THOUGHTS WHILE FREEZING ON AN ICEBERG
Lectio Divina has taken me to many alarming places, not the least of which has just been an iceberg. It happened this morning at 2:01 a.m. In this mini-Lectio adventure, the Holy Spirit invited me to sit on an iceberg and then just left me there to ponder in silence and solitude the profound why-ness of all around me. It was freezing cold, like sitting on a park bench in the middle of winter and waiting for Christ to stop by for a chat. After a period where I got beyond my surroundings, artificial or not, I stopped complaining about the cold and wind and thought about why the Holy Spirit left me here. There is always a reason for what the Spirit does, even if it escapes me most of the time.
Iceberg. What do I know about an iceberg? It is a big ice cube, that is for sure, and the great part of it is hidden from view, leaving the top portion visible. The problem humans have with invisibility is you can’t see it. It is the bane of the scientific orientation to the physical universe by itself. What is invisible, like the iceberg, makes up almost all of the reality that I encounter. If I seek God every day, and I am now sitting on an iceberg wondering what in the world is happening to me, then I must assimilate this experience into my movement from false self to true self and seek meaning.
Correctly or not, I think of the six questions that each human must discover an answer to move to the next step in evolution, to fulfill the purpose of our humanity as adopted sons and daughters of the Father. They are:
- What is the purpose of life? So, what can my sitting on a cold slab of ice have to do with my purpose of life? Nothing, by itself. I must use the Divine Equation to unlock the purpose of meaning like an iceberg has part visible but 90% invisible. What is invisible about the purpose of life? I have human reasoning for a reason and also the ability to choose what is good for me based on that reasoning. I must use the one key or principle that makes all reality fit together in a synergy or resonance of being. There is purpose to life but it must be consistent with the purpose of the one who is the author of all that is. This author gives meaning to what is otherwise dissonance and human nature that is slightly off center. If I look at the iceberg, most of it is beyond my powers to see it, but some of it is. That small part is what I can see using my reason and my ability to choose what is good for me. Like Indiana Jones hunting for ancient treasure that have a key to solve it, purpose of life also has a key. This next step is the key to the purpose of all life. Ironically, I am the one that must discover it and find it. It is the Divine Equation that is right in front of my nose, if I must use the correct combination. The key is not material but, because of the one who made us, a person. This purpose is outside of me, beyond me, and unattainable except through the Christ Principle. The purpose of life is contained in Deuteronomy 6:5 and fulfilled in Matthew 22:36 ff. It is love, but not just any love. This love is pure energy, pure knowledge, and pure service and I approach it, as St. Benedict would say in his Chapter 7 of the Rule beginning with the first step, the fear of the Lord. The purpose of my life is to love God with my whole hart, my whole, mind and my whole self.
