Jeff the Baptist, vol. 1, #13
An Inner Light
In deep prayer the other day, I was given by God the rare gift of
experiencing my own inner light.
Surrounded by the intense gloom of having to live with some of the effects of my life
experiences thus far, I found myself spent of energy, collapsed on my bed, trying to
escape the daily challenge of getting up and facing the world. As I lay there, after a
long time, my mind started delving more deeply into my soul, moving down through the
layers, groping blindly through the mists, seeing images that I did not want to see, and
sidestepping mistakes I wanted to forget.
Then, I caught sight of a light. A deep inner light. There it was, just a flicker, spied
through the gloom. I found my mind's eye following it, wanting to draw nearer. Deeper I
went, deeper. Through the swirling
mists, I cautiously stepped, feeling invited to float closer and closer to finally behold
a warm, loving light of energy. A wholesome glow. A gentle radiance. A life-giving light.
Contemplating it, floating around it, a sense of peace enveloped me.
Beatrice Bruteau, my favorite mystic philosopher, writes of a deep, life-giving, I AM at
the center of each of us. Free of the classifications that we use to describe so much of
ourselves, such as gender, ethnic
derivation, sexuality, age and many others, this inner force is an expression of Being
itself. It is our true selves. Not the outer shells that we carry around and present to
ourselves and the world around us. Not
the masks that we expend so much energy in the maintenance of, such as what job we have,
what income we earn, what status we hold, what cause we espouse. Not the layer upon layer
of papier-mached illusion that we present to the world. But a profound, deep, inner self,
that is our self in its truest essence.
This Being gives to others, for that is what Being is at heart, a giving of Being to
others. An affirming of others. A self-less loving of others. A self-less giving of self
It is here, in the contemplation of our inner being, that we see God like we have never
seen Him before. God, the ground of all being, the source from which all being comes. God,
the Creator. God, the giver of life. God creates by giving of Herself. God creates by
giving us the cosmos. God creates by giving us Jesus, the clearest expression of a human
who refuses to shield his inner being with masks presented to the world. A person who
gives life to others by giving of himself to them. And who asks that we do the same. God
creates by giving of Himself that force in our lives that we cannot touch, cannot see,
cannot smell, cannot hear but that we have all known through our own life-giving
experiences and by observing the life-giving experiences of others and, struggling to put
a name to it, we call the Holy Spirit.
Whether the inner light that I saw was the I AM of which Bruteau speaks, I do not know. I
saw it only for a few moments. And then, resisting as hard I could, I helplessly found
myself pulling back. The light was now covered with a thick horny shell of grief and
sorrow, and fear. Here and there, beams of the inner glow showed through chinks in the
shell. The holes, were, I guess, those places and times, where I have been able to cut
through. But I could do no more this time. I floated around it, trying to get through,
back to the loving light. But I couldn't. The shell was thick. It was tough. It stopped
I believe the shell, encasing my inner light, preventing me from going there, is the
accumulated growth of a life, lived thus far, in this world. It is made of fear. It is
made of hate and anger. It is made of selfishness. It is constructed of decisions made for
myself and not for others. It is constructed of wound after wound suffered at the hands of
others who do the same.
My sense of inner peace was gone. I was back in our world of spiritless rationality. Of a
world that honors mind-numbing rituals, such as the typical cocktail tuning out, in our
denial that happiness eludes us. Of a world that makes up doctrines and proof-tests that
serve to exclude some so that others may feel better about themselves. Of a world where we
ignore that the search for an HIV vaccine is becoming a money game and no research is done
for the people who need it most because of an actuarial decision that they wouldn't be
able to buy it. Of a world whose future peace is thrown into doubt because the leading
power turns it back on nuclear test ban treaties in pursuit of higher stock prices and
more profitable arms sales.
Of a world that teaches us to pursue our own desires at the expense of others and to
smother our inner light for fear of where following it may take us.
My prayer is that each of us may be given the gift of seeing our own life-giving light of
Being more often. That going there, contemplating it, that giving of our selves to others,
becomes as regular as the dawn of each new day. That no fear or hatred becomes so strong
that the thick shells masking our inner lights become stronger. They are tough enough
already. Indeed, I would there were no screening shells of fear or hatred to our inner
lights at all.
I would that our inner lights would be free to guide us to a world that expresses the
life-giving love our Creator intended.
I would that there would be no need to pray for that world at all.
- Jeff the Baptist