You were within and I was outside


“The contemplative discipline of meditation, what I will call in this book contemplative practice, doesn’t acquire anything. In that sense, and an important sense, it is not a technique but a surrendering of deeply imbedded resistances that allows the sacred within gradually to reveal itself as a simple, fundamental fact.

Out of this letting go there emerges what St. Paul called our “hidden self”: “may he give you the power through his Spirit for your hidden self to grow strong” (Eph 3:16). Again, contemplative practice does not produce this “hidden self” but facilitates the falling away of all that obscures it.

This voice of the liberated hidden self, the “sacred within,” joins the Psalmist’s, “Oh, Lord, you search me and you know me. … It was you who created my inmost self. … I thank you for the wonder of my being” (Ps 138 (9):1, 13, 14).

This God we seek has already found us, already looks out of our own eyes, is already as St. Augustine famously put it, “closer to me than I am to myself.”

“O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,” he continues, “you were within and I was outside myself.”

Into the Silent Land

Martin Laird

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