- What is the purpose of my life? I am born and live within a timeframe and then I die. That is consistent with all matter, time, in fact, everything that is has a beginning and an end. At this point, I am still cold but focused on finding out the key that unlocks the mysteries of the purpose of life and how I fit into all of this. The cold becomes secondary to the heat of my quest. After some penetrating and profound listening to what is going on in the first question, I come to realize that choosing the purpose of my life, the correct purpose, the only one that can unlock the secrets of all that hidden iceberg is within my power. I must choose a center for my life that will unlock the unseen parts of the iceberg and give me the whole picture. It is within me. What I choose, however, must have the power to unlock what cannot be unlocked with here human experiences or methodologies. Other people have tried keys that try to unlock the door of tomorrow using power, money, fame, adultation, corruption, unauthentic sex, drug, and false gods. I don’t find the key to unlocking the truth of reality from the visible part of the iceberg. It is hidden in the vast expanse of what I cannot see. I need someone who knows how to open the gates of knowledge to help me find what is at the center of all that is, the one principle that threads together all reality into oneness of purpose. I come to the realization, after much struggle and challenge, that love is the only key that will unlock this padlock. But there is something wrong here. The love that just comes from the world is not the same love that comes from the author of all that has a beginning and an ending. Love must come from the one who made the key and the lock, the door to tomorrow and me, the one whose purpose in life is to discover the authentic key to place in the true lock, to open the next stage in our human evolution. Not just any love is the authentic key. In the first question, the answer to it lies in discovering that truth leads to the way, which in turn, leads to authentic way to live. This way comes from a power outside of ourself, one that gives us the energy and enlightenment to peer through the darkness of invisibility to see with the help of the one who created us. This light is enlightenment that comes from placing The Christ Principle at the very center of my being. This principle is the light that lights up the darkness to give me light to see the way, to discover the truth, and to therefore lead a life which the world alone cannot provide. My center is one that only I can choose. Everyone has one, even if you have not consciously selected anything. The default is the world. To go deeper, I must knowingly and freely choose to do so. My center, since 1962 has been “…have in you the mind of Chist Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5). This personal selection is my purpose within the purpose of life I solved in question number one. So, where am I now? I am still on that iceberg and wondering how in the world I could be think of solving the Divine Equation like a padlock with six seperate tumblers, each one dependent upon the one before it. I am at tumbler three.
- What does reality look like? Now comes the context of my struggle to have in me the mind of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:5) Remember, I have two of the tumblers from the Holy Spirit, which allows me to advance to the third one. I use the word “context” because it suggests to me that there are three distinct universes in which I find one reality, the physical universe of time, space, and matter governed by the laws of nature, the mental universe of the collective mind and my own intervention into space and time to find meaning, and the source of what all of this means, the spiritual universe that come from living above nature and the mere human mind, or existere, to live out in front of reality. This is essentially invisible to the eye, with reason and free will allowing me to make choices that lead to the next level of human evolution, to be an adopted son or daughter of the Father. The three universes answer three questions that unlock the tumbler that opens the mind and heart to the Christ Principle from which all reality takes it existence (living out in front of visible reality) to encapsulate invisible reality (love beyond human love and reasoning).
- Question One: Where does reality come from and why do we humans find outselves on aball of gases and matter that is so unique we can evolve to the next step in our evolution?
- Question Two: Where does human life originate and why do humans alone possess the ability to make choices based on their unique human reasoning?
- Question Three: What is the ultimate purpose of life and why is moving to the next level of our evolution one that involves dying to what we know and can experience to choose our destiny which is something beyond our human and capability and capacity to figure it out by ourselves? This uses the six fundamental questions and answers to open up a reality called the Spiritual Universe to all humans. The problem is, it is accessible only by reason and free choice. That free choice is to choose something that does not make complete sense but is, nevertheless, the key to move to the next tumbler in the Divine Equation, how does the Christ Principle reconcile all reality as one reality. The iceberg on which I sit reminds me that almost all of reality that I can see (the physical universe) is invisitle and beyond my senses.
- How does it all fit together? The reason for Christ becoming one of us is to show us how to unlock the mysteries of that hidden part of the iceberg. I am not the iceberg, I only sit on it freezing my buns off, waiting for Christ to enlighten me through the energy of the Holy Spirit. Christ, the Christ Principle, is an instructor to tell me and show me that, if I answer the first three questions correctly, I move to this fourth one as the fulfillment of all that went before. There are many false questions out there and even more false answers, some of which may even seem good for me because they are easy. I am reminded that I must “…love others as Jesus loved me.”
- Let’s summarize, before we become lost in the weeds. The purpose of all life is love, not human love, but love that is energy, a person (actually three distinct persons).
- Within that daily search for love, my choices are governed by my center, which I alone can place at the pinnacle of my existence. I put the wrong center there and I fail to move on, even if I still live in the material and mental worlds.
