There’s always a book that seems like its been with us forever. It lingers, from shelf to shelf … as if awaiting its moment to be heard.
For me, there are actually a few, but one in particular is The Impersonal Life, written by “Anonymous,” who, upon his passing, was revealed to be Joseph Benner (2). Gifted to me by a peer at my first place of employment after getting my undergrad, it didn’t really catch my attention until about 16 or so years later. From a glance, one would easily tag it as a “Christian” read. This was just about the time I decided to follow Christ, but for some reason I didn’t enter in.
But wherever I moved, that book seemed to make the trip with me.
It was after my divorce that I picked it and was drawn to give it more than a moment. What’s intriguing is that I had stepped away from a time of intimacy with the Christian church, beginning to consider “the unseen” from other perspectives. Since the age of 25, “in” the church, I had learned much about myself and the world of “Spirit,” but opening myself to Benner’s words not only took me back from whence I had just come, but offered a particularly intriguing perspective.
As the years pass and I watch as “everything” unfolds, it doesn’t seem a stretch that “perfection” will inevitably arise, in spite of what may seem to be (our) chaotic wanderings. Perhaps I needed those 15 years or so “in” the church to “see” once I walked outside its fence. This is certainly not meant to imply that “this” is an ultimate truth … but it does stir the embers. There is absolutely nothing about it that repels, although I can readily see how that may be the case for some.
With Spirit as our guide, our heart a compass, we’re all trying to figure “this” out, each in our own peculiar way.
Benner’s words are easy to invite in, but as well, I can understand how challenging they can be. Perhaps the most powerful message conveyed centered on the following Scripture verse from Psalms (46:10).
Be still and know I Am God.
Some thoughts in this moment:
Be still ~ It is a personal journey. Pack light. Release all the chatterings and concern. It is a path only Spirit and heart knows how to traverse. It is the Inner way. It is narrow and unfamiliar. It is not only “doable,” but intended.
Know ~ It is not a head thing. Indeed, it may seem as if it begins there. It may seem we advance with our knowledge. But yet it is far more intimate. It is Eden before the leaves.
I Am ~ The words echo, “I Am that (who/as) I Am.” Beginning and End. There is No-Thing that I Am not.
God ~ Where does this word take us?
What begins in scripture, Benner takes out on a limb …
What is your initial reaction? What does it reflect?
This is where I am so thankful for the years involved with the (exoteric) Christian church. I can feel these words pressing against the teachings most have encountered along the way. But in turn, I’m equally thankful for crossing paths with other folks who fully embraced Christ, but recognized the seed of God being present in all of us. Who is “right?” Who is “wrong?”
There’s a point where Benner calls the reader to use that scripture as a meditation of sorts … breaking it down with each repetition, entering into the words as best can be …
Be still and know I Am God.
Be still and know I Am.
Be still and know.
Indeed, we’re all experiencing this journey in different ways. I have no expectation that others will “see” or “get it” as I do … but I connected with Benner’s manner of expression, this one excerpt a particular example. But no phrase, no writing will have opportunity to move an individual in and of itself.
There is so much more.
The highest and best to you … in each step taken.