The Limits of Mind
Last Sunday, as I was driving away from Unity in the Olympics, where I have served as the minister for the past year, I was struck with the feeling that it was time for me to step down from this role. While the feeling itself seemed clear and compelling, it was not clear in my mind where this guidance was coming from. My mind argued against such a decision. I’ve only been there one year. I need financial support. Neither the Board nor any others have expressed dissatisfaction with my service. I’m still capable of showing up and speaking. In other words, there was no rational reason for my decision to leave this role. But my heart knew better. Our hearts are like a “hotline” to Truth, that bypasses ordinary filters of reason and practicality, and convey the content of our deepest knowing and spiritual instincts.
As Don Quixote said, Facts are the enemy of the Truth. When we have been on a spiritually focused path for some time, we learn to take our guidance from what bubbles up from within us, which may make little or no sense to the rational mind. As was the case of my “irrational” decision to get into ministry 28 years ago, there needs to be a trust in the deeper wisdom of the heart that calls for authenticity, sincerity, and genuineness. When Denese and I chose to leave our idyllic life in San Luis Obispo, CA we had no clear picture of where the new life would take us, or how we could make it work for our family. We were both certain that the old life, the way we had been expressing in the world of our work, was inauthentic and soul-denying. We had "good" jobs, but they weren't good for us. There was nothing bad about our former life, it just didn't allow for the deeper truth of us to emerge and express. It was a clarion call to come into integrity with the awakening that was taking place within our heart and soul and go wherever it might lead us.
And last Sunday, the same deep and unsettling feeling of inauthenticity arose, with the prompting that it was time to release this ministry role. As I have probed and prodded at this message over the past week, seeking greater clarity and understanding, I have come to realize that the current state of my spiritual understanding is once again in a state of flux and deepening. To describe this state of mind and heart is challenging and elusive to capture with words, but perhaps you will understand that it is a feeling like I'm in two worlds of reality. It's disorienting and feels so disingenuous standing in front of a congregation when my own understanding of Truth/reality feels like unset "Jello."
Most recently I came to see how I was approaching spiritual awakening/realization as some sort of goal that I was going to achieve or attain in the future. I see how this “seeking self” is still quite alive in me, and probably the singular obscuration to seeing what is real and true here and now. This sense of a “separate and distinct self” that is seeking to wake up to the Truth is flawed and illusory, rooted in what I’ve taken myself to be, not the Truth of Being itself, that is neither separate nor apart from the whole of Life. My sharing on Sunday morning was giving “lip service” to this truth but inside I was torn, conflicted, and lacking the conviction of my words.
So today I will announce my decision to step down from this role. In so doing, I will regain what is essential on this path, remain authentic and integrous, and to walk the talk of spiritual realization. I will however continue to share my insights, setbacks, and progress on this path with you in this blog space. I suspect that letting go, surrendering, and seeing through false beliefs will characterize this deepening phase, and what ultimately makes way for the revelation of the Truth that frees. And I encourage you to stay tuned in to your own heart as it reveals your own unique way of awakening.
With you on the path,