Friday 3 December 2021

Visual Language

           The Missal reading for 11th. Oct. 2021 was taken from Luke 11:29-32.  

They - the Scribes and the  Pharisees - wanted Jesus to work a sign for them, a miracle, in such a way that they could become aware if He was the one sent by God, ..... as they had imagined. They wanted Jesus to submit himself to their criteria. They wanted to fit Him into the framework of their own idea of the Messiah. There was no openness for a possible conversion in them. [My thanks to the Carmelite Lectio Divina website for this interpretation.]

          It seems to me that the same principle needs to be applied to the interpretation of the symbols and images that arise during pathworkings [rather similar to, if not the same as, kataphatic contemplative prayer] and meditations. The 'visual language' of the unconscious mind must be interpreted ..... on its own terms, rather than those assumed to be correct as a result of one's thinking function, arrived at through rational argument and logic. In my experience, although I have no doubt that the psycho-spiritual world operates according to its own set of universal laws, understanding the world of symbolism and imagery is much like how one approaches one's appreciation of art. To impose one's own ..... 'intellectual' rules is to run the risk of misinterpreting and missing the point of an artwork. Similarly, the unconscious mind can only be understood by opening one's mind and, if necessary, changing one's way of thinking about matters arising from that realm of unconsciousness. And of course, there is the added advantage that by avoiding ..... attachment to one's thoughts, one also avoids the need to travel that part of the "dark night of the intellect."  

          A very large part of our spiritual and psychological development requires us to change the way we think, get rid of preconceived ideas, engage with the process of metanoia. Or as the Bible calls it, repentance. [As a by-product of that practice, we might just get to save our planet as well!!]

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