The Interior Life

The soul needs to be touched.
Our inner being--the eternal part of us
that lives in the body--
needs to be touched.
It is a powerful experience to be in the presence of soul.

"The soul is so near that you can't see it!
But reach for it...
Don't be a jar full of water
whose rim is always dry.
Don't be the rider who gallops all night
and never sees the horse that is beneath him."

                                           We have an interior life--
                                             even if we don't talk about it.
                                           Without an interior life,
                                              we are shells--we are nothing.
                                              Words with no container
                                             to hold them
                                               fall empty.

"Let us be silent,
that we may hear the whispers of God."
                                                         Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Listen, listen, listen to my heart sound...."
                                        Ancient song

"I laugh when I hear that the fish in the water is thirsty.
You don't grasp the fact that what is most alive of all
is inside your own house;
and so you walk from one holy city to the next
with a confused look!
I will tell you the truth:  go wherever you like,
to Calcutta or Tibet (New York or San Franscisco),
if you can't find where your soul is hidden,
for you the world will never be real!"

There is a fountain inside you.
Don't walk around with an empty bucket.

You have a channel into the ocean,
yet you ask for water from a little pool.

There is a basket of fresh bread on your head,
yet you go door to door asking for crusts.

Don't look for it outside yourself.
You have the source of milk within you...

Knock on the inner door, no other.
Sloshing knee-deep in fresh riverwater,
yet you keep asking for other people's waterbags.
Water is everywhere around you.

When the ear receives subtly,
it turns into an eye.
But if words do not reach the ear in the chest,
nothing happens.

You know the disease in Central Africa called sleeping sickness.....
There also exists a sleeping sickness of the soul.
Its most dangerous aspect is that one is unaware of its coming.
That is why you have to be careful.
As soon as you notice the slightest sign of indifference,
the moment you become aware of the loss of a certain seriousness,
of longing, of enthusiasm and zest,
take it as a warning.
You should realize that your soul suffers if you live superficially.
People need times in which to concentrate,
when they can search their inmost selves.
It is tragic that most men have not achieved this feeling of self-awareness.
And finally, when they hear the inner voice
they do not want to listen anymore.  
They carry on as before so as not to be constantly
reminded of what they have lost.
But as for you, resolve to keep a quiet time
both in your homes and here within these peaceful walls
when the the bells ring on Sundays.
Then your souls can speak to you without being drowned out
by the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
                                                              Albert Schweitzer

                                                                   Links from this page:

 A Reflection from a Journal