Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Illusions Begone

"In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength..." (Isaiah 30:15)

"There's nothing wrong with quiet."
(Robert Redford in 'Jeremiah Johnson')

My mentor and I were talking the other day about life's illusions and how alarmingly easy it is to become transfixed by them, to lose sight of priority. We discussed how to avoid this and came to the conclusion that it's impossible to completely steer clear of distractions, that sadly, it's human to be bamboozled.

Illusions can take us on a Magic Carpet Ride through all sorts of mysterious lands, through vapors and views that seem solid, worthwhile, beneficial, yet an outstretched hand discovers they are vapid fog which have tantalized our vision, tickled itching ears, Sirens which have lured us into danger. Tuning into the voice inside which gently, patiently implores us to stick out our hands and test our surroundings is the hard part. Beguiling vistas, enticing words, arousing or soothing pleasures, these hold us spellbound, deaf to the Voice of Truth, the Wisdom of Reality which steadfastly warns, "This path is not level. Make level paths for your feet. You are swapping the truth for lies."

The secret to prevailing, we decided, is in vigilance.

My sagely friend said, "Sometimes life gets away from you in the form of illusions and distractions. You need to regularly sit down, get quiet, listen to your heartbeat, listen to your breath, contemplate what you know is true, pray. The illusions dissipate sooner or later. Foundational things come into view. God makes himself known."

As one who has long defended the benefits of solitude and self- reflection, I find her words ring true. I shall ponder them next time my mind is quiet while I'm loading the dishwasher, or folding the laundry, or weeding the garden, or scooping doggie poo, or sitting down and listening to my body beat and breathe.


liz said...

I'm with you in the solitude bit but isn't it wonderful how even in the routine and the busyness we get caught up in, God can still stop us in our tracks and make his presence known? Just as well sometimes or we'd be well out in the cold.

Cherie said...

How right you are, Liz. God can and does do the stopping for us sometimes, braking our busyness, making us come to know what He has for us. I always feel so stupid when I am caught-up in something I 'think' is worthwhile, rushing along, ears shut up, eyes covered, and yet feeling so right and noble and God lets me go....for awhile....then he stops me. Stops me. Quiets me. Somehow someway. I adore being quiet with him.

Cecily said...

Do you think mentors around the world are on the same program?! My spiritual director and I have been discussion a similar thing - taking time for silence, finding stillness in the busyness. I just need to do more of it!

Here's a little bit of Tassie weather info: Fairly basic, not great detail, but there are some links to temperature maps. :) (I take my tour guiding role VERY seriously. hehe)

Sandy said...

Stopping, thinking, somehow when I do finally stop to listen, I realize how much I haven't taken the time to stop. While on vacation I realized how outside of myself I am lately. This post reminds me to take the time, even though I seem to be off running again. Thanks Cherie.

Cecily, your tours are wonderful!

Wandering Coyote said...

There is often a meditative quality in the mundane tasks of the day for me...washing dishes or folding laundry.

Cherie said...

Maybe there is a Mentor Manual we don't know about, huh Cecily. I, like you, need to do more of it. It's refreshing - well, sometimes it's humbling and even mind-blowingly painful or shame-producing, but at least it's honest seeking and listening. I'm going to head over to the Cecily Tour Guide sight when I'm done here. You are so good to me, Cecily!

You put it so well, Sandy, 'outside of' yourself. That's how I get to feeling, too. It's just wonderful that you got to take that trip and that it rejuvenated you so.

Thanks to you both for the encouragement!

Cherie said...

Yes, WC, exactly. I used to dread doing the laundry and dishes and yes, scooping doggie doo, but now I recognize it as meditative time, just as you do. Hands gently busy, heart working it out peacefully. Maybe it's that when I'm doing those things nobody bothers me -afraid I'll recruit them to do the job maybe? ; )

Cherie said...

Thanks, Cecily, for that Tour Guide! Tom and I just looked at the sight and learned a LOT. We are fascinated with the quolls. They look sort of like our opossums. Lots of good information.

So, you are heading into Springtime right, in a month or so, when we enter Autumn.

We are at about 45 degrees north, so are not too far off temperature-wise as you.

We want to visit you and do some in-person sight seeing with the great Cecily Tour Guide Comany.

Sigh - maybe some the meantime, Good Job!

Leiselb said...

I'm going to go try this....I could use a little manifestation and such right now....thank you for the advice.

Cherie said...

You're welcome, Leisel.