The Oxfam Bookshop on Park Street
has offered me the chance to buy The Nag Hammadi scriptures.
£8:95 and the complete 1945 discoveries are at my finger-tips, and now happily are upon my desktop too.
First expedition in the unknown; The Secret Book of James:
on Being filled and lacking (3,38-4,22)
‘So you should lack when you can fill yourselves and be filled when you lack, that you may be able to fill yourselves more. Be filled with Spirit, but lack in reason, for reason is of the soul. It is soul.’
To the ears of my heart this guides and glides me further into meditating and ultimately living contemplatively.
unpicking the two sentences, I follow:
- So you should lack when you can fill yourselves
Morning and evening are times when I can intentionally wait to be filled with Spirit.
These 20 minute bookends to my day are my precious times of Centering Prayer. Times when I initially pause and ask, hope and wait to to be emptied (lacked?) of body, mind, sight, sense and feeling.
20 minutes nearing to nothingness. A process of gently feathering my incessant thinking upon the breath of God. Time, yes much time to let go of thoughts and to nestle, nestle and nestle again within wideness and depth beyond this skin.
To become Another’s vessel.
20 minutes, twice a day where I AM resonates somewhere deep and unseen and well and well and well beyond this surface practice of sitting upon a cushion, of waiting and welcoming and repeatedly letting go of all earthly reasoning, of breathing, opening to release these-every-day-ego-driven-collections-and-confections-of-this -and-that-and-the-other.
In other words, to hope beyond words and to become no thing at all.
And after the bell sounds, after the 2 further minutes of peaceful momentary pause, I come back to the waves and vibrations of this bodily living.
- and be filled when you lack, that you may be able to fill yourselves more.
The peaceful evening pause often helps me glide into a sleepfulness where my lack is unconsciously met and processed, sometimes without trace, sometimes within the sweat and ruffled bed-sheets.
The peaceful morning pause however can become consciously dismantled and plunged into active lacking in minutes, seconds even.
And yet even within the greatest shift into earthly lack, into this worrisome world of soulful endeavour, even when face down in ego and mud,
A sense, an internal shift towards openness, towards a potential filling with Spirit, has indeed been growing day on day.
Now, when buffeted by my so-say-sufferings, when daily bemused and angered and hurt by the daze of human botherings tiresomely gathering around this blood, flesh and bone, I can sometimes pause.
Pause and somehow re-taste elements these 20 minutes, twice daily. And in this glimpse, I can meet the lack in us with a silence and a smile that greets suffering with an overspilling, unnameable, abundancy that is well and truly beyond the very fabric of me.
Next blog: Know Yourselves (12,17-13,25)