Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A few weeks ago I checked out a book called Less is More: An Anthology of Ancient and Modern Voices Raised in Praise of Simplicity. I’ve been flipping through it now and finding it chock-full of amazing and thought provoking quotes.

It is due to the greed of the soul that it wants to grasp and possess many things, and thus it lays hold of time and corporeality and multiplicity and loses precisely what it possesses. For as long as more and more is in you, God can never dwell and act in you. These things must always come out if God is to enter, unless you possess them in a higher and better way, namely, if multiplicity has become one in you. Then, the more multiplicity is in you, the more unity there will be, for the one has been changed into the other.
Saint Augustine 354-430 AD, Confessions

I wish I could know why Augustine thought the soul becomes greedy. I wonder if that is addressed anywhere in his writings? The statement above seems to hint at some of the things I was writing about a few entries back—when people have lost their connection with the land and nature they then try to possess it materially. I’m still suspecting it has something to do with the process of individuation. When we lose our identification with nature and begin contracting down into individual dots we forget about Oneness. We see multiplicity and otherness everywhere. The need to possess and control it all is our childish attempt to experience Unity again.

But it is as Augustine implies—when you empty yourself, cling to nothing, possess nothing, then you truly possess everything. When you’ve emptied yourself, God enters and you experience reality through God-eyes. The multiplicity becomes Unity. No need to materially possess anything because spiritually it is already part of you. The supraconsciousness we are evolving towards is pure God consciousness.

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