Tuesday, June 21

A franciscan, a taoist and some naked people are all in a web...

A good friend of mine recently posted something which directly addresses an idea which has been sitting directly under the surface for a long time, a thought process and philosophy which is so very different than I have heard elsewhere in mainstream Christian thought.  First, I'll quote Thom's catalyst.
"If you don't love yourself, you can't love anyone else. 'Loving one's neighbor as oneself' is predicated upon actually loving yourself first. That love radiates outward to others. Additionally, if you don't know yourself, you cannot pray authentically. Your God becomes an extension of who you think you are. If you cannot be naked with yourself, you cannot be naked before God."
This brings me directly to a quote from Alan Watts:
"Now the Chinese would say, if you can't trust yourself, you can't trust anything. Because if you can't trust yourself, can you trust your mistrust of yourself? Is that well-founded? See? If you can't trust yourself you are totally mixed up, you haven't a leg to stand up and you haven't a point of departure for anything! (Watts, Tao of Philosophy)"
 The extension is simple, but important enough to explicitly state: If you are not honest with yourself, love yourself and trust yourself (which includes knowing your own limits), those qualities cannot be projected outward to others, including the Divine.  This leads us back to the Web of Jewels, wherein everyone is connected and we see ourselves reflected in all those we know just as they are reflected in us. 

I would point out that, due to our inability to truly see and understand the Divine, who we see in Her will always be coloured by our own place in the Web of Jewels, but there is a quantum leap of difference between the Divine being a reflection of our true selves (the Divine within) and who/what we think we are.

An addendum to this all is to consider how we function in a daily fashion.  If we cultivate within us honesty, love, trust and unity, those things will project out from us to everyone in the Web...which then reflects back upon us in a positive feedback loop.  If, instead, we cultivate a habit of artifice, disapprobation, distrust and isolation, then we shall see those things in everything around us, including the Divine.

The choice, as always, is yours.  Water or fire.  Life or death.  Whatever you choose will be given to you.


  1. Very well said, Tim. Your deeper exploration really resonated with me. Thank you.

  2. Thank you for bringing this to the top of my mind and spurring me to write about it.

  3. Tim, this is sumptuous food for thought. I don't know how many times I have stated to others that biggest impediment Christianity, and Catholicism in particular, puts in the path of true spirituality, concerns Jesus's command to love ourselves.

    Your thoughts on projection were bang on. Thanks for this.