The “imprisoned splendor”: Releasing the real you.

Eleanor keeping an eye on things

Eleanor keeping an eye on things

The other day I woke up with a stomach ache that got worse as the morning progressed. I tried to keep my mind on positive thoughts of health, and then I had the thought, “Maybe this is a ‘healing crisis’ and I’m letting go of old stored-up junk that needs to be released.” This thought helped me relax somewhat and as I closed my eyes and became very still, another thought came to me which was more of a surprise, “This pain is caused from poisonous thinking. There isn’t any bad thing stuck inside of you. You are a perfect point of God-consciousness. It’s time to let that out.”

As I stayed very still, the words of Robert Browning and releasing the imprisoned splendor also came to mind and I thought, “Could it be that I’ve been holding the Goodness inside, and when I relax and open up a wonderful, beautiful, glorious Self will emerge?!”

So many of us on the conscious spiritual path are constantly looking for what’s wrong with us. Maybe we need another “discipline” or one more workshop where we scream, cry, meditate for 12 hrs a day, fast, pray, maintain a week of silence, eat raw foods only, breath in just the right way, sit in the lotus position until our legs fall asleep (and try not to notice this), ….maybe then we’ll expel all of the crap inside of us. That was how I viewed the spiritual journey; almost like I was on a search and destroy mission, looking for my short comings and mercilessly weeding them out,… and when I consider what I was thinking on the morning I woke up with a stomach ache, I can see the remnants of this way of thinking still intact.

Searching for what is wrong, believing that we are fundamentally flawed, only brings us more evidence of this…even though it’s not the Truth. Deep down we are all Divine Love, all of us points of God-consciousness in varying stages of waking up to this Truth, and today is the perfect day to become aware of this!

Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise
From outward things, whate’er you may believe.
There is an inmost centre in us all,
Where truth abides in fulness; and around,
Wall upon wall, the gross flesh hems it in,
This perfect, clear perception – which is truth.
A baffling and perverting carnal mesh
Binds it, and makes all error: and to KNOW
Rather consists in opening out a way
Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,
Than in effecting entry for a light
Supposed to be without.”

From “Paracelsus” by Robert Browning

25 thoughts on “The “imprisoned splendor”: Releasing the real you.

  1. Oh Mary,

    How I relate to this post! And how sick to death I am of this kind of thinking. Has a lot to do with my strict Catholic upbringing and 22 yrs of Zen Practice.


    • Oh I know Janet! Me too. It’s time to celebrate who we are…enough suffering!

  2. When I read this, “Could it be that I’ve been holding the Goodness inside, and when I relax and open up a wonderful, beautiful, glorious Self will emerge?” I immediately pictured a butterfly emerging from its cocoon ~ what a wonderful image and thought.
    Love to all this morning from the chilly south…Marian

    • I got chills when I read your words Marian…I had a dream last night that I was holding a butterfly on my finger and an “expert” standing beside me crushed one of its wings but I held it and it healed….a lot to think about today!

  3. I think we listen to the critical voice in ourselves as if it knows or sees more clearly than the loving voice. It’s the “Yes, but….” in our thinking that we need to hush. As a mother, I encourage my son to listen to his loving voice — not to obsess over criticism, self- or otherwise — but I need to practice what I preach. Thank you, Mary, for this wise and gentle reminder.

  4. I believe that sometimes our physical bodies must give us a physical signal, a physical message which our consciousness, for whatever reason, was not hearing or seeing. It’s like a louder wake up call to pay attention. The Universe’s way of hitting us over the head with a baseball bat so to speak! And as soon as we ‘get it’ the physical discomfort passes. So many times
    the medical profession will link discomfort or unexplained symptoms to stress…and what is stress if not poisonous and toxic thinking/worrying about something or someone. I know because this has happened to me…more than once. And each time I get it a little more! I love this post Mary! Thank you!

  5. Dear Mary. I LOVE this post! Such a glorious testament to stepping into the God within and letting go of the need to beat up the ole, UN-enlightened self. I too suffer from an obsessive desire to find the crap in my perceptions, thinking if I find them, I’ll toss them out and be released of all self-doubt. Hah! The only thing that really happens when we do that… we end up focusing on the negative so much, we give it life! I am going to ask the God-self in me to come out and play today. Thank you to your stomach for bringing us all a wonderful message this morning!

    • You r so right the more we focus on the neg without letting it go the more defeated we sometimes feel good post as always.

  6. Not to think that I am THE center of the universe – BUT – this post and the comments HAD to have been written for me! I know there are certain days when we feel that Mary has reached inside of us to know what is happening within. I think that the universality of her experience and her willingness to share, solidifies the oneness we are awakening to. I will be looking forward to everyone’s comments today. They are touching and meaningful as I have been experiencing physical discomfort lately. Her Post and your Comments are giving me a new way to look at and think differently about what I am experiencing. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  7. being in the moment is when I feel the “truth” ” in meditation as in life, we are forever being drawn into a past of if-only, of guilt, of nostalgia, into a future of anxiety, of anticipation- into RE-RUN and PRE-VIEW, and we are forever having to let go and return to be centered in the MOMENT” Lovely post, Mary, and heartfelt comments! XXO

  8. Matthew Fox, who was excommunicated from the Catholic Church, I believe in 1993 for his contrary writings, at least in the eyes of the powers that were, wrote a beautiful book, Original Blessing! (he is now an Episcopalian priest) Think of it, original blessing!, not original sin! I highly recommend his books for the many disillusioned Catholics, (I was not raised Catholic, but in the early 90’s, I devoured everything I could find by him) – you will be blessed and affirmed in your ‘original blessing, unique and precious you!’ if you decide to explore his writings – here’s a link:

  9. Every morning I have my very own special way of meditating.

    I sit on my loveseat and my precious cat jumps up on the blanket that I usually have on my lap. At first we both look outside and attempt to be very still. Whenever I look at her my thoughts are always full of love and I realize just how blessed we both are to have each other. I can always tell how much I have relaxed by the movement of her body. My greatest joy comes when she flops her body nearer and appears totally to be getting into this whole stillness thing (not extremely difficult for a cat but definitely an opportunity for me to learn).

