Friday, May 23, 2014

Life’s Transient Dream

I forget who I am regularly. It happens every day.

No, I did not get hit on the head, nor am I in a fugue state. I did not mistake my daily multivitamin for an Ambien tablet. Neither am I suffering from some form of dementia – at least not yet.

My forgetfulness is quite normal. Spiritual amnesia is the normal waking state of most humans. The only way I know I was sleepwalking through life was because I woke up one day, and I have been waking up ever since.

I am most fully conscious twice each day – in the early morning and early evening. This is when I do my spiritual practice of prayer and meditation. But wakefulness continues as an undercurrent throughout the day - like the sound of a nearby brook always present in the background, if I pay attention.

I wake up most clearly in the evening when I devote myself to an extended time of quiet prayer. I get on my knees, close my eyes and surrender myself to God. The thoughts of my busy mind gradually drift away, and I awaken from the dream of life. It is like going to sleep, only in reverse. It is waking from normal wakefulness.

I remember who I am again. My temporary amnesia clears, and I wonder at how I could have forgotten what is real. As the hymn says, then “ends life’s transient dream.” God is present. Christ is present. But I am not. As the apostle wrote, “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.”

The roles I play during the day slip off like clothing. My name has nothing to attach itself to. My carefully constructed personality is nothing more than a song in the air. There is only the unconditional love of God.

This is eternal life. This is the Kingdom of God. This is the Father’s House. It is our heavenly home. How could we ever forget?

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