Here is an invitation for Lent which comes directly from Cynthia Bourgeault’s teachings this week on Gurdjieff’s notion of working with ‘creating sun’ and ‘creating moon’ in ourselves. Cynthia says that creating sun in ourselves is about having the aim to strengthen affirmative, positive, and intelligent elements in ourselves and learn to wield them for the greater good. Creating moon in ourselves is about directly confronting habits, that which is in our shadows, our beasts, and false self patterns.
This lenten season work to create sun in yourself. Pick a fruit of the spirit which draws you — love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness/generosity, gentleness, self-control, steadfastness/faithfulness/fidelity, patience. This could be a fruit you see in yourself that you would like to continue to develop or one that seems foreign to you. Take it on this season to understudy it as a way of creating sun in yourself. Strengthen this element within and learn to wield it. Intentionally feast on this fruit, live closely under its mentorship. Allow the nourishing affect on your being from placing yourself directly in its presence. More than just imitating it from the outside, although that may take you the first few steps, bring it into your own marrow. Pray with this fruit, chew on it, meditate on it, savor it, allow it to nourish ever cell in your body and if you decide to fast from something, let the hunger that emerges as a result be that which tethers you to the fruit.
Pick a habit to confront directly and tend to it this Lenten season. Rather than rejecting it and pushing it further into the shadows or completely inhabiting it, allow yourself to stand directly in front of it and wait in patience. Stand in the tension and as Jacob Boehme in The Way to Christ says, “If you stand firm, if you do not bend, you will see and perceive great wonders. You will discover how Christ will storm the hell in you and will break [or tame] your beasts.” Let this be your practice of self-examination and let it lead you to repentance. Repentance which in Greek translates as metanoia and means “go beyond the mind” or “go into the larger mind.” As Cynthia says in The Wisdom Jesus, “It means to escape from the orbit of the egoic operating system, which by virtue of its own internal hardwiring is always going to see the world in terms of polarized opposites, and move instead into that nondual knowingness of the heart which can see and live from the perspective of wholeness. This is the central message of Jesus. This is what his Kingdom of Heaven [World 24] is all about. ‘Let’s get into the larger mind,’ he says. ‘This is what it looks like. This is how you do it. Here, I’ll help you. . .” Allow your beasts to be brought into wholeness.
Cynthia reminds us that these two practices are not simply about ourselves, or even for our closest community but really for the Whole. That we might be part of repairing and healing the wounds present in the Collective psyche and soul. Trust the aid and help coming from World 24 as you engage these aims.
If you are interested in hearing more about this topic you can listen to this topic here on my dear friend Faye’s wisdom session through Trinity Episcopal Church.
Here most of the Readings from this week's pauses:
"'Let This Darkness Be a Bell Tower'
Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,
what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.
In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.
And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.
Sonnets to Orpheus II, 29
― Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Joanna Macy
“Only in love can I find you, my God. In love the gates of my soul spring open, allowing me to breathe a new air of freedom and forget my own petty self. In love my whole being streams forth out of the rigid confines of narrowness and anxious self-assertion, which make me a prisoner of my own poverty emptiness. In love all the powers of my soul flow out toward you, wanting never more to return, but to lose themselves completely in you, since by your love you are the inmost center of my heart, closer to me than I am to myself.”
― Karl Rahner, Encounters With Silence
"I am the light shining upon all things. I am the sum of everything, for everything has come forth from me, and towards me everything unfolds. Split a piece of wood, and there I am. Pick up a stone, and you will find me there." ―Gospel of Thomas, Logion 77 (tr. Lynn Bauman)
Only the Divine matters,
And because the Divine matters,
—Thomas Keating, “What Matters”
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."
— Galatians 5:22-23, English Standard Version