spiritual transformation through complete self-outpouring

Spiritual Transformation Through
Complete Self-Outpouring

In Hinduism, where the practice of celibacy as an applied spiritual technology ... arose more than three thousand years ago, the objective has to do with conserving and concentrating ... the vital energy or life force, so that it can be utilized for spiritual transformation ...

For exactly this reason — that celibacy is a "storing up" process — its shadow side is avarice. One must be alert to a subtle tendency to withhold or "preserve" oneself, to hold oneself back from full engagement in the human sphere in order to have access to those higher realms of truth and light ...

By contrast, the path that Jesus himself seems to teach and model in his life, and particularly in his death, is not a storing up but a complete pouring out ...

And right here, I believe, we come to the fundamental problem with these celibate models of transformation ... One might say that this model points us toward John the Baptist rather than Jesus: toward those ancient and time-honored practices of renunciation, asceticism, and self-concentration through abstinence, whereas if we really look closely, we see that Jesus himself seemed to be constantly pushing the envelope in the opposite direction — toward radical self-abandonment, reckless self-outpouring, and the transmutation of passion in complete self-giving.

Cynthia Bourgeault
The Meaning of Mary Magdalene
 

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