Blessed are the pure in heart
It’s time we make our peace with the notion of the stranger. A stranger is someone you do not know. But the not knowing produces any number of ideas which may or my not be true. Because the stranger is not known the stranger could be dangerous. Because the stranger is not known the stranger could be exploitive. Because the stranger is not known the stranger could just be strange. A rash of policies and executive orders have been put in place in America, England and abroad leveraging the narrative of the dangerous stranger, to promote the populous urge for safety. It’s time we make our peace with the notion of the stranger because, we can build massive walls; limit the number of strangers in our national spaces; we can even limit the location where these strangers come from; we can spray paint hateful epithets to run them away, and create policy that hold them at bay, but we will never be safe from the stranger when we are strangers to ourselves. The stranger is already in our midst. The stranger is behind our walls and barred doors. The stranger is as near as flesh is near to bone when we are estranged from our truest self.
There are any number of questions to ask to end the estrangement which exists between you and your truest self. One of the biggest questions to ask and one we almost never dare to ask is, “Why?” Why do we do the things we do? The “why” question does not investigate the car but the fuel that moves it. The “why” question doesn’t explore the symmetry and composition of a work of art but explores the spirit which initiated the very first stroke. The “why” question gets to motive. Why do we do the things we do?
One of the biggest questions to ask and one we almost never dare to ask is, “Why?” Why do we do the things we do?
After years of deep meditation and exploration I discovered much of what I do I do out of conditioning. Because of the world in which I live and the scars with which I bear, I’ve come to realize much of what I did was not out of choice but of conditioning. Like a Pavlovian dog the bell of irritation would ring and I would react with anger. The bell of dissatisfaction would ring and I would react with overindulgence. The bell of self doubt would ring and I would react with false arrogance and pride. The incessant bell would ring and I would react. Life’s hammer would test my reflexes and my knee would jerk. And as I wake to this reality I look around and strewn about me are all the broken relationships, missed opportunities, and chaos my reactions produced.
But in those rare cases when I actually made a conscientious choice it was done from selfish motive. A dear mentor of mine asked me to consider tracking the reasons why I typically say the things I say. I tracked the motive of my words for a week. I gave notice to when I spoke. I gave awareness to the times I remained silent. I gave careful attention to the reasons behind my words. His purpose of setting me on this course was to discover most of our words are used for power, control, and to garner acceptance. I burden you with this task now and ask that you spend some time noticing the “why” of our words. Then offer that same awareness to our actions. The identity of the stranger is found in our why.
Then these ancient words come crying out from beyond time and testament saying, “Blessed are the pure in heart”. The deepest form of well being and peace are for those who possess pure motives. The more our motives flow from the eternal stream of profound compassion, justice, and greater good the happier we become. Once we emancipate ourselves from conditioning and our tendency toward selfish motive the greater our sense of contentment. But why?
The more our motives flow from the eternal stream of profound compassion, justice, and greater good the happier we become.
The stranger we typically live our lives as functions from the selfish motive. But the truest you only knows pure motive. The truest you does not react from conditioning but response from pure motive. While the stranger seeks it’s own, the truest you lives for compassion, justice and the greater good. Your truest self seeks the path of cooperation and collaboration. Your real you dances to the rhythms and sings with the harmonies of the eternal. Rhythms and harmonies which keep planets orbiting, waves crashing, and birds swarming for their collective preservation. Your truest you is connected with the heavens and earth itself. Because your truest you is inextricably tied to that which is divine. This is why Jesus would say those with pure motives will see God. We get a glimpse of the divine when we function as our truest selves. We walk as strangers no more. Instead, with calm assurance we stand within ourselves as ourselves. And in this is the deepest form of well being and peace. In this is true blessing.
Eric Leroy Wilson