It is a sure sign you are getting old when you must worry about getting cataract surgery and being tested for hearing aids. I had both of these done within the last two years. the last one (hearing test) done at the VA Clinic in Tallahassee, Florida on March 18th.
The Audiologist completed the test, a series of three beeps and then you are supposed to hit a button, just like on Jeopardy. You can’t fail the test, so my anxiety was right where it should be. She came in with the results and said I needed hearing aids (free because I am a VA health care patient). Among other things, she told me that I heard men just fine but that when women speak, I could not hear what they were saying. I told her, “That’s just what my wife tells me.” Some things just never change.
That reminded me that hearing is a big part of how we approach God. St. It is no accident that Benedict begins his Rule by reminding us that…”Listen, carefully, my son, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart.” Hearing is the physiological process of processing sounds to make sense. We use several different languages in how we discover what is meaningful, in addition to English. There is the language of Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Medicine, All of these languages depend on our hearing.
HEARING IN THREE UNIVERSES
Those of you that have read any of my body of work, may have noticed a crosscurrent theme that runs through all of my thinking. It is that thee are three distinct universes of reality, all one, all a necessary part of reality. Based on three universes (physical, mental and spiritual) of reality, what Christ came to show us makes complete sense, although still a Mystery of Faith. It is a way for me to explain the seeming dichotomy between the World and the Spirit that St. Paul talks about in Galatians 5.
When Scriptures says” …hearing we don’t hear and seeing we don’t see,” I take that to mean what the World thinks is proper, the Spirit has a deeper meaning, one coming from God. At the heart of this way of thinking is Genesis 22–33, where Adam and Eve committed the archetypal sin, i.e., thinking that they are God. To get what I am saying about three universes, let’s look at some of the assumptions people use as a result of being in two versus three universes. The difference is not only profound but has consequences.
ASSUMPTIONS OF TWO UNIVERSES VERSES THREE
- There is a qualitative difference between the assumptions of two universes (physical and mental) versus three (physical, mental, and spiritual).
- Two universes are what we live in without God.
- Two universes are not bad and you can live a good life if you have the proper values.
- The Center of the two universes is you. The center of three universes is God.
- Two universes are what we usually term the World. Three universes are what we term the Kingdom of Heaven.
- Typically, people who only live in two universes cannot see three universes. It takes Faith (a gift from God) to enable you.
- Three universe thinking is often the opposite of what happens in two universes.
- It is the sign of contradiction in three universes that does not make sense in two universes. There was a polar shift in reality with the Birth of Christ. What is up is now down in the spiritual universe only. If you want to be a disciple you must deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Christ.
- Living in two universes may be good but won’t get you to Heaven.
- Love in two universes can be authentic, as Erick Fromm points out in his Art of Loving.
- The Mystery of Faith may only be seen in the spiritual universe, and even then to those with mature listening skills, those who listen with the ear of the heart, for example.
- Obedience to God’s will and humility are needed to listen with the ear of the heart.
- You can live in two universes, find meaning, discover love, find success and purpose in life. This universe is good, the platform upon which the spiritual universe rests. Jesus entered two universes (Philippians 2:5-12) but had the mission to give us the option of three universes. Some call that opening the Gates of Heaven for those with Faith, Hope, and most of all Love.
- To those who live in only two universes, anything to do with three universes doesn’t make sense. Actually, it doesn’t.
- Examples of things that don’t make sense: God becomes one of us (Philippians 2:5), The Virgin Shall Bear a Child, the greatest is the least, the leader is the servant of all, the Kingdom of God is within you, Christ is present (body and blood, soul and divinity) in the Eucharist, Christ voluntarily gave up his life on the cross; love is denying yourself; love God with all your mind, all your heart, all your strength and your neighbor as yourself; The Church is Holy but all members (except Christ and his mother) are sinful and susceptible to the temptations of Original Sin; If you believe in Christ, the Resurrection and the Life, you will live forever and never die;
WHY DO WE HAVE REASON AND MONKEYS DON’T
- There is a reason why some do not see nor hear anything in the three universes? Do you know what those reasons are? Discuss them.
- There is a reason humans have reason, to allow us to approach the Sacred with Faith.
- There is a reason why Christ had to become one of us and open the Gates of Heaven.
- There is a reason why we struggle to live in three universes and are pilgrims existing in a foreign land.
- There is a reason why Christ is the way, the truth, and the life.
- There is a reason why we need spiritual hearing aids and glasses to both hear and see what is beyond our ability to fully comprehend (The Mystery of Faith).
- We are adopted sons and daughters of the Father.
- We need a community to support us in our quest to love others as Christ loves us.
- We need silence to help us hear through the noise of the World.
- We need solitude to help us realize that we need to increase the capacity of God in our hearts to make room to love with all our hearts.
- We need work to take care of the physical mental and spiritual needs, relying on God to be with us as we seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and trust that all things follow from that.
- We need prayer to approach the energy of God to be able to sit on a park bench in the midst of a cold Winter and years for the heart of Christ to sit next to us.
Finally, we need to keep in mind that in all things, God is glorified. –St Benedict
Praise be to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. The God who is, who was, and who is to come at the end of the ages. Amen and Amen. –Cistercian doxology