Monday, October 3, 2016

The deepest part of you is God. This is the real game changer in life.

13th century German theologian, philosopher and mystic Meister Eckhart is a rather unknown and obscure spiritual master in this neck of the woods that is South East Asia, and for several reasons.  Apart from the fact that not many people actually read the works of mystics and philosophers in general, their being alive so long ago makes them even more obscure.  As a student of philosophy in the seminary, I only heard of him being referred to vaguely in passing, but in my own readings of some current-day mystics and spiritual writers, I have experienced renewed interest by how deeply true some of his thoughts were, and how, because they speak of an abiding truth, are just as applicable now as they were more than a thousand years ago. 

One of those truisms is that the deepest part of us is God.  When I read that Eckhart was always concerned with the spiritual transformation of his flock, it was as if I had met a kindred soul.  I believe strongly that this is what I too am most concerned with – that those I minister to will somehow be just as concerned with their spiritual transformation. 

But what does it really mean to be ‘spiritually transformed’?  At the heart of a spiritual transformed soul is the deep and real awareness that one exists and lives because God abides in and is the reason for his or her being.  It really is as simple and as difficult as that.  Every mystery is also both simple and difficult as well, be it the mystery of the incarnation, the mystery of redemption and the mystery of the Trinity.  On one level, it is so simple, and on another, the truth it imparts is so deep and its response asked of us has such far-reaching implications, having staggering effects on so many areas of our lives. 

To be spiritually transformed necessarily means that one lives very differently once one encounters the transformative truth.  So, to know that one’s deepest part of one is God has to be something that changes everything.  These days, the phrase ‘game changer’ is far too loosely used.  Some of the things that this phrase has been applied to are life hacks like business plans and new ideas.  But they are changers only on one level, and usually the level of enterprises in the field of economics.  But they do not often, if at all, change things on the level of one’s existence.  True game changers have to affect us deeply, and they have to affect us at our core.  Otherwise, they are only superficial game changers.  Spiritual transformative changes not only augment our thoughts but shift our consciousness altogether. 

Religion alone doesn’t often do this.  It certainly hopes to, but if it is only ritual-based, it will not.  The human mind is far too complex and sophisticated to be led to an existential change just by an outward ritual alone, more so for the modern mind that resists reflection on the deeper implications of ritualistic actions.  But when religion and its rituals are accompanied by sound explanations and one is brought to the doorway of an experience of the divine in and through the rite, it is there that the consciousness can be awakened – a consciousness that often had been largely existing in a hitherto somnambulistic state. 

When one’s consciousness is shifted in a positive way, one becomes truly free and fearless.  Freedom is now not seen in merely the ability do anything one wants.  That’s not freedom in a mature definition.  It’s a freedom that sees you not wanting to try, do, see and taste things in life that are detrimental to your soul, and you see the wisdom in living with these restraints.  That’s a freedom that is brought about by a shifted consciousness. 

There is also a fearlessness that accompanies it – a fearlessness that allows you to be calm and with your senses intact despite anything earth shattering that life presents to you, and it can come in any form that ranges from a cancer prognosis to a tsunami that literally sweeps your entire life away.  You can still come out of it and say ‘it’s ok’.  Only true game changers can give one this kind of freedom and absolute fearlessness. 

Apparently, Meister Eckhart’s orthodoxy was held in question during his lifetime by the authorities.  Eckhart died before the conclusion of the case against him and his teachings.  However, when Pope John XXII issued the papal bull almost a year after his death, it was found that Eckhart had recanted everything that he was accused of falsely teaching and he was not condemned as being heretical. 

Mystics have long been known to suffer for their beliefs.  Like prophets, mystics are often not appreciated in their own home, and in their own time.  But if their truths have stood the test of time, it often vindicates them. 

I strongly believe that Eckhart’s teaching that God is at our deepest being is something that we all need to contemplate regularly if we truly want to change our lives and live not for ourselves but for a greater cause.  And there is no greater cause than God. 


  1. "One of those truisms is that the deepest part of us is God"

    A gnawing hunger to seek silence and solitude led me to search for this 'missing link' in my Catholic faith a decade back for I just could not comprehend how there was no meditative/contemplative aspect in so rich a Faith as ours . That was the time ,the Prayer of Quiet or Christian Meditation as taught by Fr John Main found me. It was then that I was introduced to Meister Eckhart - the Catholic theologian, psychologist,mystic, poet and a radical of his time whose teachings like you said - "speak an abiding truth,....just as applicable now as they were, more than a thousand years ago."-

    For example he said, "Love knows nothing of sin - not that man has not sinned - but sins are blotted out at once by love and they vanish as if they had not been. This is because whatever God does he does completely like the cup running over. Whom he forgives, he forgives utterly and at once" - are among some of the reasons he has a large following among the contemplative community. Doesn't that echo back profoundly, the words of Jesus?

    What made me interested in him was that he believed that in every soul is the Divine Spirit Itself or as you put it - "....that the deepest part of us is God." And so that perhaps explains why one sometimes crave for aloneness, a that "deep can call on deep"...........a time of soliloquy ?

    When one is made conscious of this in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit, (like you said, ) - one is truly liberated or 'un-chained' especially from fear of the unknown and I would say that perhaps it is the spirit of Hope that has been ignited once we recognise we have the divine in our core or centre of our being that gives us this grace to plough through the storms and tempest of life.

    Thank you Fr for sharing this intriguing topic.
    God bless u.


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