I want to reinforce something Sister Christine said on her blog the other day:
The heart does not have to be taught how to sense the world.
The mind does not have to be taught to acquiesce to the heart, to cede control.
They both know what to do, innately.
The link between heart and brain is there; we are all born with it. It requires you be taught to ignore it, and even then most people experience a good bit of moral demand intruding into their minds. The problem is the false barriers erected by our intellectual heritage, which in turn was one of Satan’s greatest accomplishments. Western culture supremely enforces the Fall by elevating the intellect to the throne of decision. It is quintessentially eating the Forbidden Fruit, the Fruit of Judging Good and Evil. Not discerning good and evil, the fruit is the narcotic temptation to usurp the heart’s instinctive reliance on God’s revelation woven into reality itself. It’s the false thrill that comes from using one’s own intellectual reasoning processes to displace God, to be one’s own God.
Merely telling someone that the heart is there with a higher mind and awareness typically brings the whole thing into sharp focus. It’s really that easy in many cases. The difficulty is a matter of discipline, which in the Hebrew thinking of the Bible is another kind of learning — “learning is suffering” (an ancient Eastern image that shows up in Hebrews 5:7-8). You are a child of God, an adopted sibling of Jesus, but you have to unlearn in your intellect all the bad habits of cultural false teaching and remove the barriers. Don’t you imagine Jesus as a boy faced a lot of bad teaching in the synagogues of His day? Granted, this is where things can become difficult. Jesus’ parents must have struggled with the obvious truth of what He said even as it went against the grain of what they were taught to revere. Rejecting your cultural identity is often painful, but you’d be surprised at the large number of people who walked most of their life in some awareness of this conflict between what they were compelled to think grinding against their own conscience.
I cannot neatly package this for you. It’s already there. The burden is upon you to push aside the barriers. Ideally you and I could meet together and you could be persuaded by the sheer power of God’s Presence in my soul, not to mention in the meeting itself. However, Our Lord seems have no trouble working through the medium of mere writing, particularly when the writing is specifically aimed at revealing the person behind it. There again, we have to break all kinds of rules we learn in school about what is proper “voice” when writing. It is a conscious effort on my part to draw you into my world so your heart will see my heart. If my writing here doesn’t call out to you, then there’s nothing I can do to make any of this work.
I’m hoping you can get your minds used to the mystical approach. Yesterday’s unpleasant ride for me wasn’t awful in the broad sense. I enjoyed the presence of my Creator in His Creation, the natural world around me. I never lost that sense of His comfort, but I did realize I was in the wrong place. Nor did I sin in choosing to ride that trail; it was for me to discover while under His care that there’s nothing there calling my name. He designated that place for others. The flat tire? Just an annoyance on the route; I was prepared for it by carrying a fresh inner tube in my toolkit. Mysticism includes being patient with my own foibles and realizing that God works in ways that I’ll never be able to explain.
But the basic moral truth remains: Once you are exposed to moral teaching, it sticks because your heart tells your mind to embrace it. The vast majority of what I write here is merely removing the cultural garbage so you can see clearly the light of glory reflecting off reality itself. My particular choice of words may not meet your needs, so I keep telling folks not to hang around out of any sense of duty. You owe me nothing. Stay because God says herein is something He has for you. I know how to see past a bad day and a drop in readership because it’s all about His glory.
The task is to unlearn what hinders His glory.