As we have explored these months, Yeshua’s non-dual teachings in the beatitudes hold an invitation that is pertinent in the midst of the ongoing intensity of conditions present in our cosmos. These are difficult and radical ideas requiring that we move beyond the concerns of the personality exclusively and into the eye of the heart in order to comprehend and live them out.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the Earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
In his Psychological Commentaries on the Teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, Maurice Nicoll, talks about how Jesus’ teachings in the parables and beatitudes are only for those who have been able to develop a strong personality and are no longer satisfied by this pursuit alone. He posits we are born as essence and this is what grows in the early years of our lives and then it is our task to develop a well formed personality around essence in order to operate in life. The formation of personality is a good and necessary part of our path. At some point however, the operation and pursuits of personality become empty and it is at this time that the teachings of Jesus begin to have meaning. We are ready to work in the direction of allowing personality to be sacrificed in service of essence continuing to grow. The ongoing growth of essence is not automatic but requires our active co-engagement with God. The beatitudes are invitations to allow the ‘further development of essence at the expense of personality.’
This sacrifice Yeshua is revealing to us does not arise from any inward unkindness or judgment toward the personality but rather from an inner stillness and recognition that the emptiness we experience is actually quite full of essence and of God. As we continue on in every moment of the now, we can allow our personality to become nourishment for essence. This is not a personal endeavor for our own transformation. We are simultaneously particular cells in the body of Christ and one Body that includes all beings and the earth. We are not separate from one another. We are not an other living on the earth, we are part of the earth. Our engaging this process of allowing personality to become food for essence to grow can be seen as an offering to the whole body. How one cell operates, affects the whole. Our practices of attention and surrender support this aim and I trust that in our exploration of these quintessential notions, they have seeped into your being and are in some way manifesting in the circumstances of your life.
May we be familiar with mourning
May we allow ourselves to be gentled
May our hunger for connection bring us into the vibrational field of Love
May we re-member the Mercy
May we polish the mirror of our heart
May we continue to make and grow true peace
May we see persecution as a way to the part of us that cannot be destroyed
May we be bearers of freedom on behalf of the Whole
With Great Love,
Here are most of the readings from this week:
“Do the beatitudes appear differently to you against this wisdom backdrop? In these eight familiar sayings we can now see that Jesus is talking about a radical transformation of consciousness, embraced through an attitude of inner receptivity; a willingness to enter the flow; a commitment to domesticate those violent animal programs within us; and above all, a passionate desire to unify the heart. This is a very powerful fourfold path. It has both a contemporaneity and a timelessness to it - not unlike the teachings you would hear today from the Dalai Lama and other great spiritual masters who have dedicated their lives to increasing the quality and quantity of human consciousness.”
— Cynthia Bourgeault, The Wisdom Jesus
“We live in remarkable and dramatic times; where our normally secret, individual sense of limbo and semi-imprisonment is being felt all at once and communally and even being spoken back to us, by the whole planet. This shared understanding and sometimes almost reluctant sense of empathy is providing us with an insightful, threshold perspective on the next stage of our individual and collective maturity, it is, in effect, showing us the way to go, collectively yes, but also in the way our individual courageous lives, learning to give the gift we were made to give, can be emboldening and helpful to others; the way we can learn to take the path of generosity toward ourselves and toward what we have unconsciously felt until now is ‘everyone else’.
… we are being shaped and can shape ourselves for a better future even amidst the difficulty and never ending heartbreak of our times. We are all in effect, ’getting ready to be ready’. We are getting ready - to be on the road again - to restart distant friendships - to adventure off the beaten track, and perhaps to lose ourselves in a different way than the way we feel we are losing ourselves now. We are all getting ready to live a life, under our present constraints, that in the future could be just half a shade braver than our previous existence.”
— David Whyte
"We are like particular risings out of the pulsing heart of God. We become string instruments of God through which the Holy One continues to vibrate. We are drawn toward dynamic harmony with the larger creation as part of God's universal symphony of sound."
— Tilden Edwards
“There is really only one way to restore a world that is dying and in disrepair: to make beauty where ugliness has set in. By beauty, I don’t mean a superficial attractiveness, though the word is commonly used in this way. Beauty is a loveliness admired in its entirety, not just at face value. The beauty I’m referring to is metabolized grief. It includes brokenness and fallibility, and in so doing, conveys for us something deliciously real. Like kintsukuroi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with powdered gold, what is normally seen as a fatal flaw is distinguished with value. When we come into contact with this kind of beauty, it serves as a medicine for the brokenness in ourselves, which then gives us the courage to live in greater intimacy with the world’s wounds.”
— Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home
“Holy or whole individuals, the ones we call ‘saints,’ are precisely the ones who have no ‘I’ to protect or project. Their ‘I’ is in conscious union with the ‘I AM’ of God, and that is more than enough. Divine union overrides any need for self-hatred or self-adoration. Such people do not need to be perfectly right, and they know they cannot be anyway, so they just try to be in right relationship. In other words, they try to be loving—above all else. Love holds us tightly and safely and always. Such people have met the enemy and know that the major enemy is ‘me’ (to borrow from the comic strip character Pogo). But they do not hate the ‘me’ either, they just see through and beyond ‘me’.”
— Richard Rohr