Monday, October 18, 2010

here and now

If I cannot be free where I am then I cannot be free anywhere.

My states of mind create my behavior.  Sinful states of mind cause evil behavior that causes problems for me and for those around me. Fear pushes me around as though I am a grocery cart.

The work of Christ is to bring sin and evil down to earth, down to size, down home, down to me.  Sin and its resulting evil are not huge and not far away.   Both are small, quiet and quite common.  They are  ordinary residents in my being, manifested  as the anger, greed, lust, gluttony, sloth, envy and pride (as they are denominated in one iteration--see also Galatians 5:19-21) that flow from my quotidian fear of what life might hold.  Ubiquitous, they are, but not invincible.  Grace that shows me how this all works and how to avoid it, the Light, outlasts them.

If I cannot acknowledge the truth of what Truth shows me and obey it, if I cannot be moved out of the control of these states of mind, of the fear that spawns them, and thus saved from doing evil right here and right now then I will not be able to  at any time or in any place--on this or that side of the grave,  In my halting practice and in the ultimate maturity of such freedom--salvation from doing evil to others and to myself--may be demonstrated the possibility, may be created the hope, even, that others can, too.

This is not, though, about others, and it's not about the result in the world.  It's about me, and the results in my own life. 

Hearsay, second hand, assurances that I will forgiven for my trespasses in bartered exchanged for the forgiveness I bestow on others who trespass against me is no longer satisfactory to me.  It is not the freedom I have been shown, it is not the Kingdom into which I have been led, at times.    I need to continue to develop my ability to trespass far less, to move out farther and more often from under all the evil behavior that seems to make so much sense when I wander in the fog of those sinful states of mind, when I live under fear that gives rise to them.

1 comment:

John March said...

Hey Tim, You're being a bit hard on yourself me thinks. Paraphrasing Dilgo Rinpoche, our Quaker/Buddhist practice should be without effort, without strain, without attempts to control or force and without trying to become “peaceful” or "pure" or whatever. If we find that we are disturbing ourselves in any of these ways, we stop where we are and simply rest or relax for a while. The genius of the Buddha and of George Fox was to understand that moving into silence involves non-doing, not grasping so that we become receptive and move only as the Spirit requires. Relax where you are--a favorite instruction of Rufous Jones--is the antidote to the five hindrances that constitute the self arising, not forcing yourself to be something that conceptually you think you should be. Be well and happy, John