Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > the humbleness of holiness


a simple sanctity~on becoming more human

Apr 25, 2020

the Way of Life

Brian Wilcox. 'the Way of Life'

* * *

The Sage was told, "You claim to be a holy man, but you don't appear to be a holy man." Said the Sage, "Sir, you've got it wrong." "Why?" came the reply. "I don't claim to be a holy man, nor do I wish to appear to be a holy man," said the Sage. "Then," asked the man, "what do you claim to be, and how do you wish to appear?" The Sage spoke, "I claim to be a human being, and I wish to appear as a human being."

* * *

The Christian contemplative Henri Nouwen wrote of meeting the highly esteemed Thomas Merton. He had looked forward to meeting this man and monk known throughout the world as a wise and holy man. When he visited Merton at a Kentucky monastery, the home of Merton, he was astounded how different was Merton from what he had anticipated. Nouwen said he went down to a body of water, where Merton was dressed in plain clothes and drinking beer with another man. Merton appeared ordinary, nothing about him to strike Nouwen as holy. Yet, this is what most attracted Nouwen to Merton. Merton's most popular work, the one that set Merton on the path to fame, was Seven Story Mountain. He finished it at age 31. Merton, many years later, said he did not recognize the man who wrote that book. The Way had transformed Merton's egoic pursuit of holiness, of specialness, into an unpretentious, simple sanctity of life.

* * *

The Sage heard a follower refer to his progress in holiness. "Remember," said the Sage, "the eye does look at itself, neither does holiness."

* * *

Holiness may sound old fashioned
a relic perpetuated by the over-religious
not so

How can something
so innate, so natural, so real
become antiquated

Holiness may be
but is never but of utmost value

Holiness may sound unattractive however
due to the false holiness
a religion-holiness

holiness is beautiful

is neither of or not of religion
for of Life, of our essential being

shining on dung or a church altar is
the same Sunlight

A big seller was published - "The Pursuit of Holiness"
but why pursue
our natural way of being
spontaneous liveliness

Holiness is pure
not for one attains purity
holiness is pure for having nothing added -
the Way is of subtraction, not addition

Such effortfulness
pushes away what is natural
even as trying to love someone
pushes away love

in trying to be holy
one steps away from

The the idea of holiness
one pursues
is mental

One pursues
an external standard
so moving away from the heart

What happens in
the pursuit of holiness -
rather than righteousness

If holiness is other than natural
one becomes less human
by being holy

does not mean however

does not mean
following the desires of self

For holiness
does not arise
from the ego, or self-sense, or person

natural can appear unnatural
to the person

Holiness is not

believing the right things
being in a religious or spiritual group
looking serious
being special
being superior
being one of 'the chosen'
having psychic powers
having extraordinary 'spiritual' experiences

is a flow of being-presence
not an experience

Holiness is
a quality one emanates
outwardly, silently

The more human one is
the more holy

The less holy one appears
to persons trying
to be seen as holy
the more holy one is

Holiness, being intangible, is indefinable
eluding the mind
discerned in-spirit

Holiness, being intangible,
tangible fruit

the offspring of Spirit
or alike Spirit

This holiness, wholeness, is seen in
wakefulness to Life
gratitude for life to Life
subtle, unassuming aliveness
emanation of the Spirit-of-things
gladsome openness to seen and Unseen
reverence for self, others, and Nature
quiet embodiment of love, gentleness, and kindness

The holy man or woman, boy or girl
is so in loving-communion with Life
the thought of being holy
is not of concern

holiness remains a gift
to the self from the Heart-of-hearts

Water the garden
plants grow
water and plants and soil and Sun and waterer
are by Grace

comes through Grace
so the holy person
is a graceful, gracious being

* * *

It is usual for us to make a hoop-la of our spirituality at first. I did. I wanted to be holy and appear holy. We may be on this spiritual-high for many years before realizing that being holy, or spiritual, is just living - nothing added. Yet, this just living is different from prior. Now, we can just live. Life has simplified us into a lovely act of Devotion. The simpler our self-offering becomes, the more lovely. This is the Way of Life.

* * *

️ Brian Wilcox, 2020

*Brian can be contacted at briankwilcox@gmx.com; his book, An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, is available through major online booksellers, including Amazon and Books-A-Million, or via the publisher, AuthorHouse.

*The Pursuit of Holiness was written by Jerry Bridges and first published in 1978. The point in the poem pertains to the use of "pursuit" in the title, not to the content of the book. It is laudable to have a desire to live a holy life, and one will not live such without an intent and consent to; while this may begin as a pursuit, it cannot remain so. Even the desire eventually drops, as one relaxes into the natural-being that is the manifestion of sacred Presence.


Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > the humbleness of holiness

©Brian Wilcox 2020