Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Simple complex life in its wholeness

Simplicity and holiness are bound up with one another, because “holiness” also means “wholeness” also means “integrity” also means “unity”.

“Universe” means “one-song”.

Sin is a fracturing, fragmenting or scattering of the pattern God is weaving, the web God is spinning, the mandala of creation.

The cross of Christ sits at the heart of creation reconciling all things to God and in/through God to each other, restoring the broken pattern, the torn web, re-making the scattered mandala.

This is the meaning of Christ’s words at the Feeding of the Five Thousand: “Gather up the fragments that are left, so that nothing may be lost.

In its oneness, life exhibits ultimate simplicity – it does not grasp, does not divi up God’s creation as spoils.

So all who come into connection with the Christ at the heart of creation become simple because they are given back their innocence and made whole.  Do I mean that?  I mean at least, they are healed.  Maybe their wisdom is the same thing as their scars: we never lose what has happened to us or what we have done, though through God’s grace and loving-kindness it may be integrated, healed forgiven.

Simplicity is the Quiet Eye, the ability to focus, what one might call single-mindedness; as Jesus said, "When the eye is single the whole body is full of light" (Luke 11:34).  When we lose our simplicity/integrity/holiness/Quiet Eye, fracturing and scattering begins, complication and accumulation.  And, as Toinette Lippe pointed out, all illness is a manifestation of some kind of accumulation, because "problems arise when things accumulate".

On the Innermost House Facebook page this morning is a wonderful post.  Here's an extract:

I got hold of Michael and he made a suggestion. When we first started this page he suggested that we look everything important up in the dictionary. He said that there is an "aboriginal wisdom" buried beneath the surface of words.
So this time he says to look up two words--Simple and Complex--and ask how one thing can be both at the same time.
We've already looked up simple, and that was useful because it helped us understand that it basically means "single"--as in the One thing as opposed to Many things. Remember that . . .  post Pen wrote on her own site about the Many and the Less and the One.
Complex was interesting. The first thing it says is: "composed of many interconnected parts; compound; composite: a complex highway system." Well that sounds somewhat like the mess we're in trying to figure this out. It also sounds a little like my underwear drawer.
But then I read about the history of the word and it starts to make a different sense. It says it means "composed of parts" alright--as in Many parts--but then it says it comes from an older word that means "surrounding, encompassing," and "to encircle, embrace," even "to comprehend." So complex it turns out isn't so much like my underwear drawer as it's like an ecosystem! (If my drawer ever becomes an ecosystem then I really will have problems).
But wait a minute I already know that. The question is how can something be simple AND complex. So I ask again, and this time he explains it more. He says that "the reason simplicity eludes us today is because it belongs to the condition of the beginning. And all the forces of history and modern life move away from the beginning. From where we stand we cannot go back, and we dare not go forward. We can only seek the wholeness that lies within us."
WHOLENESS, not Simplicity. Or anyway not just simplicity. That's a COMPLETELY new thought. A week or two ago one of us . . . said that Oneness had to do with Wholeness, so that the Simple Life was like the Whole Life. Complexity is a kind of wholeness, like an ecosystem is complex and whole.
Wow. This really is a startling conclusion. What if IH isn't really simple, or not just simple. What if it's more like an ecosystem, more like ONE...COMPLEX...WHOLE? Wouldn't that be both simple and complex at the same time?
Simple and complex and whole. Like an ecosystem. Like life. I've been saying I want simplicity. But maybe what I really want is Life.

I love that.

Innermost House Facebook page


365 366 Day 59 February 28th
 (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, see here)

Two things you can freeze to keep stuff cool in transit.  So eminently useful.  And I so never use them   


maria said...

"but maybe what I really want is life"

Yes, I know this is where I am moving towards. To live fully. To live complete within the space I have been gifted.

This is simplicity.

Thank you Ember...


Ember said...



Anonymous said...

Only two?
I found 6 (our climate is hot in Australia)
I just put in my box to give away.

Ember said...

:0) Yes, two is more than plenty in England!