Among the more esoteric topics for my Lectio Divina (Philippians 2:5), I consider this one on time near the top of the list. In my Lectio Divina this morning (at 2:02 a.m.), the question popped into my mind, “If there is an evolution in all matter and within all living species (I call it intelligent progression because that speaks of a purposeful movement), and if matter, energy, light, the properties of matter, the quantum mechanics of what makes up whatever is, cannot exist without the context of time, then can time itself be in a state of flux, a condition of movement, with various levels and different kinds of time existing simultaneously in a seamless state, one time, yet three different dimensions? How would any of this make sense regarding my Lay Cistercian approach to seeking The Christ Principle each day in any situation that crosses my path?
I got my answer to these questions from an unlikely source (to those who do not know what to tap into God’s concept of pure energy). I simply asked the Holy Spirit. I have written about some of these outstanding questions and the equally surprising answers I received. In my Lectio Divina inspirations, I try to just sit on a park bench in the dead of winter, squinting in the snow to see if Christ is coming to sit next to me and share the Love in His heart with me. Just as no one goes to the Father except through Christ, no one goes to Christ except through the Holy Spirit. (No one can say Jesus is Lord except through the Holy Spirit. I Corinthians 12:3)
I offer you a passage from Sacred Scriptures on the primacy of the Christ Principle as one who can unlock The Divine Equation and shed light on what is darkness to the World.
Last Supper Discourses.
2 In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
4Where [I] am going you know the way.”*
5Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?”
9Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?e
10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.f
11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves.g
12Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.h
13And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.i
14If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”https://bible.usccb.org/bible/john/14
I had some thoughts while focusing on my Lectio Divina (Philippians 2:5) while contemplating The Divine Equation as the key to unlocking how all of what I know fit together. A reminder. I am not you; you are not me, God is not you or me, and we certainly are not God. I offer these reflections with the only tools I have to view reality, those experiences, trials, errors, values, and purpose in life that I deem to make me fully human as my nature intended.
Time means I am part of the process, but one linked to all the other people who were, who are, and who will be. Human nature is good, but the condition of reason and free will means life is not automatic. Not everything I do is correct as intended by my nature (the law of being who I am intended to be).
I only have seventy or eighty years to figure out the Divine Equation. If I lived one thousand years ago, around the time of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, I would not be able to use anything remotely close to the scientific approach to discovering the “what, why, how, and so what” of life is.
I may be correct, according to the accumulation of those choices and consequences that make up who I am, but I have a reason for a reason. I can reflect on what I think is good and bad for me and change directions. Because of time (81.9 years in my case), I process all that has gone on and can make all things new again. In my spiritual dimension, that is called metanoia (change of heart). I call it reparation for my sins, sin being the times I chose poorly and missed the target’s bulls-eye. For me, God is the target, and I try but fail to hit the target each time. I keep trying.
This photo is a perfect story of my life. It is the treason I am a Lay Cistercian, a sinner who attempts to be aware on a profound basis of who I am is the result of who I was and those choices that were authentic love and cotton candy (tastes good but no nutrition).
My center is Philippians 2:5, based on what I discovered about life’s purpose. Notice that Jesus is the only target, but I must learn to shoot the bow and aim for the center. The Christ Principle is my target in life.
Time has three dimensions corresponding to the three separate universes. My three separate universes allow my human mind (as I have defined it by my choices) to differentiate one reality happening at each moment as I live it. Physical time results from matter, time, energy, and space being as nature intended. Humans are part of that core matter platform, but we are different. Humans are the only species that knows that it knows. The physical universe is the object where we learn what it means to be human. The mental universe contains mental time and human self-awareness, but each individual in a self-contained time capsule lives in the physical universe as a base and reflects on it. Why?
There is a problem. The answer, in part, has to do with exploring the third universe; one has no matter, has spiritual time (no beginning or ending), and has no physical or mental energy. What it does have is the fulfillment of what it means to be human as intended by our physical universe. The Divine Equation is one that both gives the questions that approach the resolution of what it means to be as human as possible. I have all the mental time to experiment and seek the way that leads to the truth so that my life is as consistent with The Christ Principle as my humanity will allow.
As I experience it, my Lay Cistercian practices (Lectio Divina, Eucharist, Eucharistic Adoration, Rosary, Reading Sacred Scriptures) are occasions where I am in the presence of the energy of the spiritual universe that allows me to fill up what is meaningful about being human. It is putting to death the humanity of only the physical and mental universe, sound as that can be, and then moving from my false self to my true intended purpose.
The sign of contradiction (Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior) shows me that to be fully human, both the questions and the answers to how to do this come from a source of intelligent progression outside of human experience, The Christ Principle, and that does not make sense, at first glance. Intelligent progression is not a river that my ark gets in and flows downstream. Because Christ showed me how to do so, I must paddle each up UPSTREAM against the current of the very nature I am trying to obtain.
TIME IN THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE — This is the base for intelligent progression from simplicity to complexity. We don’t think about time in this universe; it just happens.
TIME IN THE MENTAL UNIVERSE — This is the time I have from the beginning of my life to its end. I have reason and the ability to choose what I think is good for me. I only live in the NOW, a compilation of successive moments in which I must look out on reality with the totality of who I am (my past, my NOW) and choose for the future. This is called existing one step in front of myself by existentialists (existential). It is my future determined by the choices I just made. My past is the sum of the consequences of my choices. Some choices are good for me, while some make me less human and more animal. In my view of reality, God, the loving Father, tells me (and all humanity that will listen) not to put my hand on a hot stove burner. Like Adam and Eve, what God tells me not to do, I am going to try it (the devil prompts me to do what seems to be good, but which is harmful to my spiritual self. “The wages of sin is death.”)
TIME IN THE SPIRITUAL UNIVERSE — This begins with my Baptism and is a struggle to keep centered throughout my life. I am an adopted son (daughter) of the Father in this universe. I keep my citizenship in the world while I try to determine what it is to be truly human as nature intended. But, I also now have dual citizenship, one where the world of my destiny has no time, no energy as we know it, no matter, no movement from past to future. It is eternal NOW. Not to leave us orphans, Jesus is preparing a place for those with adoption that will not destroy or dishonor our humanity but rather bring it to the full potential of what it means to be human. Mary is our example of a prototype of what awaits us to be with Jesus, just as Adam and Eve were for humanity.
As a Lay Cistercian, my complexity has lost its rough edges. Through my Cistercian practices and charisms, I am mellowing into a more uncomplicated act of Faith, one that just trusts in Jesus to sit next to me to be as pictured on this ikon of Saint Charles de Foucault. Now, I just wait with the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit in my heart, next to the heart of Christ.
Where is your heart?