Burnout is an ego phenomenon. At the root of burnout is the phenomenon Gerald May calls “spiritual narcissism,” which feeds on the fact that we don’t know ourselves very well.

Very rarely can we give with purely unmixed motives. People who burnout are usually responding to programs they don’t know they have. There is a compulsive quality in some of our efforts to pour ourselves out, that compulsive quality, doing it out of lack and hoping secretly to be recognized, or to be safe, right, virtuous.

We are blind to ourselves so we get tired.

We need to be able to taste the ego-component in things and relax it.

Just do what you do.

“Love your neighbour as yourself” means your neighbour is your other self. It is as if your neighbour is you. This is the koan of unitive vision. Egoic seeing translates “love your neighbour as yourself” into  “love your neighbour as much as your love yourself.” This is not two commands one to love yourself and one to love your neighbour. Unitive seeing knows your neighbour is your self.

“The dark night of the spirit” is not a battle with cultural conditioning. It has to do with the letting go. It is about making the passage through the last and the scariest of the three relinquishments, the relinquishment of: 1. our will 2. our identity 3. our vitality.

Usually we assume that we are our energy and that what gives us energy is good and what takes away energy is bad. Sometimes you have to fall through being in charge of your own energy replenishment. This is the passage where you are kept alive, not by your own personal energy (bios) but by zoe, the life force itself that comes from love. You don’t get this passage without being willing to relinquish your claim to be the source of your own energy.

Serene light shining in the ground of my being,
Draw me to yourself.
Draw me past the snares of the senses,

Out of the mazes of the mind.
Free me from symbols, from words,
That I may discover the Signified,
The Word unspoken in the darkness
That fills the ground of my being.

(early Christian probably 4th century Byzantine Prayer)

“Subtle perception” is the birthright and the necessity of a maturing human being.

What to the ego looks like darkness, or the void, or emptiness, is actually crawling with light at a subtle level. It is not that it is really dark, it is just that we have been using too small a part of ourselves.

In the fog you have to orient yourself according to where you are.

It is not emptiness. If you open up and use a whole different set of senses you discover a sense of belonging to a whole. You discover the world as a luminous web coming to us in every flower, stone, sharp edge.

Inside this thing we call our physical senses there is a whole other more subtle system at work in us, a whole other different kind of coherent instrument of perception. In Christian terms it is often referred to as the “spiritual senses.” It is generally just alluded to and not explained by people like Bernard of Clairvaux in his Commentary on “Song of Songs,” talking about continuity between something that is outward and physical and something that is inward and much more subtle. They are connected without being the same thing.

This is something more subtle than energy.

Matter is a condensed form of energy.

Energy is a condensed form of psychic force which is the realm of attention, will, love.

Psychic force is the realm Sufis call “names of God.” These things have power.

What is it in Centering Prayer that comes up and reminds you of your intention? What is it that emerges out of your depths? Trust this; it is a powerful expression of psychic force.