Wednesday, January 04, 2023

You shall love, part 2


You shall love, part 2

I have already noted that the human = land + sea + sky. But there is another, parallel, way of speaking of this being, as a soul composed of heart and mind and strength (Soul = heart + mind + strength).

This is a true parallel, in that the heart is of the land, the mind is of the sea, the strength is of the sky.

The heart is the seat of the will, our capacity to make choices, for good or evil but always being redeemed. The will has a certain dependable—habitual—solidity to it, but also experiences the churning passion of subterranean magma, renewing us; also experiences the tectonic friction of rubbing against the will of others, especially those closest to; also experiences erosion, worn down or away over time.

The mind is our capacity for emotion and reflection, for feeling and thought, for discovering the world around and within us, for pooling knowledge, wisdom. The Scriptures speak of a coming time of peace, when ‘the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea’ (Isaiah 11:9). Warm shallows, clear as green glass; hidden depths searched out by sub(conscious)mariners; powerful waves, that threaten to submerge us.

Our strength is our capacity to move, being moved. Power. Freedom. Jesus said, ‘The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.’ (John 3:8). Today, we can track the wind, can even farm it. But the wisdom holds. We are animated, given strength, by the breath, the wind, at times a gentle breeze, at times wild and free, destructive even. Our strength is not of ourselves; yet we can learn to track it, to recognise the doldrums and the storms, to farm our energy and put it to good purpose.

You shall love. You shall love, with every element of yourself aligned, in harmony. You shall love your God, your neighbour, yourself. All this, upheld by God. Supported by the law and the prophets, by instruction and reflection on practice. But, ultimately, upheld by God, who holds all things.


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