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Step 5: The Maturing Soul – Step of Maturation
For many years of my life I have struggled with not feeling really mature. What does maturity actually mean? When is something mature?
When we look at nature and examine ripe fruit, for example, we discover that being ripe has something to do with an inner tension that can be held. An unripe fruit is too hard. An overripe fruit is or becomes mushy and decomposes. In between there is a state of ripeness in which there is an inner connection, a cohesion. For the healthy development of personality and soul, a state of maturity is needed – again and again – of a right form, a constitution, which is both permeable form and "formed permeability" (cf. Karlfried Graf Dürckheim, Vom doppelten Ursprung des Menschen, Freiburg 1973, p. 167).
I experience the connection between myself and everything around me. My opening to the spiritual has led to my being more open to everything in the world. Am I thus exposed to the world without protection? My body with all its drives also belongs to it. They work openly into me. What is happening to me? What does the world do, and what do the spiritual impulses do with me? I am faced with the decision to close myself off, in order to simply find myself. Or should I give myself to the spiritual impulses even more, even more consciously?
I decide for the second way. In small steps, with uncertainties of all kinds and by no means straightforward, I go further. And it shows: life helps me. In the midst of my tasks – in the family, at work, in dealing with everything – I feel that I am being led inwardly. I find my measure, and bitter experiences also help me in this.
I experience inner tension and learn to balance it. I am a kind of mixing vessel for what flows into me from my inner core and what comes from my environment. Both mix together and take on new forms within me. I am newly formed by what enters me. I experience myself as an interface of the spiritual forces and the forces of our world. They transform themselves on each other – within in me. I stand in a never-ending "die and become", a "dissolve and connect". I am being transformed.
Step 6: The Reason-born Soul – The Creative Step
The constant back and forth, the constant balancing, the ever new identity that arises from it all leads to a new reason, a new hearing of the messages of what is entering me.
I have become receptive to the flow from the innermost being. Inner eyes for it begin to open. Still very vaguely, the inner world of the soul, the cosmos of the soul, is communicating itself to me. A new vibration of the heart arises. I can react more directly to the intuition of the heart. And I am ready to express it as best I can.
Spirituality and everyday life are closely linked. No action, no situation is insignificant. In devotion to a fellow human being, to an animal or a plant, a "flow", a blessed streaming is created. The emotional spaces of the relationship become clearer. Reason Ffor me now, reason means to let an inner space arise again and again, in which what I encounter can merge with the spirit from my innermost being. In these inner spaces, into which the spirit can enter, the transformation takes place, the “new” arises. Through the inner worlds of the soul, the spirit influences everything in nature, and the awakening human being is a bridge builder, an interface, companion, enabler.
Step 7: The Eternally Existing Soul - The Step of Eternal Generation
This stage has attracted me from the beginning, its impulses led me on a spiritual path. It is about returning home, it is about my homesickness, my longing. What is homecoming other than union with the Divine within? The outer appearance does not dissolve in that, no, the inner wedding redesigns it again and again, to finally make it the image of the innermost being.
Immense richness is revealed as the content of life, the basis of our existence. It calls for radical transformations, transformations that come from the origin, the root.
And I finally realise that: this immeasurable wealth of the spirit wants to individualise everywhere. Everything that wants to enter into me is ultimately myself. Because the root of everything is also within me.
My homecoming, therefore, concerns the homecoming of everything. I participate in an eternal generation.
When the root of creation awakens within me, an impulse to everything is emerging. Teilhard de Chardin speaks of the "Point Omega", that which wants to lead all matter, and with it every living being, into a new creative drift.
But this does not happen automatically. We are called to penetrate to the meaning of our existence. We can get lost in the vastness of the evolutionary arc, especially if we look at how small and insignificant we are. But it is precisely in our absurd weakness that the Divine-Spiritual wants to awaken, it is here that it wants to do its works. So it depends on each one of us. Every thought, every action is important and has effects in the whole cosmos.
The eternal of the spirit awakens the eternal soul. And it waits for our next conscious step.