The Musings Of Two Western Mystics.

Via on May 14, 2011

“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone—we find it with another…

In order to become myself I must cease to be what I always wanted to be, in order to find myself I must go out of myself, and in order to live I have to die.

The man who lives in division is not a person but only an ‘individual…’

I have what you have not. I am what you are not. I have taken what you have failed to take and I have seized what you could never get. Therefore you suffer and I am happy, and you are despised and I am praised, you die and I live; you are nothing and I am something, and I am all the more something because you are nothing. And thus I spend my life admiring the distance between you and me; at times this even helps me to forget the other men who have what I have not and who have taken what I was too slow to take and who have seized what was beyond my reach, or are praised as I cannot be praised and who live on my death.

The man who lives in division is living in death.  He cannot find himself because he is lost; he has ceased to be a reality. The person he believes himself to be is a bad dream.  And when he dies he will discover that he, long ago, ceased to exist because God, Who is infinite reality and in Whose sight is the being of everything that is, will say to him: ‘I know you not…’

I must look for my identity, somehow, not only in God but in other men.

I will never be able to find myself if I isolate myself from the rest of mankind as if I were a different kind of being.” ~from New Seeds Of Contemplation by Thomas Merton

Relationships have the potential to be self-styled prisons or meditation in action. We do not have to control the situation. We do not have to set up all these boundaries that define the relationship. If the relationship is truly based on love, it is intelligent. We need to trust this intelligence. Direct observation is the only prerequisite for trust. All of the confusion, and the behaviors that express our confusion are connected with our basic being, or energy. We do not need to repress or hide our confusion, as that would be dishonest. Rather, we need to observe our confusion. We need to face the obstacles that prevent complete vulnerability, and the expression of pure love or intelligence. Obstacles are life’s way of forcing us to relate with that which we have chosen to ignore. In observing our confusion, we see it for what it is. When confusion is seen for what it is, it is immediately transformed into wisdom. Observation and transformation are opposite sides of the same coin. Transformation is the pressing out of observation. It is a state of ignore-ance that sustains our fears, and the observation of ignorance is enlightenment. ~From The Bedroom To The Cushion by Ben Riggs

Here is Alan Watts, and as always he is brilliant!

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About Benjamin Riggs

Ben Riggs is the director of the Refuge Meditation Group in Shreveport, LA. Ben writes extensively about Buddhist & Christian spirituality and politics for The Good Men Project, Elephant Journal, The Web of Enlightenment, and is the editor & chief for Henry Harbor--an online magazine concerned with art, culture, spirituality, & politics in the deep South. To keep up with all of his work follow him on Facebook or Twitter. Looking for a real bio? Click here to read my story....

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7 Responses to “The Musings Of Two Western Mystics.”

  1. yogiclarebear says:

    Ben why are your articles all so perfectly timely and applicable? I am (I think) very open to true healing, I suppose that is why.

    Anyway, I’m struggling lately with recognizing that everything in my life has this transactional quality. Everything. Calories in calories out. Earning. In my marriage relationship, everything is points and a game. Even on my yoga mat…one more breath in a pose = I’m “better.” Or in meditation, one extra minute = God loves me more. Etc. Ridiculous. Those are bigger tangible examples, but the concept trickles down to the tiniest nuances of ego, I know.

    So Merton’s statement above I feel like is a similar thing. Everything is a comparison, a transaction, a give/take, in a way…DIVISION. This for that, etc. Am I translating something into Merton’s concepts that shouldn’t be?

    • yogiclarebear says:

      Anyways, this transaction thing is something I have become more glaringly aware of over the last month and I’ll admit, I’m feeling depressed because I don’t have a “tangible” DO to FIX it, which probably would end up being a transaction if I did…so I’m just sitting and being present for a shift I guess. Trusting. Noticing. Being aware of the patterns.

      Thanks for being part of that awareness Benjamin.

  2. yogiclarebear says:

    And, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOAlyl7u2dw

    "In order to become myself I must cease to be what I always wanted to be, in order to find myself I must go out of myself, and in order to live I have to die."

    • BenRiggs says:

      "This transaction thing is something I have become more glaringly aware of over the last month…"
      Great!
      "I’m feeling depressed because I don’t have a “tangible” DO to FIX it, which probably would end up being a transaction if I did…so I’m just sitting and being present"
      To be expected… If you haven't read St. John of the Cross's "Dark Night Of The Soul" please do so soon. An indispensable guide to Christian spirituality…

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