Meeting the Other

Truth lies behind every fear. To find it we must unmask the fear.

At some point along the journey we begin to understand that meditation is teaching us the most important of all lessons: how to love and be loved. We learn this lesson not intellectually but with the incarnate reality of our life…learning it establishes a bond between us and the world we live in.
Whatever benefits may accrue to us through our meditation, they are not there merely for us to possess.  They become the common benefit of all, because there is less and less of an ego to possess the peace, joy and liberty that meditation brings.

We learn fairly soon after we begin to meditate that we do not meditate for our own selves or for our own private peacefulness alone. We learn that to the degree that we leave self behind is the degree to which the peace of Christ is made available to the world through us.

We know that we have to leave self behind and that we cannot leave self behind until we have found and entered our own solitude…  We must understand clearly what that means.

We can meditate alone but we can never meditate in isolation. We cannot find our self or come to self-knowledge in isolation.  If we try to, we will only persist in re-finding our ego. 

God is the Other, the reality of Reality.  He is our real-ness.  The depth of our own encounter with another is the degree to which we are changed. We are changed, however, into our real self.  

When we meditate we learn to leave all images of our self behind because the images are strangers to our real self. They are like inaccurate labels.  Our labeling self-analysis, which we think to be so clever, isolates us from the knowledge of the real self and from the redemptive encounter with reality. We imprison our self in self-consciousness.

We have only to understand that we have been liberated and that perfect liberty is achieved in the depth of our spirit in the liberty of Christ, the liberty of his pure love. We can turn to that reality if only we can learn to be simple, to accept the freely given gift and to be faithful to the gift. 

If we learn to say the mantra it teaches us how to love, and it will teach us how to expand beyond all images of our self into the reality of our self as one with the reality of Christ.  It will teach us to be our self and to know the joy of being in communion.

Fr. Laurence Freeman, OSB

We invite you to reflect on the above excerpt from Light Within as it resonates with the spiritual principles of the 12 steps of recovery and in particular Step 11

It is being constantly revealed, as mankind studies the material world, that outward appearances are not inward reality at all.    BB p.48, We Agnostics     
We found the Great Reality deep down within us.     BB p.55, We Agnostics     

What he has received is a free gift, and yet usually, at least in some small part, he has made himself ready to receive it.      12&12 p.107, Step Twelve  
It is the great paradox of A.A. that we know we can seldom keep the precious gift of sobriety unless we give it away.  12&12 p.151, Tradition Five
He has been granted a gift which amounts to a new state of consciousness and being. 12&12 p.107, Step Twelve

Practically every A.A. member declares that no satisfaction has been deeper and no joy greater than in a Twelfth Step job well done.               12&12 p.110, Step Twelve
Unlike the feelings of the ship's passengers, however, our joy in escape from disaster does not subside as we go our individual ways.     BB p.17, There Is A 

If newcomers could see no joy or fun in our existence, they wouldn't want it. BB p.132, The Family Afterward