Journeying towards God

God appeared to be a monster, and I fled. I found Christianity as a framework, an understanding of good behaviour which would train or mould me into a good person. Underneath the training, held down by powerful guards but never silenced, was something I could not name, which acted through me or influenced me in ways I did not know.

I attempt to use words, and even the word “I” breaks down here: “I” in that paragraph is the “I” “I” imagine, which the part of me which is conscious conceives to be how “I” am, how it imagines my personality and character to be. Underneath there is an unconscious I, the thing I could not name.

The journey towards God is bringing what is unconscious into consciousness, so that the conscious conception of the nature of the person as a human being comprises the totality, the whole nature of that human being. For each person it is different. My understanding of it includes some theology, some psychology, but mainly is my dogged attempt to find that unknown being, to see what I could not see, to dissolve the pretences and blind spots preventing me from seeing; and my experience is of it-I, breaking through from below.

It feels like a river- however firmly the river has been dammed, eventually the stream breaks through and the natural flow asserts itself.

I am made in the image of G-d, so I may be like Christ. In Him the divine and human nature are united without separation, without mixture, without confusion and without alteration. This is Miaphysitism, the belief of the Oriental Orthodox (Churches including the Coptic, Syriac and Ethiopian), a word I have just learned. I am not, yet, so united, but believe this non-dual state is possible for all people.

I want to be understood, heard, believed, accepted. That “I” is the unconscious “I”, where all my power, desire, love and creativity reside. First, in an act of self-surrender, by the conscious I. This may be aided by others, seeing and valuing the unconscious I, accepting in the moments when it bursts forth: in the counsellor’s “unconditional positive regard”, perhaps. For I, united I-I, know it.

The journey involves shedding my introjects, all the judgments of others I have taken into my conscious understanding of who I am of what is important and therefore what I should consider important and therefore what I value, which is not what

I

being the unconscious I

truly value. For the Buddha, who had fabulous wealth, and had been taught to value that wealth, it involved leaving that wealth behind, but that does not mean that anyone can learn from him that they should “give all they have to the poor”, or that ceasing to value wealth and instead valuing what elementary Buddhist textbooks teach will be liberating. The liberation, the non-duality, is in shedding whatever one is forced to value which one would not have valued without that external force.

I

state that rather it means setting aside all you imagine you think is important, and delving to what is truly important to you.

Ah. That unconscious I is speaking, more and more, which puts the conscious I in fear, excitement and delight. Sometimes- more and more- I and I unite and I am one.

Mystic language appeals to me, yet materialist language may be available. This is a healing process, a maturing process- the river will not be dammed in the end. Religion may aid devotees towards it, if it does not create more introjects to ensnare those devotees. Humans will our freedom.

Parts of the Human, which have not been loved and accepted, lie in strong chains. Vigilant guards are ready to push back when the prisoner shows signs of acting, crying “Wrong! Stupid! Meaningless! Wicked!” So my Shadow terrifies me (conscious-I). The guards are part of me too, which I created as a way of survival. I find the unconscious I, see the error of the guards, and quiet them, in contemplation and meditation.

Where is the Life? Where is the Drive? The unconscious i hurts so much, so my way to God is through all its pain. I believe the Quaker term “Inner Light” refers to this unconscious I.

I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame
The Righteous One shall make many righteous.

If any of these words speak to you, I pray they may bring you to full humanity, which may be Divinity. And let us share our words if we want to understand as well as to Be.

6 thoughts on “Journeying towards God

  1. Powerfully written Clare.

    I am agnostic about the source, whether it’s metaphysical, purely a result of my brain (mal?)function, an evolutionary result of being social animals, or whatever we dare to imagine, but the experience of being aware of the “inner light”, of the “inner voice”, of the “divine” is real, it does move me, and with it I am complete. I find mystical language the best way for me to describe/express it, and although I’m sure it can be expressed in other terms. they don’t work for me.

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      • I’ve never really thought of compartmentalisation before. I think there’s only one me, although I always put on a disguise whenever I’m with other people (the disguise varies depending on how familiar I am with the person). But it’s still the real me behind the mask. Perhaps everyone compartmentalises differently. For myself, there’s varying degrees of being self aware. At one extreme there’s what I experience during migraines, and at the other extreme, there’s what I experience sometimes during quiet meditation. But I am not aware of a separation, be it between a conscious and unconscious self, or an angry and a content self, or a loathing and a loving self or between contrasting selves of any sort. I’m not sure that I could cope with that.

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        • I have the specific experience of feeling distress, expressing it and having my inner critic claim I am play-acting, I am not really distressed. The inner critic is a common experience, which has a widely recognised name, but I think mine is unusually severe. I am posting about this in two hours.

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          • I recognise that someone very dear to me also had/has an inner critic which I have never understood, and she’s never been able to explain it in a way I understand. But I’m slowly beginning to see a glimpse of it. In her case it seems to tell her that she is worthless and every kind comment is actually a criticism in disguise. These days it doesn’t occur very often, but at one time there was no let up.

            I look forward to reading your post.

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            • Mine criticises everything. When every new insight you get is proof of your stupidity, for not seeing it before, you know your inner critic is too severe. Initially it seems just like seeing the world as it is, or my normal thoughts, but I get to know it specifically as the thing which calls me worthless. Which starts my liberation from it.

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