We Live in the Shadowlands

All God appears to want from us is honesty and humility (and they are finally the same thing). If God is holding out for human perfection, God is going to have a long wait. There is no other way to read Jesus’ stories of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) or the publican and the Pharisee (Luke 18:9-14). In each story, the one who did wrong ends up being right—simply because he is honest and humble about it. The one who is formally right ends up being terribly wrong because he is proud about his own performance.

How have we been able to miss that important point? I suspect it is because the ego wants to think well of itself and deny any shadow material. Only the soul knows we grow best in the shadowlands. We are blinded inside of either total light or total darkness, but “the light shines on inside the darkness, and it is a light that darkness cannot overcome” (John 1:5). Ironically, it is in darkness that we find and ever long for more light. Mystics like John of the Cross recognized this to be true on the spiritual level first. It seems the inner and outer worlds mirror one another.

– Richard Rohr, in his daily Meditation on Friday, November 1, 2013 – adapted from Breathing under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps, p. 33

 

Closer to the Light

There you go
Swimming deeper into mystery
Here I remain
Only seeing where you used to be
Stared at the ceiling
‘Til my ears filled up with tears
Never got to know you
Suddenly you’re out of here

Gone from mystery into mystery
Gone from daylight into night
Another step deeper into darkness
Closer to the light

Walked outside
Summer moon was nearly down
Mist on the fields
Holy stillness all around
Death’s no stranger
No stranger than the life I’ve seen
Still I cry
Still I begged to get you back again

Gone from mystery into mystery
Gone from daylight into night
Another step deeper into darkness
Closer to the light

 – Bruce Cockburn, from his album Dart To The Heart (1994)

Listen to the song at: http://www.whosdatedwho.com/tpx_41128/bruce-cockburn/tpx_21343315

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