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12 - Integration and Three Centers of Knowing and Being - Part Three

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

Progress in the spiritual elevates us to a place where we come into contact with the infinite energy of God, which reveals the vastness of all we do not know more than what we do. When the limited container of me touches the limitless space of God, then I know just how small I am, and yet, just how valuable too.

Ever heard the old Quaker song “Simple Gifts”? It has this line in it; “Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be.” The irony of the spiritual journey is that we move up by coming down. As we reach up towards God, we find that we are actually coming back down to a more humble, simple, pure, and true place of personal being.

So many problems in human culture and society can be traced back to an overweening sense of self-importance? There’s nothing like the embrace of the Infinite Eternal to help us see ourselves as a part of a much bigger universe, an embrace which equally elevates our value but diminishes our self-centeredness. It is our disconnection from God that allows us to think we are more important and powerful than we really are. When we grow in humility and a greater sense of otherness, we see that we are part of a much larger world. Then we find our significance from our place in that larger world, which naturally make us feel smaller and bigger at the same time.

In the Pink Floyd song “Wish You Were Here,” there's this line; “did you exchange a walk on part in the war, for a lead role in a cage.” The transfer of our lives from the small, separated self to one more connected to God is like trading a lead role in a cage for a secondary part in a much greater story. It's our overreliance on the mind/body paradigm that leaves us smaller but feeling larger, and a reconnection to our fullest self that makes us feel smaller while actually becoming greater. As we do the work of connecting to God, and beginning to grow into our full self, then we come more alive. But what does that look like? It looks like a growing surrender to God.

A practical surrender to God means that we start to practice letting Him lead our thoughts and emotions, instead of thinking our thinking and emotions lead us. That's where the idea of the soul "sound system" is important. God is already speaking into your emotions and thoughts. The problem is that we don't know how to distinguish God's voice inside us from all the other voices.

What we mistake as the source of our own ideas about life and goodness is just raw data that could spin us in any number of directions, none of which may actually make us happy at all. We can’t just take all the data as the source of how we are meant to live. What’s truly going on is that God is trying to direct us through the two outer Centers of being, body and spirit. Both of these are in contact with God in two ways which correlate to the two worlds in which we live, the physical and the spiritual. God is in both, and speaking to us through both. It is the Body and Spirit Centers which are meant to give meaning to all that data pouring into our Soul Center, through our Knowing Centers. This happens as we learn to hear God through both. What begins to happen, as we come more into contact with God through the body and spirit, is that we develop a good set of filters for all that data, in order to determine not only which messages to keep, but how to interpret and act upon them.

Ever heard of Gestalt theory. Because we are hardwired for meaning, our eyes will naturally create shapes out of shadows in the dark. It’s also why we see elephants in clouds, and faces in abstract patterns on the floor. We simply cannot help but create meaning in and from the world around us. But trying to pull our own meaning out of all this incoming data creates conflicting thoughts and emotions, and produces conflicting conclusions and directions. Trying to manifest our own meaning and purpose can pull us in many directions. It does not bring clarity, or a clear path. In the process, we may conclude that there is no clear direction, and begin to feel that life is directionless, and meaningless. When we are not connected to a better source of understanding and direction in God, we can easily trend towards nihilism.

God walks with us. But are we walking with God. To do that begins with asking for God's help in sorting through all the data of mind and heart, believing God can answer, and waiting for that answer. Remember my three questions?

1. Where did this come from,

2. What does it mean

3. What should I do about it.

We aren't just asking those questions of ourselves. We're asking them in concert with God. God who knows better than we how to answer those questions.

Like anything, prayer is a practice that takes time. It is the practice of prayer that teaches us how to sit with God in the questions in order to learn how to hear His answers. In the most simple way, those answer come through how God orders our circumstances. But, as we growing in hearing God through prayer, we will begin to "see" God's answers to our questions in more direct and specific ways. Prayer is a practice that grows. What it grows is a relationship with a God who can give us direction. Prayer is not just talking to God, but also listening. Don't forget to listen as you prayer, and to pray with the expectation that God can answer back. If you keep practicing, eventually, you'll begin to "hear" God answer.

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