Tuesday, December 12, 2006


"It is a monstrous thing to see in one heart at one and the same time this sensitiveness to trifles and this strange insensibility to the more important things. It is an incomprehensible spell, a supernatural slumber which indicates an all-powerful force as its cause... For when people choose to live thus in ignorance of what they are, without seeking enlightenment, their defense is that they 'do not know'."

~ Blaise Pascal, Pensées

Here, Pascal's terms are strong and seem even excessively harsh. But on second thought, matters of conscience become the principles by which we conduct our lives and perceive circumstances and the souls of other people- not to mention our own selves. It's the eye of the heart that looks out towards what we regard as the highest. A caring conscience sensitively seeks to walk without offense, lest it become seared by wounds and setbacks- and what is destructive in this culture. What I've found to maintain a sensitive yet solidly grounded conscience is the continual habit of openness of heart and mind, inside and out, to be educated and renewed. An openness to the divine, and to the hearts of people around me. This stands the tests of trials.

Now my considerable challenge is to face adversity without toxicity, to hold fast to the generosity of spirit by which I always wish to cultivate and offer, and to daringly aspire with peaceful resilience. Something as seemingly trivial as a short period of time to consider what is healthy and what is avoidable, as a self-examination, is actually a bold and compassionate progression in the direction of vitality and freedom.

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