Augustine\’s Two Cities

I was reading Glittering Vices this morning in the chapter on \”vain glory.\” This quote appeared from St Augustine: \”Accordingly two cities have been formed by two loves: the earthly by the love of self, even to the contempt of God; the heavenly by the love of God, even to the contempt of self. The former, in a word, glories in itself, the latter in the Lord. For the one seeks glory from [human beings]; but the greatest glory of the other is God, the witness of conscience. The one lifts up its head in its own glory; the other says to its God, \’Thou art my glory, and the lifter up of mine head\’ .\”

This quotation explain why I have divorced myself from society. I wouldn\’t say I\’m totally intent of glorifying God, but that I am intent on relinquishing self for the purpose of knowing God or following Spirit. American society mainly reminds me of the first city. I would not say I dwell in the second city either but that I\’d pick a consciousness of love and credit to God as modus operandi. For me it is a continuum I move along, ever going towards the God idea and away from the self idea.

I had a drunk dream last night. Only it wasn\’t me that drank. The context of the dream was an AA group. One of the longer term members had a terrible event and she drank. Then another younger term member drank because the first one drank. I thought that was stupid; but anyway, the dream continued on in that we got both people to meetings. We also got the group together and no one else drank.

Sobriety in AA is about overcoming a spiritual malady. May I always realize that reliance on God is the foundation of my sobriety.

I think about running and racing as I sit here with one foot in a boot, recovering from surgery. How will I shape my fitness in the future. I can\’t with a straight face say that ultra running is a good idea. I\’m not sure I can say that marathoning is a good idea. What is a good idea? I don\’t know. The idea of relinquishing ego and transcending self once again raises to the surface. How do I live the reality. Which reality? I did enjoy an early morning jog in El Lago. Lets hope for that.

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Envy

I am in College Station at a professional conference. I unexpectedly found that my future boss and 2 colleagues are here. An example of how little we communicate that I didn\’t know any of them were coming. I have put on dress pants for the first time in over a year. The women\’s 10s from Talbot are way too big. The men\’s 32×32 are also too big but fit better than the womens cuz they don\’t have the wide hips. I don\’t have wide hips. I also don\’t like womens pants as they are nowadays which only come up to the hips. Um no, I am an engineering professional and I don\’t wear pants half way down my butt.

I am reading a book called \”Glittering Vices.\” It is a very interesting look at the seven capital vices. It is spiritually deep as it integrates monastic desert spirituality and Aquinas and modern day influences. I am finding it really hits home in explaining how I feel.

Envy is really a symptom of feeling worthless and needing to be superior to mask that feeling. \”…defining envy as dissatisfaction with our place in God\’s order of creation, manifested in begrudging his gifts to others.\” When an envier does \”win\” she still does not have what she needs: \”… a secure, non-contingent, unconditional sense of her own worth…..the cure for envy requires getting out of the comparative game of engineering self-worth altogether.\”

A Course in Miracles also offers explanations of envy related to the ego; and offers a spiritual correction for the situation. Other metaphysical methodologies would offer meditation and changing your thoughts.

For now, I am glad to be exploring and defining my envy. I am glad to name it and put it out there where I can see it. Now that I am hip to the situation, I don\’t have to react to it. I have taken my power back.