Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Hope, faith, "progress", transformation (Gerald May)



Then I reflect back over my own life, in which it seems I can identify many experiences of both night and morning, and I ask, “Am I really more loving now than I used to be?” Sometimes I think I am; other times I’m not at all so sure. And then, finally, I remember how vast and incomprehensible real love is, and how terribly limited is my capacity to judge it for myself, let alone for anyone else. My ideas of love have to do with emotional feelings and acts of kindness, and I know these bear as much similarity to divine love as Teresa’s silkworm does to the butterfly. And I am reminded of how attached I am to the idea of progress; I am looking for objective evidence that I am making headway in this spiritual journey. Yet the truth of the journey admits of no such evidence, and it completely transcends my petty notions of progress. 

So in the end I am left only with hope. I hope the nights really are transformative. I hope every dawn brings deeper love, for each of us individually and for the world as a whole. I hope that John of the Cross was right when he said the intellect is transformed into faith, and the will into love, and the memory into…hope.

From The Dark Night of the Soul by Gerald May - Ch. 7

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