Friday, July 24, 2020

To go with the flow, give up attachments

The psychological slogan, "Go with the flow", refers to the ability to get into sync with the naturalness of the activity in which one is engaged. The opposite of flow is awkwardness, effort, deliberateness, self-consciousness.

There are times of oppression, misery, and depression when life seems very difficult and hard. It is exhausting to go on and we believe we have lost our connection with life's energy, enthusiasm, and joy. Such times are very hard and bring us to the brink of despair and suicide. And yet, the observing witness in us knows, or should know, that such states are temporary, they do not last forever. As we say in mental health, "suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems".

In the dark night of every spiritual journey there will come a glimmer of light, an opportunity to get out of the darkness and to start moving again in a positive direction. As Leonard Cohen sings in his great song, "There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in". Be looking for the crack for the opportunity to move, and when it comes, go with it. Move forward with faith even if it is scary and unfamiliar, and move lightly, weightlessly, leaving no ties to the past, no recriminations, no fanfare or public notice. Move silently, and with impeccability leaving nothing left undone, with no strings attached.

The rich young man asks Jesus, "Master what must I do to find eternal life?" and Jesus says to him in Mark 10:21-23, "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"

Are we willing to give up everything to pursue the spiritual life? "Going with the flow" is not without its sacrifices. It does not come easily. It takes patience, perseverance, awareness, openness, willingness to give up our attachments, and love God and God's creation. It requires us to eschew worldly rewards like money, power, fame, lust, and other addictions.

Look for the crack, because there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in. Follow the light; go with the flow.

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