'Penobscot River & Mt. Katadhin'
We face a muddle of irrelevant concepts patched together from knowledge borrowed from those who pretended to know.
*Kabir Edmund Helminski. Living Presence. Rev. Ed.
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I had been a clergyperson, serving in varied roles, including a revival and radio preacher, youth leader, professor, chaplain, and pastor - over three decades, mostly in conservative, evangelical groups. Now, I had no spiritual home - a place of feeling at home with others, a spiritual community of like-minded, like-hearted friends. I decided I had found it.
Tonight was to be a night to make official this new beginning in this new faith community. I had waited over five years, following leaving my role as pastor, for this new beginning. Indeed, over the past years, I had rarely stepped inside a church.
I walked forward when my time. I knelt before the Bishop, as the ones did before me. He had arrived to place hands on all who were present for their confirmation, so, now, on me.
I did not have a veneration for such clergy hierarchy, and I did not think it appealing or rightly modest how some dressed in their high church attire, like royalty from another age, such as in the big, weird-shaped hats. Yet, this was part of the new beginning.
So, I knelt. I felt the Bishop's two hands on my head and heard his words of confirmation. And, strangely, what occurred was like an opening in the brain; a window flew open in my mind. I heard no words but saw the message inside the brain. The revelation was I did not honestly believe what this group taught, I had strong doubts. Now, I was shown the truth of the matter, a truth from which I had been hiding. I had rationalized how I did agree, while the heart knew otherwise.
I got up and returned to the seat. I did not tell anyone else about this happening. Yet, I could not forget what I saw. I could not deny that so clearly shown.
The Heart always knows the truth, even while the mind still dallies with the lie.
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As the Light draws us closer to Itself, It graces us with the blessing of being exposed to the truth. This exposure invites us to harmony within, healing the split from denying with the mind what the heart knows to be true. And, in seeing the truth and acknowledging it, we become more whole. What we know within is aligned with the self we show to others. The more we move from pretense, the more we move into authenticity. We could say the entire spiritual Way is a healing of the split between mind and heart and, thereby, between our inner life - what we are and believe to be true - and our public presentation - the self displayed before others.
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*(C) Brian K. Wilcox, 2020
*Brian's book, An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, can be ordered through major online booksellers or the publisher AuthorHouse. The book is a collection of poems based on mystical traditions, especially Christian and Sufi, with extensive notes on the teachings and imagery in the poetry.