Melting Our Illusions

As the temperature of the Earth continues to rise, the world’s glaciers and snowfields are melting at a faster pace. The phenomenon of global warming is having a direct effect on climate and weather patterns everywhere and has contributed to the rising of sea levels. What also has begun to happen, as reported in the media for the past number of years, is that with the melting of the snow and ice, especially in mountainous regions, climbers and hikers are discovering the wreckages of planes that crashed in bad weather.

Pieces of metal, fuselages, cargo, and even the remains of crew or passengers, often mummified or encased in ice, have been discovered. Soldiers and ancient travelers have been found. These discoveries are aiding anthropologists in their study of human migration as well as assisting historians in putting to rest rumors and speculation that often surround a missing plane or person. Also, the families of those killed or missing are able to find peace. I’m intrigued by the idea of these people and wrecks, for years obscured by snow and ice, slowly being revealed in the light of day. They were hidden from view, but still exerted a pull on the imaginations and emotions of those who knew of their existence, though not of their actual location.

What an apt metaphor for our spiritual journeys. As we commit to the process that will lead to enlightenment, to understanding why it is we are here, it will be revealed to us who it is we really are. The illusions we created for ourselves—our glaciers—will begin to recede, exposing the wreckages of our past: failed relationships, lost hopes, abandoned dreams, and injuries committed against others. We’re then given the opportunity to examine them in the illuminating light of faith in order to learn from our mistakes and to see how our behavior continually ensnares us, keeping us from being our best possible selves.

The ice of self-delusion and ego melts in the light of Spirit and as it pulls away, our true nature is revealed; our real Self that has been concealed, like layers of snow on a mountainside, by our personality self, which is often formed in response to the criticisms of our parents, images in the media, the expectations of others, and the internalizing of the mores and social codes of our culture. In order to be who we think our parents and society want us to be, we often turn away from our real Self and tune out that voice within—our intuition—which is the source of wisdom and direction for us as we journey through life.

This opportunity to grow is always available to us; we don’t have to wait for an emotional meltdown to see what’s been covered over by denial or obscured by desire in order to examine our lives and then to change. All we need is to commit ourselves to the journey and then “ask and it will be given us; seek, and we will find; knock, and it will be opened to us.”

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Luke 11:9-13 (NRSV)

“So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

 

 



Categories: Theological Reflections

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