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in these anecdotal,
sometimes inspiring, sometimes personal meanderings of the Heart's opening in the every-day-ness of Life...

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Prison of Certainty - John O'Donohue


When we domesticate our minds and hearts, we reduce our lives.
We disinherit ourselves as children of the universe.  Almost
without knowing it, we slip inside ready-made roles and
routines which then set the frames of our possibilities.  We
acquire sets of convictions in relation to politics, religion and
work. We parrot these back and forth to each other, as if they
 were absolute insights.  Yet for the most part these frames of
belief function as self-constructed barriers, fragile cliches pulled
around our lives to keep out the mystery.  The game of society
helps us to forget the unknown...  The control and ordering of
society is amazing: we comply so totally with its unwritten
rules.  In a city at morning, you see the lines of traffic and the
rows of faces all on their way to work.  We show up.  We
behave ourselves.  We obey fashion and taste.

We have a deadening desire to reduce the mystery...
We bind our lives up in solid chains of forced connections
that block and fixate us.  This silences the voices within us
that are always urging us to change and become free.  Our
sense of uncertainty and our need for security nail our world
down.  We confine mystery within the prison of routine and
repetition.  Your response to the invitation at the edge of your
life becomes reduced to a series of automatic reflexes.  We
live so much of our one life with the same automatic blindness
of adaptation.  After a while, unknown to you, a wall has
grown between you and the native forces of your experiences.
You go through life only half aware...  This subtle conditioning
becomes so effortless that you are only half present in your life.


[But] Everywhere around us mystery never sleeps.  The same
deep nature is within us.  Each person is an incredibly
sophisticated, subtle, and open-ended work of art.  We live at
the heart of our own intimacy, yet we are strangers to its endless
nature.  Each of us needs to travel inwards from the surface
constraints and visit the wild places within us and answer the
question:  Who are you?  Who are you behind your role?  Who
are you behind your words?  Who are you when you are alone
with yourself?  Who are you before you slip back safely behind
the mask and the name by which you are known during the day?

If you can awaken the eternal beauty and light of your soul
you will break through the prison of certainty
and bring light wherever you go.

John O'Donohue
From: Eternal Echoes 




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