a scientic term for learning new healthy habits. The second book is by the Dali Lama called Beyond Religion which describes a world where we each can follow our own religious beliefs but co-exist with respect. The author describes a more compassionate definition of secular society and seems to advocate cooperation rather than competition. I am reading it because our company CEO recommended it to each of his direct reports. Seemed like a good book to read. The third book is about the historical significance of Constantaople given to me by a friend. I look forward to my evenings over the next few weeks.