Throughout his writing John Main emphasized the importance of personally experiencing the silence, where the faithful repetition of the mantra leads us. We have seen in other ‘Weekly Teachings’ that this requires us to go through the layer of thoughts and images, “the chaotic din of a mind ravaged by so much exposure to trivia and distraction”. We even need to face with courage the first level in our personal unconscious, where the ego has deposited all emotions that were not appropriate to be expressed at a time in the past, as they went counter to our survival needs of being accepted, loved and esteemed: “a darker level of consciousness, of repressed fears and anxieties”.
Although we often feel embarrassed or perplexed that tears, feelings of anger and irritation may after a while emerge out of the silence of meditation, their release from the unconscious is healing. It takes a lot of energy to keep emotions repressed and many have been there a long time. Hence we so often feel better, when we accept their emergence and acknowledge that they were valid reactions at a time in the past. But this is now, that was then. These insights are a gift, a grace, afforded by the in-dwelling Christ. The experience of meditation validates the faith we have that we are not alone on this interior journey “to the source of our being”. The repetition of the mantra reminds us and focuses our attention on the presence of Jesus within us. John Main emphasized in ‘Moment of Christ’ that on the path of meditation, “Our guide is Jesus, the fully realized man, the man wholly open to God.” It is Jesus, the Healer, who helps us face and accept any obstacles to progress on the spiritual path and thus heals our woundedness, which forms our ‘shadow’. This is the name C.G.Jung the Swiss 20th century psychiatrist gave these wounded aspects of our being caused by repression due to conditioning and survival needs. The ‘shadow’ is all those parts of our being, both positive and negative traits, our early environment did not approve of. Becoming whole, does not mean becoming ‘perfect’, when only good traits are present. It means accepting all aspects both negative and positive of our being. It means accepting our impatience as well as our generosity.
This is why the journey of meditation is a transformative one. We are led from brokenness to wholeness, to fullness of life. As John Main says in ‘Moment of Christ’, “When we approach the centre of our being, as we enter our heart, we find that we are greeted by our guide, greeted by the one who has led us. We are welcomed by the person who calls each of us into personal fullness of being.” The glimpse of the truth that we are loved and accepted by the Divine, as we are in all our brokenness, may be short, but once experienced it is never forgotten; it changes our whole life and allows us to respond to the “invitation, our destiny …. to place our lives in complete harmony with this divine energy.”(Way of Unknowing) Then our way of being in the world is based on love and forgiveness and we no longer act out of our brokenness.