RESURRECTION

I’m back after my Lenten pause and, like the people who experienced resurrection, I’ve needed time for my Easter experience to sink in. Perhaps a way of speaking about what has arisen in me would be to talk about a book I’m working on called ‘A Deeper Green’ which suggests a heightened awareness, like the glimpses we all have, though glimpses that can lead to a deeper consciousness of what’s going on in the world and where I fit in. Tom Berry has described human beings as the self-reflective consciousness of the universe. Mary Oliver puts it poetically:

It is what I was born for –

to look, to listen,

to lose myself

inside this soft world –

to instruct myself

over and over

in joy,

in acclamation.

Such an understanding gives our purpose in life so much more meaning and dignity than anything else I can think of. I want A Deeper Green to describe this process toward a deeper consciousness by retracing my own life-journey. My story demonstrates how all of us have experienced this deeper consciousness, if only in glimpses that leave a sense that there is much more going on in the so-called everyday world. I’m reading a book this week on the creative process – Imagine, by Jonah Lehrer – that describes how inspiration happens and how we can collaborate with what I believe is actually a deeper level of reality that already exists in everything and in us as a deeper self. In a similar way, I’ve always felt that if we learned how listen better we would hear so much more and would be able to work much better with life in a way that is normal and natural and not confined to the few geniuses or saints. These, in fact, simply do more deliberately, more passionately, and more persistently what we can all do: like staying with a problem, for example, until we are defeated and then continuing to stay with it but in a different way – vulnerable, open – that allows an insight to emerge. To practice this kind of persistent presence to things would be to move from occasional heightened awareness to a constant/continuous deeper consciousness of the world and myself in it. And this great purpose is given to everyone, from the brightest to the most ordinary and from the richest to the poorest.

The Easter stories which have always intrigued me seem to suggest that Jesus rose, as it were, to such a consciousness, to the point where it determined the form of his existence in the world. Even a summary reading of the resurrection stories suggests such a transformation to a new order of being, no longer confined by the material or physical (including death), and a new form of existence that was not immediately recognized even by his closest friends. The stories, in fact, are also about their awakening/awareness – their resurrection – about what is going on in life and the realization that this is the goal of every life: to evolve to a deeper consciousness and a deeper level of being; to a higher frequency, perhaps, that is not confined to material forms as we know them.

This seems to me to be a worthwhile purpose for a human life that is not simply spiritual in the sense of an esoteric or private world, or even explicitly about addressing the challenges of everyday living through some kind of self-sacrifice. Rather it is about achieving this deepened level of consciousness and the new order of being it will inform that will lead spontaneously, naturally, and organically to the transformation of all our issues, problems, relationships, and processes: from sustainability to peace and from personal well being to justice for all forms of life.

It’s good to be back.

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3 Responses to RESURRECTION

  1. Donna Curran says:

    Thank you, Danny.
    The Book of Hours, Kathleen Deignan’s editing of the words of Thomas Merton, which has been my guide for several years now, has led me to a place where your words about death and resurrection make a great deal of sense to me. I think it is that higher consciousness we are longing for that we will learn when we take our next journey. I am forwarding your blog to my friend, Kay Blake, who already loves your writing.
    Eagerly awaiting your book!
    Peace, Donna

  2. Sue Wootton says:

    Ah, so good to have you back ! ! Have missed your posts as you navigate through your ever-unfolding journey, and then articulate so much of what is happening to all of us collectively. Life as an “everyday sort-of mystic” is so full of mysteries, but I get the wisdom of just trying for “persistent presence.” Great idea about “The Deeper Green” as a multi-dimensional theme aligned with all the Spirit of this wondrous season. Last weekend, I went to one of Coleman Barks’s readings of his Rumi translations – accompanied by Bluegrass musicians from Athens, GA. – a perfect example of one of those “higher frequency, heightened awareness” kinds of experiences. In his translation of that Rumi poem about “Love is the Religion, The Universe is the Book”, the last 2 lines really sang to my Soul: “Your life is a sacred text. Study that.” And so you are….and we are….and “May it all (somehow) be finished in Beauty ” (as the Good Friday chant declares )…

  3. Dear Danny,

    Welcome back … in joy, in acclamation… from your “Lent pause”. The Latin root of this word implies that the process is slow. Good that you took the necessary time!

    What we can quickly elaborate in our minds, takes some time to percolate to the levels of our heart and guts, i.e. the whole “persona” and “anima”.

    I’m fully with you in the idea that resurrection has (probably) nothing to do with a dead, physical body becoming alive again. For me, resurrection (the “surge happening again”), is a process, where some already existing knowledge or wisdom, buried under multiple layers of conventional reasoning, is slowly but surely claiming its place on the surface of our conscious mind.

    It is not a passive process. We have to do the digging, and in that task, we ever so often run into defence mechanisms, which we have built over the years, like walls that protect us from unpleasant feelings. So we have to dig steadily and deep. But deep down, there is a small light that has always been flickering. We have to bring air to this flame. It might even be so that such an endeavour is the deeper meaning of life. Rumi’s lines, cited by Sue (“Your life is a sacred text. Study that!”), point in that direction. The Buddhists call it the “Ever present Buddha Mind” that we have to unveil through meditation. In the apocryphal gospel of St. Thomas, there is a logion, which (according to my vacillating memory) goes like this: “Man is Light”.

    So to me, “resurrection” sounds like looking for the “Inner Master”, never mind what “official” religions spin as histories around this mystery.

    Last but not least, let’s not forget the Italians: “Chi va piano, va sano e lontano.”

    Love, dear friend
    Erik

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