Conversations of the Heart VST Summer School
Cynthia Bourgeault Wednesday 9-15 July 2007

Thursday 12 July 2007

Kenosis – emptying, the path of letting go – this is the path Jesus taught.

The ones who get into trouble are the ones who want to cling.

More significant than hoarding things is hoarding your own identity. Pharisaism clings, not out of arrogance and desire to impress, but out of piety.

Holiness + clinging = Pharisee

Holiness + kenosis = Jesus

Jesus’ only operational motion is letting go, inwardly, not necessarily outwardly. Jesus did not run away.

When confronted with any life situation, the motion of letting go will connect you to divine Reality.

If you want to know the spiritual path in its simplest form, never do anything from a state of interior bracing – it is never worth the cost.

All forms of self-justification and self-importance will lead into a state of rigidity and the experience of separation.

Centering Prayer is practice in the core gesture of letting go (not to be confused with getting rid) of thoughts. Letting go is not outcome-oriented. It is simply a gesture in its own right. It takes a whole lifetime to learn to love the gesture of letting go as the place in and of itself where God is met.

Take letting go out into life.

We are talking about inner, not outer surrender.

Surrender is not saying, “Whatever”. It is not consenting to victimization and injustice. George Fox instructed his followers to “speak truth to power”. But this can only be done from a state of inner surrender. In any other condition your timing will be off and you will bring the wrong force to it.

The right note at the wrong time is the wrong note.

In needing to fix, you are in separation which created the problem in the first place.

There is an inner spaciousness which gives the ability to sometimes do very courageous things.

Responses from fear and bracing are always violent – we cut ourselves off from our full intelligence when we respond from fear and resistance. We trade our light for heat. If we take a moment to unbrace ourselves, things go down a different pathway and different resources come to us.

The annihilation of the ego means the annihilation of the ego as the seat of our identity. It is no longer the centre from which we draw force. The ego is set up to draw enough energy to allow us to survive on and negotiate the horizontal axis. But we can remove our identity from the ego and still do perfectly well. We can use the ego like a pianist when not operating from the egoic operating system.

When I am sitting before 800 people, I have to hold the teacher’s post. But if I continue to hold it in the shopping mall, that is a distortion.

You pick up the ego and put it down. We need to stop demonizing the ego but transcend dependence on it as the seat of our rationality. True wisdom comes from a deeper coherence of that field of consciousness.

We don’t need the rational mind to be rational. We need a wide open heart. Our linear disconnected minds allow life to become absurd – this is death, not connected.

Scientism, which understands science as a doctrinal position that says there is no meaning, is only possible when we operate out of the egoic mind.

Transrational reality is only perceived through the heart.