St. Teresa of Avila once wrote of seeing Jesus with the ‘eyes of her heart’. Was she deluded? Was she just the casualty of malign suggestive thinking, a thinking that had somehow colonized her psyche thanks to too many years spent living in sixteenth century Nunneries? We know better now don’t we? The Modern Mind is free of such misadventure, isn’t it?
I wonder what would happen if more of us became less identified with our rationality and allowed the heart – that deep place of mind – to rise up more and more into consciousness. Yet how can we let it happen if we don’t know how to let it happen? Are we trapped in rational explanations and evidence at the expense of the balance that heart can bring?
We are human beings – spiritual, rational, and emotional. The path of life is about coming back to the integration of these. For some of us experiences happen on this path, experiences that others may name as completely irrational – and irrational for them means delusion. Yet for others the irrational can mean, on occasions, experiences that cannot be explained rationally, experiences that do not need to be explained rationally.
The Enlightenment has made the embrace of the ‘contemplative vision’ a courageous act, an act of foolishness. And yet, for Christians, the Risen Christ lives on.
I see her again.
Neediness moves in me
It craves love and attention
It is not the freedom of Love.
I must be alone
To sit with this,
Away from compulsion.
I go to the chapel.
Alone I feel a longing for Love mingle with craving.
Am I loveable, am I worthwhile?
I sense the presence of my Brother.
My spirit sees Him and knows who He is.
‘What do you know?’ He asks.
‘I know you can heal me.’
‘Then let it be done.’
I open as best as I can to allow Him.
I sense His embrace in my chest.
Gently He holds my needy heart.
I feel the warm healing of His holding.
After a time I sense His embrace in my head,
I feel there the warmth of His Love.
Gently He loves the feebleness of my thinking,
He heals my fearful disorder
In the silence there is focus on His warmth.
He heals me from the battle for living and from what brings the battle on.
Jesus, my Brother, my Master – thank you.
‘You are my disciple, you are my brother, and you are my friend.
We have journeyed long into the depths of this life.
I am so very proud of you.’