Day 6 - Move Beyond the Polarity of Sinner & Saint ~ James O'Dea


6 Moving Beyond the Polarity of Sinner & Saint

JAMESODEABOXPHOTOIt’s nice to be good and do good.

We feel a warm, fuzzy and virtuous glow when we see and feel our own goodness.

We even get a "helper’s high" from serving others and our bodies dish up a rich biochemical brew of rewards when we align with what we experience as our better nature.

The reverse is equally palpable and graphic:
we feel toxic when we don’t listen to the voice of conscience,
when we explore "guilty" pleasures, or when we are jealous, greedy, or angry.

But true liberation and skillful means come when we get off the roller coaster of saint and sinner and see ourselves as courageous learners committed to gaining insight into the fullness of who it is we really are.

Truly great souls are authentic:
they don’t let their need to be liked and appreciated get in the way of being truthful; they don’t avoid conflict; they don’t put a lid on the full exploration of their emotional range. And they never fear blame or shame.

Practice being authentic rather than being nice.

As you develop your range you will experience what St Thomas Aquinas calls "integritas" which we can translate as integrity or wholeness.

Then Aquinas says we will find "consonantia" and "claritas" that is harmony and radiance.

Wholeness, harmony and radiance now that is decidedly a path beyond sinner and saint and likely to lead us to true peace.

James O'Dea is award-winning author of Cultivating Peace and renowned teacher and peacebuilder, former President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and former Washington office director of Amnesty International, and CEO of the Seva Foundation.



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