I am currently reading Frank Tuoti’s, “Why Not Be A Mystic?” A friend volunteered the book to me and I am learning quite a bit:
Contemplation requires silence
Modernity creates noise
Noise repels silence
Noise includes distractions
Activity opposes silence
Activity includes thinking
Activity includes concentration
Silence therefore retreats from activity
Patient stillness and quietude of mind invites true silence
No mental images, no filters, resolution of myriad micro activities until fertile ground exist that is unformed silence
At the quietest place enters eternity
God, the Spirit, the Soul, your soul meet at the plains of eternity
That is the place of revelation, answers, and momentary fulfillment
That leads to Psalm 46:10
Be still – and know that I am God
After reading Henri Levi’s, The Genius of Judaism, I learned for the first time that part of Judaism is “Knowing God”. I understood what that meant, but also saw there was a gulf between the Christian concept of Faith and the Jewish concept of Knowing. Frank and Thomas Merton unwittingly connects the two as I reflect the following:
Faith is the unconditional trust in God. You seek after God. You, without any requirements, “reach” for God. Faith is where you have decided to move towards God in your heart.
After a time, in your journey, when you complete the circle of Faith, you encounter God in your own way. What is completing the circle all about?
The circle begins with your trust in God. Trusting the ancient wisdom that reveals God’s nature and presence. It continues another part in taking the leap to love. Sharing, giving, helping. Allowing the activities of faith practice to condition the heart. It concludes through letting go of external definitions and obsessions, large and small. When you can consistently pray in silence and truth, faith eventually transforms into knowing.
God does not reveal itself in the forms Hollywood inspires. Movie art, by its definition, is a visual enterprise. Yet, profound revelation, to operate in God’s way emerges in the heart and soul. It is not magic with external special effects and a voice operating through an outdoor subwoofer. Rather, it is a place set aside in silence, without filters. Regular contemplation then provides the path to evolve from faith to the knowledge of concordance with God.