Marist Brother Don Bisson says that when you find yourself reacting strongly (over-reacting?) to something, that’s where the money is. So it is, I am discovering, with my reaction to “The Last Temptation of Christ” as described in the previous post. So I asked Richard to help me sort this out since I wasn't making much headway on my own.
"There is really only one eventual outcome:
surrender to the happiness of union with Spirit."
Ann: Richard, can you help me with this?
Richard Burton: Yes, of course, love, so glad you have come back for further discussion now that you have had time to reflect - or should I say percolate – and allow the cream to rise to the top.
Fear. That is always at the root of reaction and over-reaction. You have harboured such fear for a long time. I might even say you were born with it. For who would desire to have abilities that set them apart from others? What I want to say to you and your readers is that everyone has these fears – and everyone has these abilities. Our society is devoted to silencing them. and so our psyches are too.
Ann: Did you do that?
RB: Oh yes, and with incredible flair I must say. Who but an actor has the luxury of dipping into the most fearsome experiences of life, death, and beyond and then be able to scurry back the “security” of his ordinary life?
But try as I might, I could not bury the tension between what I knew and how I was living. It has driven many of us over the edge, myself included. In an attempt to forestall the piper, I read with the dedicated fervor of a pig at feeding time, hoping against hope that someone would explain it all to me and yet all the while refusing to see what was before my eyes, that is, the love of God. Instead, I kept before my eyes the vision of Christ and many like him in various cultures all over the globe in times present and past who claimed this knowledge and were crucified in one form or another for the privilege.
So I counted the costs and spent my life running from the reality of what acceptance would mean. But these poor efforts did not serve. This is a holy war that has only two outcomes: surrender or death. And death leads to knowledge that leads to understanding of our errors which leads to surrender. So then we rare back and have at it again because we understand that there is really only one eventual outcome: surrender to the happiness of union with Spirit.
Ann: Well, yeah, but when we’re on the planet, how do we live with this tension in some sort of normalcy? Or do we?
RB: Love, life is not the desperate case you make it out to be. Simply take one step at a time, pretty much as you are doing. Coming out is one step, keeping one’s feet on the floor of daily life is another. Dear one, do you not understand that holy access is normal? So what if you can clear a room when someone asks what you do? Someone departing in haste from that room may nevertheless recognize their own unique access and will turn in that direction.
You are not asked to be crucified, just to live honestly the life that you have been given and to “do the next right thing” as the Disney writers did when they somehow got that message into a blockbuster children’s movie. So you honor the fear that claimed you when you saw this movie, accept that it is something you live with, and do the next right thing.
December 14, 2019
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