Natural laws do not apply to the Inner World.
Because Soul is other…it is governed by laws different than gravity…motion…mass…time—and these physical properties exert their inexorable power on Body and Mind…but only touch Spirit and Soul indirectly. And this is why Outer World remedies fail to heal a broken Spirit and ruined Soul…and why counseling can take such a long time…why drugs can just mask the real problem…and why we wear such competent and deflecting masks while we’re bleeding from every pore.
Stomach food is not Soul food…nor is it Spirit food…for when you fast—still your Soul can feast.
But we starve our Inner World…either by feeding it what it cannot digest…or ignoring it all together. “Out of sight; out of mind” is our modern stance…or “out of Soul; out of our minds.” Our lives are built upon the visibilia of the Exterior World. The present day penchant for tattoos illustrates this (literally and figuratively) of how O.W.O.—“Outer World- obsessed”—we’ve become. When was the last time you heard a good sermon on the Soul?
We’ve lost the recipes.
God loves pigs….He made them. So when the Shimmering Shepherd says not to feed pigs pearls…it must mean (among other things) that swine still need to be fed…just not pearls—they can’t digest them anyway. But surely…something must nourish them…even if they’re ungrateful…gluttonous…un-genteel and gentile.
And we used to know how to do this….feed our Soul, I mean. Perhaps during the Protestant Reformation, more was thrown out than just the bad—but a greater part of the good. One only has to read portions from Brother Lawrence’s Practicing the Presence of God, Teresa of Ávila’s The Interior Castle, and Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross to conclude that we’ve “thrown soul care out with the bath water.” Yet all three of these “mystics” discovered the same Inner World Law at work—
You can’t give what you haven’t got.
Sound simple? No, it most assuredly is not. In my own life I’ve had much cause to berate and batter myself for (and deservedly so) …shame of my past, even to the point of inflicting myself with wounds…sensing always the seductive pull toward oblivion…like the insistent fingers of relentless retreating waves…like lovelorn caresses that tug toward the ultimate undertow… to carry me far away at last from myself and pain and self-revulsion… to the bridge…then over…and down. Maybe even hell.
Truth is—while devising new tortures and agonies for myself…I discovered it wasn’t just about me and my warranted ruination…but that it prevented me from strengthening my four beautiful children…and loveliest wife. Because I couldn’t give what I hadn’t got. Because fathers are for strength. They are to give of their abundance of masculine power and lend it to their children. With a dagger poised above my own heart—how was I ever to empower theirs?
The hand that holds the knife cannot also bestow blessing.
To give power, I must have power….If I have not power…I must be empowered. And here, dear reader, is how the lifelong starvation of my Soul was revealed. Unconsciously…inadvertently…I had nothing to give my kids but disappointment with myself…and how to lose a Soul. This prospect was more abhorrent than my self-abhorrence. I thought I loved them…but my love was of the weakest and frailest sort.
In the Outer World you can write a check…or add it to your credit card debt…but in the Interior World—You can’t give what you haven’t got. You may try to fake it, but everyone (and your children) will eventually see through the façade…see through the man-made religion into the desert that is your Soul.
I know a lot of scarecrows with good doctrine. And like any good accountant they can sniff out errors a mile away. They might be sniffing me out right now. And that’s okay…I love scarecrows. I used to be one.
But scarecrows don’t burst forth in founts of empathy…there’s no geysers of Grace. This is an Inner World Law. If those dying of thirst seek out the scarecrows—they will perish. Because all they have to give is straw.
But if you wish to love others…and give them what they need—you must taste of His bounty before breakfast…linger upon His love at lunch…and sup upon his sufficiency at night. You must own it. Meditating on His acceptance of you is true food. If you are like me…it may take time to digest. That’s okay…his manna and mercies are new every morning.
It is not noble to suffer for your sins, while those who need you are dying.
The good man from his
inner good treasure flings forth good things,
and the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse flings forth evil things.
Did you miss Robin’s previous post? Read How to Lose Your Soul Part VII