The Arc Of Lovelessness (2)
One of the things that congests our awareness and expression of Love, is the facile idea that we are meant to somehow embody images of success, as popularly conceived in Western and Western-influenced contemporary cultures. In other words, there is the idea that our duty is somehow to embody ideals which can then be paraded forth, as if our very Being was some limited form which at some eventual point be triumphantly showcased and then put to bed after we have finally met the approval of society at large, in a form of the surrogate parents that we are still striving to be “okay” for. The reality is that, we will always be “failures” by the standards of whatever ideals our mind might project and aspire to, be they material or spiritual or emanating from any ground of the so-called worldly in-between. This is actually very good news, though, as all legitimate spiritual paths teach us.
The idea that we should be some shining exemplars that can be celebrated in this life, finally, once we have “arrived”, is representative of the entire idea of the egoic fallacy which constitutes spiritual materialism. The truth of mature religion amounts in large part to our surrendering all of such narcissistic ideals, and in doing so finally begin to embody humility, so that we can on an immediate sense feel genuine love for ourselves and for all of those around us. The idea of being “perfect”, or of one day overcoming all of our foibles is precisely what keeps us locked in duality — it is, as Chogyam Trungpa once pointed out, basically reducing reality to a cheap cowboy movie, in which bad finally overcomes good. If that is our vision of reality, then it is one that has become a very lazy caricature of the actual process that we are involved in, and represents a huge disservice to our very souls to boot.
Being ensouled is an ongoing process — there is never an end in which we will find victory at last. Rather, the victory is in every moment of our dying to our egoic wishes born of distortion, and the concomitant sincere desire to know Reality and Love. God’s grace is a catalytic force which propels us along the way, and teaches us to love in the Divine sense, which is, as it turns out, completely unstinting. and divorced from any sort of economy known here on Earth. Our very failures and foibles turn out not to be obstacles to our souls’ path of evolution, but instead as means of engendering love and compassion in ourselves as well as others, as the mulch of our growth is formed along the way.
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