"At every moment of our lives, God is asking us, 'Where are you? Why are you hiding?' … God is asking us to face the reality of the human condition, to come out of the woods into the full light of intimacy with him."
-Thomas Keating, The Human Condition
We start out life looking to get our needs met and to experience happiness. What could be wrong with that? We may experience a series of disappointments — with ourselves, others, God or life — or perhaps just a vague sense that something is missing. If we tried to think about it, we likely did not have a framework that made sense and especially one that wasn't full of blame and shame.
"…One of the biggest impediments to spiritual growth is that we do not perceive our own hidden motivations. Our unconscious, pre-rational emotional programming from childhood and our over-identification with a specific group or groups are sources from which our … injured, compensatory sense of who we are – gradually emerges and stabilizes. The influence of [this] extends into every aspect and activity of our lives, either consciously or unconsciously."
- Thomas Keating, Invitation to Love
Facing the reality of the human condition begins with the understanding that we got to where we are today absolutely innocently. Though it may be uncomfortable and even painful to begin to experience our powerlessness over mechanical negativity and reactions, through allowing God's healing light to shine in all the dark corners of our lives, we find liberation from old patterns. The Light heals.
"Freedom is the name of the game in the Gospel—inner freedom, not permissiveness or license, but the freedom that can take responsibility for our emotions, our actions, our decisions, and our response to Christ. That is what the Gospel is all about."
- Thomas Keating, from today's video "The Human Condition: Evolutionary Model Part 2"
"The Work teaching about man being a self-developing organism has the most profound meaning and significance to those who have 'the ears to hear and the eyes to see.' It shows us that we are part of the great cosmic plan which has the development of ever-greater CONSCIOUSNESS as its purpose. When one takes up the task of trying to work on oneself, in line with the teachings of Esotericism, then one becomes a conscious collaborator with the great Cosmic Plan."
- Harry Benjamin, Basic Self Knowledge
- View the video excerpt "Evolutionary Model – Part 2." This excerpt is about 16 minutes in length. The video and transcript are found on this page,
- Imagine God looking upon Godself within you, loving what God sees. If distractions interrupt you, return your awareness and attention to receiving God's gaze. You might also commit to seeing God's presence in someone or some creature this day (adapted from Richard Rohr's daily meditation, August 6, 2016). Share your reflection in your Journey Group or your journal.
Resources for Further Study:
You may wish to read:
An archive of previous emails may be found here.
- The Human Condition
- The Introduction and Chapters 1-5 and 7 in Invitation to Love (20th Anniversary Edition) and the Introduction through Chapter 6, in older editions.