    I can honestly say all of the many well intended pathways to spiritual development delivered me to this very unique stillness exercise.

    My mind and body are so completely focused on love, peace and acceptance within the comfort of my surroundings that I sometimes forget it is not a reality with everyone outside my door. My next step is to carry those feelings with me as I travel outside my comfort zone and meet my fellow human beings. Not always an easy transition but one that does allow for further growth and development.

    • Thank you so much Betty for sharing your most special way of meditating – I bet your kitty looks forward to it as much as you do. I felt calmer just reading your words. What a wonderful reminder to sit, be still, and center in on peace and love. I love Maud’s comment below too, let’s be gentle with ourselves.

  10. So Lovely. Like Charlotte, I am cultivating the practice of giving myself the guidance I would give my (now grown) children. I’ve always been much more generous and kind with them than I ever was to myself. No more wasted energy on clawing my way to Spirit. My guidance lately has been to Gentleness and I offer that guidance to all at White Feather. Let’s be Gentle with ourselves. That softening is bound to give birth to something wonderful.

  11. Mary, we are often kinder to others than we are to ourselves. Listening to our bodies; being more mindful of being positive and open to the words of others; to remain balanced and centred within ourselves not on ourselves, all mindful goals for me as I stopped going to church some years ago because I could not repeat the Nicene Creed; because I felt that my religion came from a negative not positive base, to having a cup of tea years ago with our assistant minister and hear him say: from the time you put your feet on the floor, you are open to sinning. I could not believe he believed this. It’s a part of organized religion I rebelled against and grew up with. Your tummy ache proved a time of reflection for you, Mary and thanks for sharing it with us here.
    SandyP in Canada

  12. Dear Mary, Eleanor looks so pretty against the wine colored chair! I want to thank you and all your flock for the thoughts and prayers and blessings and angels that saw me through the procedure last Fri. He also tuned up some extra issues,the top valve was firing like a kalidoscope instead of a straight shot and the very lowest vein was too low in the pericardium. I got out Sat. and slept for two days- the general anes. was wicked and not even fun afterwards! I won’t go into how I feel, but ea. day is a little better. I AM the center of my universe now and I don’t like it. The activity restrictions are for the birds.Sending in daily ekg’s also sucks.
    Your blog was right on for me today. I need to work on my thinking immediately.These “poor me’s” need to stop. I need to remember why I chose to have this done. And to think about what a brighter future I’ll have. Travels,shelter work,horses!
    Also I think gratitude is called for here! Thank-you Ron(my fiancee/) and Mellie(my dau.) and to each and every one of your flock of angels Mary. And to you Mary. I wish words could express how your blog has changed my soul.
    Love, Cindy

    • Wishing you strength and healing by the hour Cindy…by the minute…each moment closer to feeling wonderful!

    • Cindy, ! Seeing your name just brightened my day! And your courageous stance to remember why you chose to have this done. If ever there was a word for you as you convalesce it is what Maud said today, be gentle with yourself. It will actually speed your recovery. Isn’t that ironic, in slowing down, we can move more quickly into well being. Hugs, a cup of tea, and love to you dear Cindy!

    • Oh, how wonderful to know you are back communicating with us. Your effort to do so is very heartwarming (pardon the unintentional pun). In regards to all the “stuff” you need to be doing for your physical self…a physical therapist recently told me “you’re worth it” in regards to some extra body work that was needed.

    • I sent you a message on Face Book Cindy, but I must reiterate here how very happy I am to see you back and functioning….well, at least enough to write to us here!

      You have good years ahead now, so enjoy them. You will love living them, feeling better than you have in a long time.

      Welcome back!

    • Cindy, I think inactivity for someone used to being on the go would be hard. I know that if ever I become incapacitated I will be one grumpy old woman. My son agrees with me…(smile). Anesthetics are tricky. I’m glad you made it through and now have the patience to allow your body to heal. I’m wondering what you can do…do you knit; read; find something that will redirect your focus for a spell. Then get grumpy when you need to. That’s part of healing too…
      SandyP in Canada

    • Cindy trussed up her heart
      But it’s hard for us to see
      Her positive energy radiates
      Love beams amplified by three.

      So slow down there, girl
      It’s time now to heal
      Open wide all those CHAMBERS (tee hee)
      Well wishes is all you should feel!!

  13. Thank you Mary for giving me so much to think about and so much to work on. Thank you too Susan, I will be anxious to find out more about Matthew Fox and his writings. Hang in there Cindy, you’ll be running circles around the rest of us pretty soon.

  14. This really struck a me like a bolt of lightening! Thanks MAry. As with the others, I have much work to do.

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