- The context in which I live out my seventy or eighty years is the physical universe and my reason and free will to choose what is real and good for me from what I can see around me. But “what is essential is invisible to the eye,” suggests the fox to the Little Prince. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qz7UX-xDxEM.(I suggest you use the captioning.) To move to this level of reality is love of the heart for another heart. The Christ Principle, the Sacred Heart is one heart for which I spend whatever time remaining tying to be present. This is more than human love, although it is that. The love that God through Christ had for us is at the very center of my being (Philippians 2:5).
- How three separate universes but one reality fits together is key to how I look at reality. The answers to any of these questions does not come from me but from the Christ Principle. Lectio Divina is the instrument that I use to be present to the presence of Love outside of me, outside of human corruption, beyond reason, to live out in front of where I am at each second, moving inexorably towards Omega. I can’t stop time, but I can ride its crest to my destiny.
- How to love fiercely? In all of these questions, love is the reason for why we are here on earth, why I am here are earth in my timeframe, but HOW do I love in such a way to move me to the next level of human evolution? Again, the Christ Principle in Jesus not only tell us what love is, He teaches us how to love others as He loved us. Scriptures are love letters from God, written through the hearts of indivual authors to speak to our hearts. Love is doing, not just talking about it. Love is taking up our cross each day and moving on, one day at a time, one step at a time. If we drop our cross, Christ will pick it up and make all things new again. The example he gave us in love is what we must do for our neighbor as we would do it for ourself.
- Philippians 2:5 is the answer to the second question above. It give the WHY to love and shows that it takes emptying of self to move toward God. Love is doing.
- In all these ideas, remember that this is what I have discovered about reality. What you choose will define who you are and, most importantly, who you will become. That is why it so important for the Divine Equation for you to ask the authentic questions and receive the answers that have the energy to propell us to live “out in front” of ourselves. Only the Christ Principle, in my estimation provides the way, the truth and the life to live that vision of reality.
- It is only when I die to my false self, those inclinations of my human nature that entise me to choose false centers of anger, faction, jealousy, murden, lust, drukenness, withcraft, that I can move toward true love, true, knowledge, and true service. (Galatians).
- Being a Lay Cistercian (or any of the disciplines that Lay people can use to intensely focus on Christ) means I must use St Benedict’s Rule as the basis for my movement for Christ to increase and me to decrease (capacitas dei). https://christdesert.org/rule-of-st-benedict/chapter-4-the-tools-for-good-works/ The Cistercian Way is one that I try to emulate and imitate with its emphasis on silence, solitue, work, prayer, and community. I am not a professed monk but I am a professed Lay Cistercian with promises to convert my life with the helps and charisms of the Cistercian approach to reality.
- You know you are going to die, now what? This remaining tumbler is how I plan to live out my life with Christ as my center, the Christ Principle. I use everythng that went before in those five questions with their appropriate answers to seek “…to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.” I find that I must have discipline in my old age to form a habit of “…having in me the mind of Christ Jesus.” I know that I am going to die, all of us know that. In addition, I was told that I had cardiac arrest (2007) and was diagnosed with Leukemia (CLL type) (2014), had twelve chemo treatments and, so far, am in remission. I had a pacemaker put in my chest in 2020. All told, it sounds like I am falling apart. I would be but I have a purpose within God purpose, I know what reality looks like, and I also know how it all fits together with the Christ Principle. All of this lead to how to love others as Christ loved me. I use the practices and charisms of the Cistercian order who intrepret the Rule of St. Benedict in order to love “out in front” of myself. I am not alone, but part of the living Body of Christ, both holy and flawed in its individual members, who are One with the Head of the Body, Jesus.
The iceberg allowed me to try to grow deeper beneath the surface in this Lectio Divina. Cold as it is, I am warmed by the blanket Christ put around my heart with himself in the Real Presence. My only wish is that you could experience what I have just felt with the energy of the Holy Spirit enveloping me with Christ’s heart. Some of us think that heaven exists right now if we know how to see it, and conversely, so does Hell. All we have in this short time on earth is to discover how to love. I choose life…Forever, with the help of God’s mercy.