After an incredible night eating, drinking, and connecting with friends, when we got home at 10pm I told Lisa I’d clean the kitchen up, take the dog out, and get the coffee ready so she could go straight to bed, since she would get up at 430am the next day to meet a friend for spin class. While Loving her this way was joyful to me, at one point my rational brain started complaining about something I can’t remember, because I told it to “shut up!”. I share this because I’m realizing Big Love (the others-oriented, self-sacrificial, willing to die for a person, life-giving, and inclusive of enemies type of care shown by Jesus) is in many ways illogical, irrational, and opposed by our thinking minds … yet it will change our lives and the world!
In a very real way, one could say: Silence, spaciousness, wordlessness, wholeness, contemplation, LESS thinking, and MORE heart/soul knowing are the paths to this Love we’re made to live! During yoga classes, I encourage students to “think less to be more”, in part because I believe it opens our spirit’s receiver channels more to the flow of Divine Love
A Bible passage that’s long held a special place for me, and is getting new layers of meaning as I process this is, “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46.10) This gets at how when we gaze upon the other/creation/art without words, quiet our minds, slow our breath, and drop into our bodies, our senses open up to and become aware of something bigger than and beyond ourselves. In our stillness and surrender, God, or whatever you name this magical, mysterious, unifying Spirit, begins to nourish and fill us with the selfless and crazy kind of Love that transforms people and communities.
Our beautiful brains, at least their left side, are wired for comparisons, judgments, and logic. While this rational type of knowing is fantastic and necessary (it allows us to use/build computers and navigate traffic, for instance), the West seems obsessed with it and it cannot comprehend Love, suffering, death, infinity, sexuality, the universe, or the Divine. In other words, to live in a space of logic/rationality is to miss out on the fullness of life.
Another aspect of this is the ego, which is both a blessing and a curse because it wants to win! The gift of the ego is it gets us out of bed, jobs done well, and money to support families. The downside, though, is when we let it drive our lives, communities, and nations, the ego’s bias to compete and compare leads to oppression, wars, all manner of divisions (racial, religious, political, economic, etc.), and away from Love, connection, and the Spirit that unites us all. Sadly, I’ve done this WAY too much and see it as the norm in our world today.
One last advantage/disadvantage of our mind is it operates quickly and definitively. Thoughts flow rapid-fire from subject to subject, judgment to judgment, and critique to critique, with a bias toward certainty and speed. In many ways, though, big, heavenly Love is the opposite of our thoughts in that it is patient, calm, peaceful, nonjudgmental, inclusive, self-sacrificial, unifying, giving, unbiased, messy, and doesn’t need to be certain.
The word that spurred this blog for me was “silence”, and I’m talking about more than a lack of exterior sounds, though that often helps. The silence that leads to Big Love, unity, and wholeness happens inside us. It’s an interior quiet, wherein thoughts diminish and Spirit grows. Silence is pure being. It’s the space around words, beneath images, and within events. Richard Rohr’s daily meditations this week have been about how this interior quiet spaciousness is at the heart of contemplation, and essentially opens the floodgates for heaven to pour into us. Reading about this gave me a new way to understand and describe the rich and deep connection I feel to others, creation, reality, and God, so I wanted to share it with you! 🙂
It seems to me there are multiple types of intelligence (sometimes interrelated). There’s thinking, which focuses on analysis and rationality. There’s emoting, our reaction to events. Our bodies have their own smarts, like fight, flight, and freeze. Artistry and creativity would fall into another category it seems. The intelligence of Big Love (sometime called agape), which I think is the brilliance of our divinely made souls, is an alternative consciousness rooted in silence and wordlessness. It sees and manifests unity, wholeness, and communal flourishing. This, I believe, is to witness and act with the eyes and heart of the Divine.
The less I’m in my head and thoughts, the more I’m in Love in a multitude of ways … and I don’t think I’m alone. Practicing interior silence sets us in a place of greater wholeness, a space of more unity, and within the energy of Big Love. I’ve found it to be a total game changer, what do you think?
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