to tear us to pieces

Maybe the purpose of our conscious life is to tear us to pieces.  Each survival provokes us to gather the broken pieces of our heart, putting it back together in ever-more-expansive states of repair.  Maybe that’s why we suffer.  Love makes us suffer.  Suffering can widen love.  It’s not a perfect system. Maybe we sense a surviving consciousness beyond death because too many die too soon to grow in love before the time of death.    

Mystical sensibility is this: everything is one.  A person receives this insight in a flash, in a brain storm, in an insight, or through a long life of observation, or prayer, or meditation.  Some bear a predisposition to this perspective. Others come to it through hardship, the practice of loving others in widening spheres of compassion.  Even so, life is so difficult that through trial and error and with all the blunders, distractions, blindnesses, prejudices we carry inherently, even the most saintly person has “blind spots” in his or her character.  So we forgive one another and help each other to continue growing.  

A mystic can’t believe in the concept of  individual salvation – not if humanity is “one”.  

A holy man or woman arrives at, say, a kind of Peter’s Gate of Judgement, like in popular legend, jokes and cartoons. Some people’s names appear in “the book” and Peter invites them to enter the gate of heaven while turning others away.  A good person invited to enter might perceive he or she is on the threshold of hell.  What kind of suffering lies inside the gate with knowledge of eternal separation from others?  Peter’s Gate might as well say, “Abandon all hope ye that enter here.”  For if salvation is individualistic and not universal, heaven is hell because only part of you dwells there.  The rest of your being wanders damned and tormented.

National Cathedral in Haiti before the quake, Google Images

 And yet everyone suffers.  The children in the Melrose School enjoy a priviledged life.  The parents and staff keep them in a protected world – no violence, no drugs, and the children are not sexualized like so many young children in our culture.  And yet, when I listen to their petitions during the prayers of the people, I hear their close proximity to disease and death and disabilities, the pulling at their hearts to embrace life’s suffering around them.  I am so glad that they can still be children and not forced to mature prematurely like most kids in our culture. But I know that even these children suffer.

National Cathedral in Haiti after the earthquake, Google Images

For many, Anne Frank is a “way in” to the genocides of World War II. You read her lively diaries and come to know her and to love her very personally.  You are “one” with her. You want to know what happened after her arrest.  So you make the effort to find out.  And you are never the same again.  But you are more “conscious” than you thought possible.

Here’s a way to make a contribution to the relief effort in Haiti through Episcopal Relief and Development.

Tags: , , , ,

One Response to “to tear us to pieces”

  1. Deirdre Says:

    Thank you thank you Suzanne for thoughts to ponder.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: