COMING FORTH INTO THE LIGHT I was born the day I thought: What is? What was? And What if? I was transformed the day My ego shattered, And all the superficial, material Things that mattered To me before, Suddenly ceased To matter. I really came into being The day I no longer cared about What the world thought of me, Only on my thoughts for Changing the world.
How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us. So you must not be frightened if a sadness rises up before you larger than any you have ever seen; if a restiveness, like light and cloudshadows, passes over your hands and over all you do. You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall. Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any miseries, or any depressions? For after all, you do not know what work these conditions are doing inside you.
Humankind has accumulated generation upon generation of knowledge, the culmination of which is the vast and useful technological array we see everywhere in modern society. Despite this great accumulation of knowledge and technology, we still suffer from starvation and war. The difference between the past and the present is the difference between throwing rocks and shooting missiles. We are still in conflict. Suffering on a fundamental level hasn’t ceased. But we nevertheless persist in the notion that if we just amass a bit more knowledge, we’ll all be o.k. Maybe a new philosophy will do the trick, or a new system of government. But all of this has been tried many times. Knowledge builds on the past and has its place. Wisdom is beyond time. It’s the direct perception of reality as it is. And in this direct seeing of what is lies the potential of transformation—a transformation that is not merely a redecoration of the past but a transformation of humanity that embodies the eternally new.
Quoting from Thomas Merton Dialogues With Silence The true contemplative is not one who prepares his mind for a particular message that he wants or expects to hear, but is one who remains empty because he knows that he can never expect to anticipate the words that will transform his darkness into light. He does not even anticipate a special kind of transformation. He does not demand light instead of darkness. He waits on the Word of God in silence, and, when he is answered it is not so much by a word that bursts into his silence. It is by his silence itself, suddenly, inexplicably revealing itself to him as a word of great power, full of the voice of God. (17)