Reflection: summa vitae meae, scio te ipsum
Preface: I was deeply moved to write the following brief account summarizing the sum of my life’s purpose and expression and endeavors to know my self, which I must humbly preface with a poem from Mechthild of Magdeburg, a medieval mystic:
“Of all that God has shown me
I can speak just the smallest word,
Not more than a honey bee
Takes on her foot
From an overspilling jar.”
And so I begin. From my earliest childhood memories, before I understood their connotation and significance, and certainly since I was old enough to read and write, I have spent a lifetime endeavoring to understand and experience the truth of dreams, visions, creativity, religious experience, and spiritual traditions and practices.
Having studied the world religions and a plethora of spiritual traditions, read a library full of religious and spiritual literature, practiced numerous spiritual practices, spent years in intensive self inquiry, participated in the life of the Lutheran church, and endeavored to express it all creatively,
certainly I see this as the primary purpose and expression of my life (summan vitae meae) to this point and continuing forward. All else flows from this source.
And what of this life’s purpose and its expression? It has gifted me with some of the greatest stories ever told from the beginning of time, the great spiritual and religious literature and art of the ages, life transforming spiritual practices for mind, body, and spirit, an awareness and consciousness of that which creates, wounds, heals, sustains, and makes us whole, the shadows of self and the truth of Self, and the authenticity of mutual relationships and true belonging together in community.
From my earliest memories until now as a septuagenarian, I have come to know there is no greater purpose in life than to know our own true Self (scio te ipsum) wholly body, mind, and spirit and to enter fully into the mutuality of relationships and life together in authentic community walking one another home always.
Beloved, until we know ourselves, we cannot help ourself, or anyone else.
Khrisnamurti said, “When I understand myself, I understand you, and out of that understanding comes love.”
Ram Dass said, “Be here now.”
Gary Zukav wrote, we “may learn through the fear and doubt of our personality or through the courage and wisdom of the soul. The choice is ours to make.”
da, da, da
damyata, datta, dayadhvam
shanti, shanti, shanti