Let the light shine
"Failing sight and hearing, as also arthritic limbs, greatly assist withdrawal from action from indestructible within. Spirit advances as worldliness recedes. The only thing it's possible to lose is — limit." — John Butler, Mystic Approaches
I could have chosen any number of quotes from John's book — someone whose words I find deeply consoling in these troubled and troubling times.
If you'd like to know more about him then I'd invite you to watch this wonderful interview by Iain McNay of ConsciousTV. When I last looked it had close to nearly 2 million views.
Yesterday, I was quiet. I said practically nothing. It helped that I only had one work call, late on in the afternoon, to contend with. As I said last week, I don't have much legal work at the moment and, previously, I would have found a way to fill up my time, mostly, I suspect, by being online. Not now. I'm reading. In fact, I could say that I'm reading like I've never read before but that would be a gross overstatement but certainly I'm doing a solid few hours every day, and I'm enjoying it.
Even though I've read a few stories — Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens was my last book — I'm forever circling back to the same genre that has held sway this past decade, namely all things spiritual.
And that feels right, dare I say perfect.
But yesterday — why yesterday I don't know — something hit me, and it hit me hard. I think it was from something I'd read in Mystic Approaches about the way the ego always comes on stage to ruin the uniqueness of every glorious moment; and the three words that kept hitting me in the solar plexes were: "I", "me", and "mine". And I suddenly realised how by always trying to be right and so much more, I'd allowed my ego to take centre and I'd say the whole bloody stage, namely as something that loves and lives for division.
If only I could accept everything, and I mean everything, as if I'd chosen it — good, bad and/or meh.
The other thing John's book deals with is his nearly 60 years of meditation, but his style (if you can call it that) is from a Christian tradition, as opposed to something more Buddhist leaning. In fact, his mantra — I think I can call it that — is the Jesus prayer:
"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."
Now, as a failed monotheist, I'm ashamed to say that I'd never really heard this — oh, the sin bit possibly — but without wishing to be drawn on its efficacy and/or application to your spiritual or everyday life, all I'd say is that if you replaced the word "sinner" with "egotist" then I'll accept that 100%. In fact, when I look back on my life (over half a century now), there have been few if any times where I can honestly say that my ego hasn't taken me, almost aggressively, away from any sense of wholeness. By the way, I'm deliberately dialling down the woo-woo material for fear you might think me some new-age convert — to what you might ask? No, what I'm interested in — yes, I still class myself a seeker — is simply to be happy and not to constantly chafe against my circumstances, relationships and everything that gets in the way of seeing the world as it really is, and not as my ego would have it.
One other thing that is positively oracular is a line I heard many years ago — I think I heard it said by Darryl Bailey in a podcast:
what is there when there is no thinking?
And my answer, as hackneyed as it sounds, particularly to those from non-dual circles is: there's just this.
But I'm getting off the point.
Silence, quietude and grace is where my attention is currently focused if only because from that place can I watch for and try to reign in all attempts, like wild horses, for my ego to run amok. I want to catch myself before I start any sentence that might prejudice my acceptance of the completeness of this moment before I colour it with my judgment.
And yes, if this looks contrived, it is. But I know that what I need do is embrace a deeper acceptance of everything that happens now not in an or any attempt to sell a new spiritual elixir but to come closer to true self.
If this seems a bit much, a bit too heavy then I'm sorry. The thing is though, reading a book or many books isn't really where I'm at — despite my overreliance upon them — but instead to walk my spiritual talk.