Tag Archives: soul

ESCAPING YOUR PERSONAL HELL

EXISTENTIAL EMPTINESS

ESCAPING YOUR PERSONAL HELL
ESCAPING YOUR PERSONAL HELL

We still feel our desire to make a positive difference to others (because of our capacity for empathy and conscience) even if we don’t acknowledge or act on it. Similarly, we still feel a desire for the transcendent and spiritual (because of the five transcendental desires and our awareness of the spiritual) even if we refuse to believe in the transcendent.

These unfulfilled desires have a curious consequence—they make us feel empty.

We not only miss the satisfactions of contribution, love, transcendence, and spiritual life, but our self-consciousness comprehends that we are only fulfilling part of ourselves. “Existential emptiness” refers to this complex of self-alienation and self-negation.

Thus, if we are to overcome dominant Level One and Level Two identity, we will have to replace it with dominant Level Three and Level Four identity.

 Many of us will try to block it out by increasing our pursuit of Level One and Level Two desires. “If two scotches won’t make me feel better, perhaps five will.” “I feel a sudden need to have another twenty pairs of shoes and three Armani purses.” I am going to take a big risk and leave the town in which my family is most comfortable, to take an even more prestigious job.”

They truly manifest Augustine’s recognition of his own journey to God—“Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.”

The need to cover over our sense of emptiness, guilt, and tragedy becomes more and more acute, and we take greater risks—more alcohol, more drugs, more base pursuits on the Internet, more ego highs, more accumulation of possessions, more exaggerated claims about accomplishments, and even ethically questionable behaviors to keep the upward momentum going.

This leads to either the positive one (to move toward dominant Levels Three and Four) or the truly negative one (sinking into a sea of emptiness, depression, and despair).

What happens if we take the “low road”? It manifests itself somewhat gradually. We find ourselves wanting to sleep more, watch more television, play more games on the Internet, spend more time at the club, and so forth. We always have a justification for this: “Sleep is restorative.” “That movie is a real classic, and by watching it for the fifth time it will really give me a new perspective on life.” “The Internet games are helping my mental agility.”

 The depression is turning into despair, and if it is not treated, it could become tragic.

ESCAPING YOUR PERSONAL HELL

ESCAPING YOUR PERSONAL HELL
ESCAPING YOUR PERSONAL HELL

We will look at “Level Three replacement therapy”

Some people will feel more naturally inclined to pursue Level Three methods first, and then Level Four, while others (like myself) are more naturally inclined to pursue Level Four methods first, and then back into Level Three methods. I would submit that both Level Three and Level Four are essential for moving out of a dominant Level One-Two identity.

Alternatively, if Level Four is unaccompanied by Level Three, then it can lead to a superficial faith that does not seek to make a contribution to people, the common good, and the culture—it is a faith without charitable love (agapē). Moreover, Level Three contribution and love reinforces Level Four faith, while the grace of Level Four faith reinforces Level Three contribution and love.

Our dominant view of happiness determines what we are looking for, and this in turn determines what we are living for (our life’s purpose), and when we live for a particular purpose long enough, it becomes our identity (the definition we give to ourselves).

It is important to find a path to Levels Three and Four before they hit “rock bottom”.

A THREE-STEP PROCESS FOR TRANSFORMING

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SOUL MATES

SOUL MATES

The soul has a strong desire and need for intimacy, and it loves vernacular life—that particular place, family, friends, neighborhood that are part of our daily life. That is why we look at ways of being in any kind of relationship soulfully: bonds that we feel with certain people.

A soul mate is someone to whom we feel profoundly connected by divine grace. There is nothing more precious in life than our soul mate. Actually, this form of intimacy is not limited to one person or one form.

We are not talking about the interpersonal mechanics that comes to the foreground. Some nonchalantly say that we are simply programmed to act the way we do – almost like a machine. Not so! Today’s communication is technically sophisticated and speedy, but not necessarily more soulful.

We are dealing with questions like, “what is this thing when we fall madly in love?”, or “Why is this deep love never seemed to be satisfied?”, or “What is it that the soul wants upon separation?”

Some of us are frustrated and ask, “What is this continued failure to find love?” There are troubling aspects: doubts, distancing, desire for separation and freedom and endings. We suffer symptoms of loss of soul. The reason why we have so much trouble with relationships today may be our neglect of the study of the soul.

SOUL MATES

The soul loves attachments of all kinds – to places, ideas, times, sounds and music even in the ordinary details of everyday life. There are two pulls on our life: one upward toward success, progress, and intellectual clarity and another downward into individual, quiet life.

We have strong desires to have a family, live with another person, or join a community and yet after this has been satisfied, we are still drawn in exactly the opposite direction – our intimacy and our solitude. We must learn to honor both togetherness and individuality at the same time, even though we may sometimes feel a tug to one side only.

