Signs of Integrity Lost … and Integrity Found

Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?” Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD. You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. — Psalm 4:6-8

I awoke this morning from the deepest of sleep. The kind of sleep that feels like you’re a rock buried far below the surface of the earth. Silent. Still. Totally at rest in perfect peace.

A few minutes later I was sitting on the porch enjoying coffee and conversation with my wife in the morning sun. Without thinking, I turned towards her and said:

“I feel like I’m connected with something …. but I don’t know what it is.”

I was silent for a moment, and then it dawned on me:

“It’s me! I feel connected with my own mind, and everything around me!”

I know that sounds like a rather odd statement, but it captured precisely what I felt. It has been three decades since I felt my own soul in its full integrity. Let me explain …

INTEGRITY LOST

My wife Rose could testify to the litany of complaints I have been voicing for many years:

  • “I just don’t feel connected with anything.”
  • “The grass has lost its color.”
  • “I feel like I’m in a box.”
  • “There’s nothing to do and nowhere to go.”
  • “Nobody understands me.”
  • “I feel cut off from the world … it seems so far away.”
  • “There’s no meaning to life.”

These are the signs of integrity lost. I could extend the list indefinitely. These feelings were not always in the foreground – I would often have happy days, but the dark cloud was always in the background, like a shadow in my mind. Rose wanted to help, but did not know what to do. The problem began long before we met. I knew that these were classic symptoms of depression, but I did not believe that the answer was to be found in chemistry. And I thank God that I did not cover up those symptoms of my lost integrity with antidepressant drugs. I suspect it would have made the journey to wholeness much longer. Indeed, if the symptoms were buried I may never have recovered. Antidepressants can, of course, be lifesaving for others so I’m not speaking against them in any way. It’s just that they were not for me, and they are probably not a final solution for anyone. My fundamental problem was psychological in the most literal sense of psyche = soul. Simply stated, I had lost the integrity of my soul.

INTEGRITY FOUND

So how did I find my integrity? It has been a long process which I will be writing about over the next few weeks, but the turning point happened last December when Rose and I began a habit of spending hours talking around the campfire. Our one desire was to help each other speak truth with absolute freedom. Soon we began to discover what we really believe as opposed to what we thought we were supposed to believe. As the months went by, the truth began to be articulated with greater and greater clarity, and on May 3, 2010 I came to a fundamental realization that I had subjected myself to false ideas that I thought I was supposed to believe as a Christian. I consciously rejected sectarian Christianity and have retained only that which bears witness in my own conscience. That’s it. That’s freedom – perfect freedom. For the next three days I felt my soul expanding, opening, reviving. In nearly every conversation with Rose I would remind her that she had a transformed husband. And then this morning I awoke with an awareness that yet another layer of falsehood had “evaporated” over night. My soul is whole. I have integrity. I am a free man.

This entry was posted in Losing My Religion, Thinking Freely. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

One Comment

  1. Posted May 15, 2010 at 4:17 am | Permalink

    With the name of God, Peace be unto you. It is very brave and honorable that you share your heart and soul with everyone. Some times we can live with people as a neighbor and not know anything about who they truly and really are. When someone shrares with you their art, their poetry their music that is very personal because it’s a window to their soul and something that they may have burried inside of them or something more transparent that they are sharing.

    To be a Christian is to follow Christ and be Christ like and no doubt he would reject much of what today is labeled as Christianity. Once an Australlian woman who was a tourist in our local Mosque stopped and asked me, “Why on earth did you do it?” I said, “Do what”? She replied “Leave Christianity for Islam” and I smiled and looked back and said, “I didn’t leave Christianity for Islam, I am practicing a pure form of Christianity called Islam”.

    I than told her look Islam has four meanings 1) Submission 2) Safety 3) Security and 4) Peace.

    Think of Islam as a boat one of the earliest captains of the boat is Moses when John and Jesus arrive the captains may change yes, but the boat remains the same. Unfortunately some people have decided to get out of the boat. When Muhammed came the captain changed again and unfortunately more people decied to get out of the boat.

    I looked at that woman and said, basically we are asking you to get back in the boat. She laughed and her frustration dissipated she looked up gave a long pause smiled and than left.

    I mean how far can the truth be? God is the ultimate and absolute truth. If it says he breathed his spirit into man than how far away can the creator be?

    When we as Muslims say La Ilaha il law lah (There is No God but God) this is a very basic level but at a deeper more esoteric understanding it is ‘There is nothing except God’.

    Blessed are the few who truly grasp what Jesus said “I and my father are one” and when He said that the “disciples may be one in us EVEN as we are one” that they MAY ALL BE ONE as we are one.

    Have you ever read anything that has given any deep and penetrating understanding of this?

    Jesus said “a house divided cannot stand” and “one cannot serve two masters” so the understanding of that Muslims should have today is before you want to go and kill someone else maybe you should start by killing yourself. I don’t mean suicide. I mean the ego. Because it is our ego and our lower self that drives that wedge between the creator and ourselves.

    We set ourselves up as king and soverign when reality there is only one king and one soverign. So when a person sets out on the path and so many obstacles have been removed you feel anew , like you can breath again and things become more clear. Especially the more that people seek God and God alone.

    Some people read and research and travel the world, but than Again the creator is nearer to us than our jugular vein (our LIFE vein)….

    Peace be unto you.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*
*