Wednesday, April 16, 2014
When Breaking Rules is no Sin : Service of the Heart
1 Corinthians 13:13 says “12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.13But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love”.
In the mindless repetition of this differentiating text from the Bible, I have seen many a wedding solemnized, many a suffering explained away and moments of confusion managed for the temporal convenience of clergy and the laity. The Passion Week is a reminder past the centuries of an unparalleled traverse of the Jesus figure in its intensity and solemnity both. The essence between the text from the Corinthians and the experience of the Now Moment in the present, revealed itself in a pristine view for me today. So, I record them here – partly as a re-discovery of matters spiritual, and partly as an instrument to my own meaning making. And no, I have not gone to the etymological, epistemological or liturgical roots of these terms. So they come minted with the scent of my own till that the world has suffered for me.
Faith is supposed to be a dive into the unknown, and yet, it presupposes a lot. Faith per se is a call to action. On the face of it, it seems a simple, pure and unqualified act of trust. Faith however, rests on the actor’s past. It summons a judgment in the moment between choices in favour of the one choice presented for appeal. Such judgment arises only if the actor has a past experience of matters from which to discern the worth of the judgment call. Hence faith is past-dependent, despite its glory in the present.
Hope is a beacon of aspiration, aligned with an experience yet to be. It signals a poise of uncovering inner potential whether passive, dormant or active. Hope is a form of reliability in unborn futures, separating the moment from the burdens yet to be borne; and yet giving meaning to today’s yokes. Hope is a tempering of the Spirit, the enmeshment of the Larger Mind within us that connects with what is larger than us.
But spirituality is not just through the mind’s intellect. Spirituality is also through our body and emotions. Transformations happen when we ready ourselves in the moment to receive love. Love exists in the present. We may never know in our lifetimes, as we know it, where Love comes from. It is only in the receiving, that we can recognize Love. In Love, we die to the moment. In this death, we renew ourselves. Mindfulness allows us to integrate what we sense through body and emotion into Love. For Love is a decision, that embeds many a moments of emotion, but is not an emotion of itself. Love is the giving of all you are in the moment you make that decision.
Love can bear all things, if we experience the Presence of Eternity. Forgiving Love is a decision to dissociate feelings and emotions with the person whose acts may have hurt us in the past. Merciful Love is a decision to be in service of the heart, where compassion is a state of accurate empathy with the other’s feelings, and yet, in such service; one breaks known rules of engagement. Love is in the giving. And since each moment is new; when expressed, Love bears authenticity, an originality born of an awareness of the moment.
Integrating the Past and the Future in the Present may seem difficult. In surrender to the moment, not insisting on what we desire, but experiencing from a wholeness to deserve the bounty of resources in the moment, Grace becomes an amazing feature. Grace is the mystical, unmerited mercy, whose gift is like the synesthetic synapse of laughter and tears at the same time. The Presence of Eternity, then alters our perception of time itself. If as the Bible Says, that the Greatest of these is Love, mindful present-awareness has a premium over Past–dependent Faith and Future-oriented Hope.
Yet, the moment contains the humble connotations of the connected tenses. This is a new meaningfulness for me today. If you let me know what this means for you, I shall be much obliged.