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Lean Into Suffering and Act

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IMG_0551Sometimes I think the best contribution would be for me to work towards the cleanest consciousness I can when I think of helping solve the troubles in the world.  What I mean is doing the work that leads towards dropping, as much as possible, enemy images, ideas of ‘us and them’ or ideas of better than or less than.  These are the ideas that get in my way of helping cleanly.

On one hand contributing with a clean consciousness is a great way to avoid bringing my own messiness to the task of helping where help is needed.  On the other hand, there is the possibility of becoming so detached, that I don’t care enough to do something to help when help is indicated.

I recall reading Theresa of Avila’s writing about this topic of serving the world and enjoying her advice to lean into the suffering, to identify with the pain and struggle of the people involved so that we can be stimulated into action.  That is my paraphrase of what I remember from the reading.  I remember too the idea in her writing that it is our connection to the suffering of the world that draws us to action, and it is also, she wrote, how Divinity uses us. 

Theresa of Avila’s advice is in contrast to what some metaphysical teachers recommend, which is to be careful to not identify with the mindset of suffering so as not to take on the associated consciousness.  Ernest Holmes wrote “You may have all the sympathy in the world for one who is in need, but don’t personally identify yourself with it, don’t take it on.”  Either point of view, in my opinion, is fine, as long as it results in action.  Only I can know when I’m hiding behind my spirituality as a way of avoiding engaging in the world.

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