I am experiencing another reminder about the mysteries of life. I have family members who may soon reach their final days on earth. Human suffering continues to occur everywhere. I have been reflecting again about the pain of having to let go. It is a necessity to learn to surrender. It is part of life for lives to come and go. I have been rereading literature from famous Christian authors such as C.S. Lewis. This author described the mere Christian faith as a way to rely on the help of the Almighty God to lead us into perfect repentance. Thanks to this review, I have thought about the way I have been trying to let go of my selfish nature, of the natural way of thinking only about myself, and shifting into a more inclusive, forgiving, and selfless approach in life.
I have contemplated on the more flexible, serving, and merciful way of perceiving myself as merely another being among billions of others in an insignificant planet among millions of other planets and stars in a gigantic galaxy. Perhaps this is what Jesus meant when He taught about “denying the self” (Mark 8:34), “loving our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:33)”, “turning the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39), and being “meek as I am meek” (Matthew 11:29). This also relates to other teachings such as Buddhism which teaches that we must surrender our desires, have a simpler life, and empty our thoughts. It teaches about being in the present and to become united with others. Hinduism also talks about rejecting the world we perceive because it is an illusion, and embrace the inner self. I am convinced there is a connection to all of these teachings.
But there must be a change of heart. There must be a realization that the world we typically perceive is not the real world. There must be a desire to deny what we have always perceived as the “I”, the Ego. We must connect with the real self. There must be hunger. There must the a thirst for Truth.
When we eat food and are stuffed, there is no desire for anything else. We usually get tired and go to rest. We are typically distracted with the mundane, the superficial. But when our stomachs are empty and our throats feel dry, there is an obvious desire for something new. There is an acknowledgment of a need for something more. The irony is that, the desire for something more, the need to be satisfied and quench the thirst, involves emptiness. Emptiness of what? Emptiness of the “junk food” and the “sugar drinks” of the superficial and immediate gratification we have been consuming most of our lives. There is a need to “purify” our thoughts, our minds from all the “stuff” that keeps our egos fed. There is a need to have a “bowel movement” of all the selfishness and individualism, and defensiveness. There is a need to be hungry and thirsty again, and then satisfy ourselves with Truth.
But this requires guts. This process requires “dying“. This approach involves pain, suffering, and embracing the hunger and the thirst.
I am currently feeling hunger and thirst. Sometimes I don’t feel the hunger and thirst because I make the common mistake of consuming “junk food” and “sugar drinks.” But I become hungry again. I become thirsty again. Isn’t this what Jesus taught about the “bread of life” (John 6:35) and the “living water” (John 4:13-14) that He offered? I feel the need again, but it is time to change my diet. It is time to feed the real self, and let the ego starve to death.
Have you been eating the proper “food” to enhance the real self? Have you been hungry and thirsty recently? I challenge you to fast and empty yourself. We need to become purified, and continue to hunger and thirst for Truth. We need to desire to be true to ourselves.
“Blessed are you who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for you will be filled...” (Mathew 5:6)