Wise Words – By Our Love, Not By Our Thinking

By our love not by our thinking

“By our love the Sacred may be touched and held; by our thinking, never.”

The Cloud of Unknowing, Chapter 6

Thinking is not wrong, it just gets too much air time in our hyper-productive, over-stimulated society.

When applied to problems it is good at, its answers seem complete:  How many grams are in a cup? When is the next solar eclipse? How much weight can this bridge design hold? These are questions with definite answers, and logic is ideally suited to deliver them. This leaves the false impression that thinking is a superior pathway to understanding. 

But we humans are multi-dimensional. For all its usefulness, logic cannot reach the parts of life we hold most dear:  the waves of love we feel holding our newborn child or grandchild; the subtle smile in the eyes of our spouse or partner; intuitive bursts of creativity; an inspired refrain of Bob Dylan or Beethoven; the upswept majesty of entering a cathedral. These are sacred experiences and no logical explanation of them is complete or fulfilling. They need to be embraced by another dimension of our being.

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Wise Words – Your Most Important Spiritual Task: Opening Your Heart

“If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

C.S. Lewis

A sadness comes over me as I read these words and recognize the truth of it in me. Over the years, I have learned how to protect myself by armoring my heart.  

We all do, I suppose. Shortly after our birth, the world began to show us it can be a hurtful place. One moment, we felt a sense of union and safety with our parents, and the next, we felt the devastating ache of absence. So, we learned to shield ourselves from painful feelings by shutting off the heart. 

These preverbal lessons embedded themselves in the first layers of our psyche. And perhaps the most painful early scar was to adopt the false belief that somehow the fault must be in us, that we are not lovable. In various ways, we all share the early tragic misconception that we are not okay as we are.

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Wise Words – Love Is Metaphysical Gravity

“Love is metaphysical gravity.”

Buckminster Fuller

In the physical world, gravity holds everything together. It pulls the planets around the sun; grounds us to the earth; makes the rivers flow; moves the tides across the shore.

In the physical world, gravity is universal, an unseen force that acts on matter everywhere. The presence of one affects the whole.

Newton viewed the physical world as a collection of objects with gravity acting on each. Einstein proved that gravity is a field that holds everything together – matter, light, energy, even time, all move together in relationship within the curves of this field.

We don’t know why gravity exists. Maybe the best physicists can say is, “That’s just how the world works.”

What about beneath the physical? What holds the metaphysical world together?


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Wise Words – Love That Is Not Expressed Cannot Flow

“Love that is not expressed is like a check that is never cashed.  It doesn’t do any good for anyone.”

Raj Sisodia

I want to be a vehicle for giving and receiving love. What else is my spiritual practice for? On my best days, I give love freely. But there are also days when I am hesitant and leave that check uncashed. Why? Because giving love carries risk. There is a potential cost to my well-being.

Expressing love reveals that I care, which can make me feel vulnerable for several reasons. There is my fear of rejection. I may be afraid of looking foolish and simplistic for being so free with my love. Or I may fear someone will take advantage of me; they may interpret my openness as naiveté, a signal that my guard is down. Or I may worry my gift of love will do no good, that it will be wasted.

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