There are really two goals: one, to come to know yourself and two, to get to know the deep and subtle richness of the soul of the other. The final objective is to be both intimately connected with one another and at the same time, preserve one’s integrity and individuality.

This can be accomplished by giving the other sufficient emotional space in which to live and express one; then to risk revealing your own soul, complete with all its own absurdities. There are deep roots that may never have been revealed because of a lack o communication. The solution is not knowledge but love and a feeling that “you are accepted” by the other

We look at ourselves and we don’t like what we see. We try to change but the old imperfections remain steadfast. The basis of all relationships starts with the recognition that you have to be a friend to yourself – intimacy with oneself. The answer has everything to do with developing a good, intimate relationship to our own soul and the soul of others.

SOUL MATES

THE SOUL OF THE FAMILY

People living in the modern life often complain about a loss of traditional values and about feeling aimless, rootless and adrift. The culture of the family is a resource into which a person may dip throughout one’s life for direction, meaning and style.

One task is to forgive our parents for being imperfect. Life is much richer if we could let go of the excuse of parental failure and to establish a satisfying relationship with them. We benefit from the richness of a family and in particular of family stories, which identify who we are. The family may be one of the most powerful creative forces in our lives.

SOUL MATES

THE SOUL OF MARRIAGE

There is intermingling of souls that culminate in marriage – a demanding form of relationship. Marriage is a mystery, a sacrament and a sacred symbolic act. The interior of marriage is magical: it is fulfilling union that supplies a profound need for meaning, fulfillment and relatedness: a good home, fine children, happy days. Continue reading SOUL MATES

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CARE OF THE SOUL

Materialistic life can be so absorbing that we get caught in it and we forget about spirituality. Many don’t believe in the soul and therefore many don’t give it any place in the hierarchy of values. What we need is soul in the middle holding together mind and body. A spiritual life of some kind is absolutely necessary for psychological ”health”.

CARE OF THE SOUL

Psychology is a secular science while care of the soul is a sacred art. We separate psychology and religion, therapy and spiritual practice. Psychology and spirituality need to be seen as one. Psychology is incomplete if it doesn’t include spirituality in a fully integrated way. When the soul is neglected, our problem doesn’t just go away; it appears symptomatically in obsessions, addictions, violence and loss of meaning.

The emotional complaints of our time that are heard by therapist: 

  • Emptiness
  • Meaninglessness
  • Vague Depression
  • Disillusion about marriage, family and relationship
  • Loss of values
  • Yearning for personal fulfillment
  • A hunger for spirituality

OUR QUEST

All these symptoms reflect a loss of soul and let us know what the soul craves. We cannot solve our “emotional” problems until we grasp the mystery that honors the Divine.

We yearn excessively for entertainment, power, intimacy, sexual fulfillment, and material things. We think we can find these things if we discover the right relationship or job or therapy. We strive to attain alluring satisfaction in great masses, thinking that quantity will make up for lack of quality.

Yet, without soul, whatever we find will be unsatisfying. What we truly long for is the soul in each of these areas. Soul doesn’t pour into our lives automatically. It requires our skill and attention.

We cannot care for the soul unless we are familiar with its ways. We need to make the necessary changes revealed by depression and anxiety. These problems make it felt because the soul needs attention.

care of the soul

ILLNESS AND HEALING

Doctors are learning that there is an actual correlation between psychological experience and physical ailments. For example, one’s colon is unhappy. Doctors know that there is a relationship between repressed anger and colitis. If cancer cell growth has gone berserk, is there something that has been disordered?

The word, “disease or dis-ease” says it all. It means without ease and disease emanates from stress. Disturbances created from marriage and family can be more stressful to the soul than conditions of work.

Modern medicine is hell-bent on cure and has no interest in anything about the soul. Maybe our lives are too secular and in need of such a visitation through the soul. Do we know what can be speaking silently to us in our body? “Recognize what is before your eyes, and what is hidden will be revealed to you.”    Gospel of Thomas Continue reading CARE OF THE SOUL

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LOVING PERSON OF THE SAME SEX

loving same sex

WOMAN IS CREATED FOR MAN AND MAN IS MADE FOR WOMEN.

Man and women were not created as solitary beings but as the ones who would recognize each other as flesh of their flesh and bones of their bones, as the ones who are capable of friendship and total surrender to each other, as the ones who are capable of life-giving acts in its many forms. God intended complementary and interdependent relatedness of men and women. God ordered the right proportion so that not one of them would infringe improperly on another. Women are the other side of man, as complementary, rather than inferior.

