“We all came into this world gifted with innocence, but gradually, as we became more intelligent, we lost our innocence. We were born with silence, and as we grew up, we lost the silence and were filled with words. We lived in our hearts, and as time passed, we moved into our heads. Now the reversal of this journey is enlightenment. It is the journey from head to heart, from words, back to silence; getting back to our innocence in spite of our intelligence.”
Reading Richard Rohr’s profound words this morning gives me a way to put pattern to my life. I can sit down, sink into my chair, and say that all that happened to me and all that I did for good or for bad makes sense. It was all about waking up…again. It was about going home, as Dorothy realized before she clicked her heels together.
At 74, I know home is near. In fact, much of me is already there. Yesterday I did an embarrassing thing but by the time my head hit the pillow last night, I was smiling. I find that when things don’t go my way, I change my decision about how I want things to go. Like a child I may resist, but eventually settle into the decision of the loving Parent who holds my hand. It works well for me. It is so much easier than resisting what is.
Other mystics would use different words than Rohr’s. Some talk about the False Self or Ego as that which sabotages the innocence of the child. They call the True Self that person the child was born to be. All teach about shaking off or diminishing the Ego’s control over us and freeing the True Self. The process is the plot of the world’s classic novels and the life stories of our most beloved heroes.
I find words helpful. I like to grapple with intellectual concepts and think I know something.. But I know that even this is a function of the ego self. I will not be free of the false self until my true self separates from my body in death. Meanwhile I am grateful for the consciousness of this ongoing battle. The fight is almost over, so I don’t fret when ego self gets an upper hand and I enjoy the serenity when my true self is free to flit about like the butterfly out of its cocoon.