Contemplation by Ricard Rohr

In the Flow

It seems to me that contemplation makes it almost inevitable that your politics is going to change, the way you spend your time is going to be called into question, and any smug or inferior social and economic perspective will be slowly taken away from you. When anyone meditates consistently, the things that we think of as our necessary ego boundaries—giving us a sense of our independence, autonomy, and private self-importance—fall away, little by little, as unnecessary and even unhelpful. This imperial “I,” the self that most people think of as the only self, is not substantial or lasting at all. It is largely a creation of our own minds. Through contemplation, protecting this relative identity, this persona (“mask”), eventually becomes of less and less concern. “Why would I bother with that?” the True Self asks.

If your prayer goes deep, invading your unconscious, your whole view of the world will change from fear to connection, because you don’t live inside your fragile and encapsulated self anymore. In meditation, you are moving from ego consciousness to soul awareness, from being driven to being drawn. Of course, you only can do this if Someone Else is holding on to you in the gradual dying of the False Self, taking away your fear, doing the knowing, satisfying your desire as a great Lover. If you can allow that Someone Else to have their way with you in contemplation, you will go back to your life of action with new vitality, but it will now be smooth, a much more natural Flow. It will be “no longer you” who acts or contemplates, but the Life of One who lives in you (Galatians 2:20), now acting for you (Father) and with you (Holy Spirit) and as you (Christ)!

Henceforth, it does not even matter whether you act or contemplate, contemplate or act, because both will be inside the One Flow, which is still and forever loving and healing the world. Christians would call this the very flow of life that is the Trinity. Here alone do we “live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).

Adapted from Dancing Standing Still

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