Our experience of the moment is a tricky thing. Our emotional and physical state can dramatically alter how we interpret our surroundings, and it can even effect what details are used in our understanding. Our ability to grasp the complexities of reality limit what we see and how we understand it. Although I do not want to say that our subjective experiences, particularly our emotions, are to be ignored, I think it is important to understand that there is an objective reality that is independent of our interior life.
Pride is the delusion that our limited perspective is the only and most accurate understanding of reality. How we understand and cope with our experiences can become a prison which keeps us from the explosive potential of the other. When we seek the other with joy and abandonment, whether that be God or our neighbor, they call us away from our comfort zones and our habitual patterns of thinking.
We only experience reality in all its fullness when we learn to practice self-forgetting. Although I believe in a world which is governed by reason and the transforming power of dogma and truth, how those realities take flesh in my interior life and in the world is not a dull process of repetition and stale conformity. Dogma and truth are not simple words on a page to be memorized and repeated like your social security number. Rather, they constitute an interpersonal encounter that opens up the deepest longings of the human heart. Truth is not a something, but a someone.
In this way, it is only through the death to self offered in Jesus Christ that we tap the depths of the moment. Divine Revelation is not a definitive ideal that imposes limits on our experience, but rather the vehicle by which our hearts are opened to the dynamism of God’s activity. This becomes an invitation into the eternal rest of the Trinity, the stillness that allows for the fire of divine love to burn brightly. Instead of our interior life growing cold and repressed by an external law, they become alive with the Spontaneity of the Spirit.
Today, let us walk the path of self-forgetting. Let us meditate constantly on how we can focus less on ourselves and more on the other, and in this way discover our true identity.