From M. Catherine Thomas:

A closer look on ‘A Spiritual Practice’ theme, has me (Kent) thinking there are a couple of valuable ‘preambles’ to what I posted too soon, so with another start . . .

We see that the principle of restoration is a principle of creation, because what we do must return to us in some form. What we do, that is, our thoughts, our speech, our actions, these create what our present and future must hold: “For what ye to send out shall return unto you again, and be restored” (Alma 41:15) — and at some level that happens immediately, for good or ill (see Mosiah 2:24; Alma 34:31). So we become increasingly wise as we go through life creating the conditions in which joy can flourish or darkness reign. Indeed, what if there were no idle thoughts? Perhaps the mind never loses its creative power, moment to moment, planting the seeds that must ultimately flower into acts and consequences.

Elder F. Enzio Bische speaks of the power of our choices: There is a simple lesson we each have the opportunity to learn in life. It is that in each of us is the potential for two opposing situations. A person can experience feelings of joy that become almost unbearable. Or a person can experience unhappiness to the extent that there seems to be no way out…. Some individuals reach such a state of depression—or become empty and hollow—that they become empty and hollow—that they want this life to come to an end. Both extremes are within our reach. And both extremes seem to be based on circumstance. Many who have not come to a state of spiritual awakening, may, in fact, believe their circumstances are the deciding factor in happiness…. We alone decide where it is we stand on the continuum between total frustration and complete fullness of joy.4

Changing Energies through Awareness

With an awareness of our power to choose the experience we want, let us look more closely between the two main types of energy: self absorption and pure love.

Made of the substance of light, truth, and intelligence, as well as the love inherent in that holy substance (see Doctrine and Covenants 93:23, 29, 33) we understand that at our deepest center there exists a reservoir of pure, selfless love which flows through each of us like a hidden underground spring. We are love that does not perceive itself. The Natural Man has covered up the well and created a hard shell over the heart—but the love is still there.

Now, this hard shell, or hard heart, has been formed as a protection to keep pain out—-but also God. So at the onset, as we think about change, it must be asked: Is it possible that at the deepest recesses we sense the joy, or love, or light that forms our being, and that fearing these, we cover them over? Could it be that we are afraid of our own divinity? On introspection, do we find that we act to shut down feelings of joy—that we can’t endure them for very long? If that is so, then we must ask, Do I really want to be happier than I am now? If the answer is that we really do want a different experience than we now have, that we want to experience the height of Man’s possibilities, we then must be open to change toward the unknown,since “it doth not appear what we shall be” (1 John 3:2); we must be willing to expand into the fearsome divine, trusting that the Lord knows where to take us. When it is understood, approaching change from Natural to Spiritual can seem like imminent death—which it is.

But with courage we begin to see through the Natural Man.

Copyright © M. Catherine Thomas, Original printing by Amalfi Publishing, 2008 / Reprint by Digital Legend Press, 2010.) p.95-96



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