Of course, man and woman in their sexual union and begetting of children can become co-creators with God. Their love and action can mirror the Love of God. They are to be partners like body and soul which God joined together as one. Yet, sexuality is often encountered as lust or abusive and not life-giving.

God also intended this union to strive to build a spiritual marriage. Couples with a strong shared faith do have an advantage over those who don’t. Husbands and wives who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ are in touch with the Life that pulses at the center of the universe in a way that others can never be.

loving same sex

THE  DILEMMA 

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INTIMACY WITH GOD

PRAYER INTIMACY

INTIMACY GOD

The growth of our spiritual life depends upon the development of our friendship and intimacy with God so that we can share all our actions with Him. The goodness of God is dynamic. It leads to action; it not only fills the soul but it makes the soul love and makes it manifest its love in deeds. Christ has no more ardent desire than to see en-kindle on our souls the fire of love, with which His own Heart is consumed.

It is essential that the soul should put itself in daily contact with our Lord. We should develop the habit of talking to God frequently during the day quite informally. At all costs, we must persevere in devoting a set time to private prayer daily inflexibly. We also need to read daily in order that we may reflect daily. We can pray informally or simply talk to God. Yes, you will have distractions but you can make them the subject of your conversation with God.

GRACE THROUGH PRAYER 

There is no soul which is not bound to pray, for every single grace comes to the soul through prayer:

  • A soul which is pure and beautiful must pray, or else it will lose its beauty;
  • a soul which is striving after this purity must pray, or else it will never attain it;
  • a soul which is newly converted must pray, or else it will fall again;
  • a sinful soul, plunged in sins, must pray so that it might rise again.

Diary 146

prayer FaustinaWhile the Bible gives us some clues, the 20th century mystic St. Faustina received a particularly vivid vision, which she recorded in her diary:

So what is the Bottom Line?

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LIVING IN A HIGHER ORDER

A DIVINE NATURE

Jesus enters into partnership with us. He comes to us full of perfect knowledge and unlimited love. God knows all our defects and weaknesses. He knows all that might have been done for us or by us.

GOD'S DIVINE NATURE

The soul becomes capable of living in a higher order and of becoming the agent of acts which are completely beyond it natural possibilities. If a plant were given a true power of sensation, or an animal a true power of reason, this would be like the radical transformation that is produced on our soul by grace: still these examples are inadequate. “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”                                                                                       John 10:10

”And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”                                                                                                   2 Corinthians 9:8

GOD'S DIVINE NATURE

God gives Himself wholly to the person who gives it wholly to Him. God’s love for men is not merely a love for humanity in general. God is in love with each human individual, personally and particularly. Continue reading LIVING IN A HIGHER ORDER

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DARK NIGHTS OF DEPRESSION

DEPRESSION AND DELIVERANCEDARK NIGHTS OF THE SOUL

So you feel weighted down with the circumstances of life. 

Henry David Thoreau said over a hundred years ago, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”DARK NIGHTS OF THE SOUL

Dark nights are not extraordinary or rare. Our lives are filled with emotional tunnels: the loss of a loved one or end of a relationship, aging and illness, career disappointments or just an ongoing sense of dissatisfaction with life. Society tends to view these “dark nights” in clinical terms as obstacles to be overcome as quickly as possible.

Thomas Moore in his book, The Dark Nights of the Soul makes a distinction between clinical depression and what he terms the dark night of the soul, a spiritual trial.  Maybe you’re overwhelmed but not depressed. Maybe life has sent you a great challenge, and you need a vast spiritual vision to deal with it. “To care for the soul in earnest, you have to learn to appreciate the dark elements as well as the light ones.”-Thomas Moore

 Moore’s theme is: wallow in the darkness & find perverse satisfaction in what the sadness has to teach you, until it eventually ejects you back into the light. It leaves its mark but it makes you a person of insight and compassion.

Dark Nights Provoke Deep QuestionsDARK NIGHTS OF THE SOUL

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RELEASE OF THE SPIRIT

THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Inner Spirit
Just as we are dressed in clothes, so our inward person “wears” an outward person: the inner spirit “wears” the psyche.  And similarly, the inner spirit and psyche “wear” the body.

It is quite evident that men are generally more conscious of the outer or outermost person, and they hardly recognize or understand their inner spirit at all.  

Watchman Nee, the author of  The Release of the Spirit has correctly identified  the Bible reference of man’s inner spirit or the inner man (person); he calls man’s soul (psyche) the outer man (person) and for the body he uses the term, the outermost man:

 “I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being.”           Ephesians 3: 16

The Inner Spirit

We may be able to mouth the word, Not my will but Thine be done,” but how often do we really allow the Lord to take over when things happy.” The person who loves his life will lose it, while the person who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. “                                                                                                                                                   John 12:25

3-part

Continue reading RELEASE OF THE SPIRIT

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