“You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience.”
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
I must confess that I am not greatly versed in the works of Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin–only having read snippets here and there. And knowing that controversy surrounded him during much of his life with his own beloved Catholic Church, as much of his writings/ publications often ran in opposite directions, or more aptly, in uncharted waters.
Not being a theologian nor Catholic, much of my Christian/Catholic theological knowledge has come about merely by my own curiosity and immersion into the studies of the ancient and more current “doctors of the church”…that of their teachings and writings—and that “church” would be the “global christian church” as I do venture into the realm of other theological minds—remember my admiration for Pastor Bonhoeffer—a Lutheran.
This quote by Father Teilhard de Chardin spoke to my heart as it reminds me that I am created in God’s image—and that there is a connective cord between me and my Creator Father–that of a spiritual cord—a spiritual umbilical cord if you will. It is said that we cannot even pray be it not for the small tiny spiritual piece of God already planted in our very being at the time of our very beginning. A tiny piece of the Divine that resides so deep within that I am not even aware of its very being—The Spirit is living in me and It connects me to my Father.
The ancient Desert Fathers and Mothers were aware of this piece of the Divine planted deep in our being as they sought quiet and solitude in order to focus all of their life energies seeking and engaging with this most Holy treasure. We all have an innate desire to connect with this Sacred piece…many seek it, not even aware that it is the very “longing” of which they so seek—or more aptly, long for.
And that is how it is with me—a deep longing that I often cannot define or put my finger on. It is often a sense of melancholy, possessing a palpable pain. St. Teresa of Avila wrote of this as she spoke of the holy arrow that pieced her heart, wounding her with such a beautiful pain that she described herself swooning, wounded–yet as if in a state of ecstasy (see Bernini’s statue The Ecstasy of St Teresa/ Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome/ for a beautiful physical rendering of this “wounding”)
St. Hildegarde von Bingen, the medieval German mystic nun who wrote of the trance like states she would find herself falling in—leaving her with severe headaches giving way to Divine visions, is another example of one who knew of this Divine piece resting in her very being. In our own life time there was Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, the southern Italian Capuchin monk who wore the actual wounds of Christ on his body, just as did St. Francis– as they each recieved the Stigmata—the bleeding wounds of Christ from the Crucifixion.
Others, which is the majority of us, go about most of our lives seeking this piece of the Divine, not even knowing that is what we are actually doing—-we fill ourselves and our lives, in an effort to fill this unseen void, with so much “emptiness”– thinking that these things will satiate this longing—we fill the void with material goods, be it electronic gadgets, clothing , jewelry, cars, homes–multiple homes–one to live in others to “vacation” in, (have you ever thought about that? only in our world do some people have no home, and others have multiple homes–why do we really need multiple homes…? but I digress)—then there are the “addictions” which we think will fill this longing—food, drugs, sex, gambling—-all in an effort to stanch the endless bleeding so to speak….make the gnawing of this longing stop—the ache must be stopped as it makes us hurt and uncomfortable……
But what we don’t understand is that this ache and longing, which we just simply can’t explain, define or put our finger on, is the Spiritual piece that is planted in our very being, longing to connect us, our Spiritual selves, with that of our Heavenly Father….and the majority of us spend a lifetime trying to do this, but don’t even know that that is what we are even doing—-so we spend our lives running in circles as it were…some of us chasing after mystical experiences that are not of our Father…those who engage in zen experiences, satanic or witchcraft ceremonies, various cult rituals… all in an aimless attempt to ease the longing…and yet the longing seems to still remain along with the frustration and undefined emptiness —-that is,until, luckily, we finally realize, and it is often through the trial and pain of life, that the longing of what we seek, has all along, simply been a relationship with the Creator Himself, our Father.
There are many who would disagree with me and that is fine—it’s just that it’s taken me many pains and sorrows along this life of mine to finally figure this out—but most of us seem to learn best by the harsh reality of life’s trials and pains… so I can’t force you to agree with my observation and where it is that I have finally come to in order to finally “get this”—-it must come about by your own stumbling…and yes various types of meditation practices may augment this seeking, but are not the final answer, just more pieces along the way….
It was through the death and Resurrection of the Christ, the Χριστός, the Christós, מָשִׁיחַ (Māšîaḥ), the Messiah, that allowed for the final connection to be made possible. But I can’t make you believe this—this is the conncection you must find on your own….as we all seem to learn best the “hard way” but that is the way in which we learn of the cemented truth.
My point today however is simply to remind you that you are indeed a spiritual being—and it is a relationship of which you are seeking—as the Spirit resides in each of us, simply longing, along with us, to make the Connection…………..