Sunday, December 22, 2002

One book that I've been interested in for the past couple of years is "The Fountain and the Furnace: The Way of Tears and Fire", written by Maggie Ross, a Christian contemplative. It first came to my attention because of my experience of somatic psychotherapy, where emotional release is an important part understanding one's self. (I'm interested in the yoga practice of pranayama for the same reason -- breathing is an important part of that kind of therapy, as well, and a surprising powerful one.) I had never before heard of "tears" as a part of the spiritual path before, but I know how important being emotionally open is, and that crying melts bodily and emotional rigidities.

What tears are a sign of, is an admission to one's self of powerlessness -- and don't Baha'is recite that every day during their noonday prayer? There is even a point during the long prayer where tears are mentioned, and I have often felt strange reciting that prayer, knowing that tears are supposed to be occurring at that point, and they are not. The mention of tears is also in some other Writings, so it's not exactly an alien notion in the Writings, but it is definitely an unexplored one. I put the term in a search at True Seeker, and the writings, strangely enough, mention the tears of the Concourse, more often than human tears -- tears are especially mentioned in connection with injustice.

In the Christian tradition, tears are primarily associated with compunction and repentance, but according to this book, they are a gift -- and any sort of tears are a place to start. Anyway, this is an idea I've been toying with for a while.

I have had a couple of spiritual experiences lately, the details of which I'm not going to relate here, but I'm feeling like it is a time to turn inward.

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