Since my music is not doing well tonight…
Let me try to say it (what I was writing before the crash) simply.
The body and its senses are not capable to know anything about God and prayer in the same way our heart (our person) does. The body and the sense are approximate (appropriate-to) to the social environment. Fish are made for the water and birds are made for the air. Our social environment revolves around our bodies and our senses. Our human animal nature. The social environment is the ‘water’ in which our animal nature ‘swims’.
While, in the beginning of our spiritual life, our physical and mental attitude at prayer time seems (we are sure!) conductive to producing prayer and we need these things… later (in the progress) we come to find out that nothing about the attitude of psychological mind (our thoughts) or attitude of body (our senses and emotions) has the capacity to produce or even be conducive to prayer. This can come after a long period of trying very frustratingly to pray in the sensual ways (posture, words, thoughts).
We can say that in a tricky way … ‘What at first gave good fruits - now gives dryness and no fruits‘. But in reality it is that we simply did not yet understand what prayer really is and where it takes place and why.
Prayer (taking place in the person - the invisible heart) may express itself through the body and senses and through thoughts… but the reverse is not true (body and senses and thoughts can not express themselves into our hearts as prayer). This is the meaning of ’it is not what comes into a man that makes him holy but what comes out of his heart‘.
As example: the hands together in prayer - know nothing about the experience of God or the content of our prayers. And so the hands can get bored and fidgety. They would like to be doing … what hands do. And after awhile the mind would like to do what the mind is built to do (thoughts). And so while we are yet young in the ways of prayer it does us good to quiet them so as not to be distracting - but after a while of growth - these senses and thoughts will get fidgety or else we go to sleep. From that point on we make a mistake if we continue to try to un-naturally force them to be still.
If we are to ‘pray always’ then is it that we must be still of body and thoughts… always??
Of course not.
And so we finally come to know that prayer takes place in the deepest ‘I’ … and is independent of thoughts of mind or attitude and things of senses. It is rather totally entwined with attention to conscience. (con: together) and (science: knowing). You knowing what God knows (by way of Logos - his immediate will).
Get the picture?
So while it is not possible for the social environment to be antagonistic toward prayer - it seems that way to us (distracting or antagonistic) as a result of our own (as yet) immature idea of what prayer is and where it takes place. When we are as yet still too attached and habitually obsessed with the experience of our senses or the content and logic of our thoughts.
I am not my body (it simply belongs to me) and I am not my thoughts (they too simply belong to me). I have a special (cause or effect) relationship to them (the glue which we call soul)… but *I* am not these. I am - person - and that is unknowable to either perceptions of body or mind… I am hidden (unknowable) with Christ (also unknowable by perception of body or thoughts). We can not turn the perception of any of our body or mind - faculties - upon - person.
There is a progression to the spiritual life and it is not arbitrary - it has to do with the way (and the changes) that our subconscious mind works. There by it is experienced (some of this progression) by alternating seasons of enlightenment and darkness. Enlightenment plants the seeds of change and darkness is the event of the change (restoration to original design) taking place. Refer to St. John of the Cross. All which seems like enlightenment may not be the right kind .. and all darkess is no nessesarily a result of spiritual progress. And so if people do not know how to tell the diffrence they go in circles in a labrinth (sp).
The organization and aims of the social environment can only be about the body and its senses. These (body and sense) are the only thing involved. Our animal nature.
And so we see that when some religious group decides to make the social environment perfect for religion. Be they … Pharisee or Taliban … JW or fill-in-the-blank … or moments in the history of our own churches when the social environment was socially engineered as perfectly as possible for religion. It becomes fundamentalism and ends up failing - because - the environment can not produce holiness no more than a wooden piano can produce a song in the person playing it.
The composer produces the song in the sound of the piano - and it is we who make our personal experience (of our environment) … holy … and not the other way around).
Now to address a bit more of the quote… It is prayer (our part in a cooperative effort) which ‘restores the created world (from) its fall’. Because the ‘world’ spoken of here is our experiences
. Only after the 17th century did people begin to see the things and events of the world as separate from their personal experience of the world. Man became just another ‘thing’ in a world of things. Of course there has always been the two view points… one included Providence and the other does not. And our sanctification is a progress of leaving one view and gaining the other (to Providence).
The Judeo-Christian view is one which presumes that the world, its objects and events, have their meaning (reality) and existence (reality) within - our personal experiencing of them. In that sense we are indeed the cause of our environment. Everyone - is - exactly - where he wants to be. He shapes his environment with things and ways and people to make himself comfortable and secure. But that may not nessesarily be a 'place' of holiness, happiness, peace, and sanctification. And so God 'intrudes' by sending us events to move us more in his direction. We might not like that ... but we are also not designed for anything else.
That is to say that the world exists BECAUSE of humans and not that humans exist because of … the world. It is that the world and its things and events are contingent upon the immediate decision of God as to what experiences we need to have - in his efforts to shape our personalities.
There is a lot here I offer no explanation for.
So our mortal body, incapable of rising into the spiritual sphere, resists
It doesn’t really ‘resist’ it is simply incapable. Period. The ‘resistance’ is really just our own habit and desire to have our primary interpret of reality come through our senses or as a result of our thoughts.
The Stoics fought against their senses and thoughts. And there is a period in the spiritual life where doing so reveals to one - something of the habitual (subconscious) nature of these. But once some balance is restored one needs to just let them operate as they were designed to operate (our assistants and not our leader).
Sorry I can not explain this further .. I have yakked far too much already.
OK.. everyone wake up! I am done