“How quickly the days clatter by as we age, like a train rushing to some unknown station.. Sit back and look to the vision within: the unexplored rooms of your heart, the open ground of your creativity, the hidden dimensions of your faith. Reflect on the reason for your travel and turn time to the will of your spirit. Sit back and look to the vision within, for when you go deeper, you go slower.” Steven Charleston, Daily Facebook Emails
John Sanford’s, The Kingdom Within, The Inner Meanings of Jesus’ Sayings is often one of the first books to recommend for people wanting to go on an inner journey. As his title suggests, Sanford tells us that the kingdom of God is really within us. Sanford was a Jungian analyst and an Episcopal priest who was one of the first to apply depth psychology to Jesus’ sayings, relating Christianity to depth psychology, discussing personality types, feminine and masculine aspects of personalities, the struggle between the spiritual and the physical, being aware of our own egocentricities, projections, the struggle to become conscious, our identification with our outer mask, all as each of these experiences relate to the teachings of Jesus.
Sanford talks extensively about the problem of evil and sin in the world, reminding us that Jesus himself had little to say about the sins of the flesh. He was more concerned about the deadlier sins of the spirit brought on by a lack of awareness that causes us to “miss the mark.” Sanford reminds us that often when we feel deep hate in our hearts for our enemies, we are projecting onto them what we really hate in ourselves. This takes some time in inner work, often with a friend to discern, but the spiritual peace is well worth it. It also is a discernment that we will be called to do over and over again.
We have many guides along the way. The final hope is at some time to see the Christ, the God within each other. A therapist can help us see that shadow side of ourselves, and our spiritual director keeps reminding us to look for the God, the Christ in our neighbor. This most often happens when we begin to stay connected to the Christ within ourselves.