“The chief thing that separates us from God is the thought that we are separated from [God]. If we get rid of that thought, our troubles will be greatly reduced. We fail to believe that we are always with God and that [God] is part of every reality. The present moment, every object we see, our inmost nature are all rooted in [God]. But we hesitate to believe this until our personal experience gives us the confidence to believe in it. . . . God constantly speaks to us through each other as well as from within. The interior experience of God’s presence activates our capacity to perceive [the divine] in everything else—in people, in events, in nature. We may enjoy union with God in any experience of the external senses as well as in prayer.”
This quote gives me such hope in these days and times.
If you’re like me, you look about at the turmoil of our world and wonder,
“Well, what can I possibly do? I’m just a single person.”
All too often we let such doubtful thoughts mitigate, if not extinguish, any forward motion.
However, Thomas Keating strongly counters that perspective with inspiration for any of us, no matter how we might choose to define the word “divine” or “God”.
Pause here…and set aside for a few moments any thoughts of what you think you can and cannot do.
Such limited thinking is frequently the much easier choice…
Even though we can clearly hear that our world is crying out for a view that is more infinitely unbounded.
The divine is asking us to see…
To see in a new way this truth:
The divine is unlimited.
So where exactly IS this “divine” I’m seeking?
The word divine comes from the Latin word “divus” meaning “godlike”. But when we look for the divine, we’re not looking for “a god”; it is instead a personal choice to seek what is rare, special and pure in every experience…to seek what has been lovingly created, wherever we find ourselves…to look for how everything connects to us.
It may be readily apparent…or it may take time, patience, gentleness and faith to wait for it to be revealed.
But we choose always to believe…that it is ALWAYS there.
What I am hearing from Keating is this:
It is our own choice to choose to invite separation or unity…and it happens in every moment, whether we’re aware of it or not. More commonly, we see it happening in others and then our judging stage can quickly follow; it takes more to be able to see it occurring in ourselves. This is why our pauses are so crucial. If we act without awareness, without presence, we are living blindly and our life will reflect this.
When we see something and judge it as separate, it becomes immediately divisive. We have, in effect, isolated ourself, and this is solely because we adopt and often act upon this perspective. This is where loneliness, anger and anxiety begin to erode us from within…and then this colors how we see going forward.
Enter: the Pause.
If, however, we choose to take a breath, in order to allow ourself to be open to the belief that the divine is within everything, we are doing a correction right then on our path: we straighten ourselves out from a deviated course…and are then enabled to discern how we are fundamentally connected. We can then widen our perspective to notice that there is so much to be cherished, that there is hope and that we actually are powerful enough TO SEE such divine elements…
To see that our own change is possible.
And this is precisely where true healing begins.
Oddly, it often happens one small piece at a time, not usually as a Big Bang, so don’t be expecting to be whacked in the head or heart by it: it’s usually gentle, a drop or two at a time, and as you reflect on how your experiences went during a given day, or week, or month, you will be given the gift to see how it is working its magic.
Searching for the divine…
Is not about anyone else…
Is not about anything else.
It’s all about you and what YOU choose to see.
More than ever, we MUST become Pause experts…practicing catching ourselves over and over…to be able to see the divine and then to grow this ability further.
(PS: In fact, that also goes for all change of any kind, yes?)
Our lives are meant to be one continuous meditation on how to look for, absorb and then reflect the divine that we discover.
We each already contain it, this divine portion, so as we acknowledge this in ourselves, it makes it easier to see it in another.
Therefore, our practice is to look for it, expect it …everywhere, as well as honoring it within ourselves…
Reaching for every moment, believing it contains the gift that it already is.
Essentially, we’re seeking the parts that match us…like putting pieces of a puzzle together…divine calling to and connecting to divine.
This is how we each heal…
And how we each help another to do the same.
And as we help another heal, we will find healing reflected back, returned to us as well.
This is how the divine is shared and then multiplied.
My wish for myself…
And for you, my dear Reader Friends…
Is that we each become so adept at expecting the divine to show up everywhere, in every person, thing or event that crosses our paths, that we cannot possibly perceive of living and seeing life with any other means of vision.
And as far as WHERE to begin looking, you ask?
Begin right where you are.
Exactly in this moment.
It happens Now.
In every Now moment.
And with you.
Now…isn’t that just divine?!