In my sobriety, fasting, silence and celibacy, I renounce the primary inclinations of life. Renunciation is for the purpose of focusing on God, being devoted to God instead of all other choices. I recognize that there are no other gods or comforters but God and the Holy Spirit. It is a "fake it til you make it" existence. I mean, I am not enlightened but I go through the motions wishing I was. This action is not a sin. Being unenlightened is nothing to be ashamed of. I have not experienced the utter bliss of joyful ecstasy; but I am not too proud to walk the path of renunciation, patiently whittling away at my ego, until IT happens. However (and this is big), I daily have moments of the Holy Spirit's thinking. From this, I know that God is in me and does get through to me. He and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are my guests.
This morning, I cried out to God, "Why am I here?" What I thought next was that I am here because I love God and He asked me to come. I am made of love and:
- ...do not be satisfied with imaginary comforters, for the Comforter of God is in you.
- ...His peace surrounds you silently. God is very quiet...
- The Great Light always surrounds you and shines out from you.
- Walk in the light...God leads you.
In the Rule of Benedict, there is a chapter on silence. One translation entitles it "Cherishing Silence in the Monastery." Related to ACIM, cherishing silence is the same as cherishing God, who is silent. Here is a line from the chapter on silence, "As for vulgarity and idle gossip repeated for the sake of a laugh, such talk is forbidden at all times..." People criticize me for not joining their fun, but to me it is not fun. Never have I been sarcastic or told a joke where someone else was not attacked; maybe subtly, but it is always there. What joke is not an attack on either someone's race, sexuality, gender, economic means, intelligence, physical stature, mistake, etc.
I see how such talk is a conscious act of separation between me and God. Since all people are God, any joking separates and attacks the God in them. So I try not to participate. I just watch and keep silent. I really want God more than guffaws.