Rampage of Love

Early yesterday morning, as I was deciding whether to get out of bed, the word \”love\” popped into my mind. Maybe that word alone was why I got out of bed. In my writing practice, I decided to write on this word and see what came out.

At this time in my life, I am in a dopamine desert. I am not playing the dopamine reward game with anyone; most particularly a work environment. If you have not read so much on neuroscience, maybe you don\’t know that every human brain loves dopamine. We feel good when we have dopamine. Most of us unconsciously go from situation to situation attempting to trigger a dopamine hit. We try to get other people to approve of us, thus triggering the dopamine; or we find an addiction which triggers the dopamine.

The game is to get another person or situation to somehow make you feel good for a little while, like through praise or recognition, approval, reward, honor, etc.

I should mention that the first Christian monks went to the desert to practice contemplation. My dopamine desert is an analogy with those early desert monks. Stop for a moment and imagine yourself in a very silent desert cave, gazing at a star filled sky, and feeling the divine presence. That is how I want to experience my desert.

I came to my dopamine desert. I brought with me a dream. A dream of creating and giving. That is, I would take my monastic education and spiritual studies, write and publish for others. It is a dream of connection without distraction with all that is; and receiving vibrations which I would turn into words and give to others. I would turn vibrations into thoughts and then words, thus making the creative dream a reality.

To have my dream and to live in the dopamine desert, I must believe in myself and in cosmic reality, the forever partnership of us. I have a monastic education, that is, I lived in monastic formation for 3 years. Life as a monk gave me tools for consciously enabling the divine partnership. I also have sources for ongoing spiritual education.

Most of all, I have my own soul. Every soul speaks towards their human in quiet whispers. Every human can tune themselves to their soul.

Everything I do before I die will be to enhance and enjoy the relationship with my soul and the miracle of my human life. There is an unconditional love which doesn\’t depend on the world\’s dopamine rewards and which embraces the human spirit.

Everyone has a path and access to the soul. How conscious are we? I approach the monk\’s life of direct focus on the divine presence more than once in my nearly 6 decades of life.

This little journal post was started with the word love and you can see where it lead me. Implicitly, to know the divine presence is to love unconditionally.


On the Psalms

Why do monks recite the Psalms? Because of the Lord. The Lord Himself is in the words of the scripture.

It started with Anthony of the Desert, whose life was written by Athanasius, whose book was read by Evagrius and others. Cassian read Evagrius. Benedict read Cassian.

From the book \”Talking Back\” by Brakke: \”Reciting the Psalms becomes a means of both therapeutic recognition of the soul\’s condition and ethical formation of the soul after the pattern of Christ…that the melody that is applied to the Psalms alters the condition of the body may indicate knowledge of the Epistle\’s teaching (Athanasius\’ letter to Marsellinus) that the melody effect\’s the soul which can then bring harmony to the body\’s members.\”

This matters to me because I am a spiritual seeker. I want the Lord to be in my consciousness.

Today I said, \”Spirit, I need you now.\” and then I thought:

The light in my soul burns quietly.
I need not fret.
It is the Lord.

I keep forgetting happiness. I do better remembering I am a worm and no man (Benedict). The urge to sign up for a race returns. The episode of my foot surgery is over. Silence returns but I can\’t let it be. I have been riding the ex-bike with the boot for about 3 weeks. Today I rode it without the boot. Shortly there after, my left lower leg started quivering.