From Fr John Main, “Smashing the Mirror,” MOMENT OF CHRIST (New York: Continuum, 1998), pp. 50-51.
I do not think it is any exaggeration to say that original sin is self-consciousness, the hyper-self-consciousness of egoism, because self-consciousness gives rise to divided consciousness.
This is like having a mirror between God and ourselves. Every time we look into the mirror we see ourselves. The purpose of meditation is to smash that mirror so that we no longer look at reflections of things and consequently see everything backwards, including ourselves. The essence of meditation is taking the kingdom of heaven by storm. The mirror must be smashed. And Jesus is talking about overcoming self-consciousness, the mirroring self, when he says no one can be a follower of His unless they leave self behind.
Now it does not take very much knowledge of life to perceive that this self-consciousness deludes us into seeing the whole universe revolve around ourselves; or to conclude that this self-consciousness is an appalling state to be in. Perhaps that is what brings most of us to meditation. We don’t want to look into that mirror and see everything backwards for the rest of our lives. We want to look with courage into the infinite mystery of God. But when we begin to feel that first loss of self-consciousness and when we begin to enter into the deep silence that is meditation we can become disturbed and take fright. This is where we need the support of brethren. That is why our regular meetings are so important. We need to realize that faith is a gift – given to us, as St Paul tells us, in abundance if only we will be open to it and continue hammering at that mirror until it shatters utterly. We hammer [gently] at it with our mantra.
There is nothing passive whatsoever about meditation. It is a state of growing and deepening openness with the power source of all reality which we can only adequately describe in words as God-who-is-love. The aim of our life and the invitation of our life is nothing less than complete union, full resonance with that power source. What are the fruits of un-self-consciousness? Joy, peace, self-control, patience, fidelity – all the things that St Paul speaks about as the fruits of the Spirit. This is the state of being where we are free to be ourselves, free to receive the gift of our life without fear, in the state of grace, of love.
After meditation: an excerpt from “Heart-knowing and the jasmine scent of feeling near to God,” THE SOUL OF RUMI (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), p. 324.
can be made or said when your consciousness is in your love
and your love is in
God. In that light there are no distractions.
Carla Cooper - firstname.lastname@example.org