LP19: Transcendence

Treetops(Bautista, personal photograph, HRM, NS, 11-04-2014)

Earlier this month I caught an interview with Richard Rohr, a Franciscan Friar and RC priest, discussing the knowledge of self as explored in his book Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self (2013).

I usually associate religious people as advocates of bible interpretation and not necessarily the essence of God or spirituality or the Universe – whatever one deems the forces beyond humanity.  I am also not agnostic nor aetheist and there’s nothing wrong holding any kind of spiritual/non-spiritual beliefs but I do think once you hold your beliefs above or over others than you dip into disrespect and dive into ignorance.

I listened to Rohr speak without an agenda.  I couldn’t keep pace with the talk as I wrote so here are my paraphrased notes about three key statements:

“The true self cannot be offended – whenever you take offense -there’s your false self”

“Freedom is to not play the victim nor to victimize or create victims when you speak or act”

“If you don’t transform your suffering, you will surely transmit it”

I felt a pseudo-transcendence take over when I heard these three statements – not only did I become more aware of my behaviour, I furthered my knowledge of other’s behaviours when trying to understand their senseless words and actions against me.

When you are non-reactive or take no offense – people will come at you twice as heartless.

When people sense Rohr’s idea of freedom in you – people will triple their attacks.

When people see that you’re working on eliminating your suffering – people will transfer their suffering onto you.

I’ve read much over the last few years about ego, the now, spirituality and I guess what most would call “self-help” texts.

And then yesterday, I heard someone say “help self” by mistake.  I liked that mistake.

“Self-help” is an adjective – it’s stagnant in thought and steeped in negativity – it suggests I need external help or salvation.

“Help self” is verbal – it’s active – it suggests I am rescuing my own damn self.

This life post then is an affirmation -Rohr’s words become signs indicating that by doing all of this work of “helping self”, I am continually transcending suffering.  I’m not always successful and I often fall down.

But for every reconceptualization of self, I feel I move upwards effortlessly.