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“Because God is the ground of our being, the relationship between creature and Creator is such that, by sheer grace, separation is not possible. God does not know how to be absent. The fact that most of us experience throughout most of our lives a sense of absence or distance from God is the great illusion that we are caught up in; it is the human condition…People who have traveled far along the contemplative path are often aware that the sense of separation from God is itself pasted up out of a mass of thoughts and feelings. When the mind comes into its own stillness and enters the silent land, the sense of separation goes…The grace of salvation, the grace of Christian wholeness that flowers in silence, dispels this illusion of separation. For when the mind is brought to stillness, and all our strategies of acquisition have dropped, a deeper truth presents itself: we are and have always been one with God and we are all one in God (Jn 17:21).” (Martin Laird)

“As a pillar of its religion of progress and cult of technology, our society cultivates its great illusion, which is also related to time It leads modern man to believe that technological progress will enhance his quality of life far more than the machines, the means of transport, and communications of the last century. Since time has such an important place in human life and contributes so much to its quality, he is tricked into believing that technological progress in every domain will free up time, which he can devote to everything that makes him happy in life. In fact, the opposite happens.” (Jean-Claude Larchet)

“Thus the enemy tries to produce an illusion of some spiritual experience within us, offering us a mirage instead of the real thing, unruly burning instead of true spiritual warmth, and instead of joy, irrational excitement and physical pleasure which in turn gives rise to pride and conceit and he even succeeds in concealing himself from the inexperienced behind such seducements, so they think his diabolic illusion is really the working of grace. Yet time, experience, and feeling will reveal him to those who are not altogether ignorant of his evil wiles. ‘The palate discriminates between different foods,’ says the Scriptures. In the same way spiritual taste shows all things as they are, without any illusion.” (St. Gregory of Sinai)

“Genetics, environment, and trauma can all contribute to anxiety, so it’s a complex experience that takes a multi-faceted approach when working to reduce symptoms.  Anxiety is what psychologist Chip Dodd refers to as an “impaired emotion,” stemming from fear, which has a future-oriented component to it.  Often with anxiety we try to control or establish an illusion of control around issues that may cause us distress, even though we may have very little control in reality…Not only is St. Paul advocating that we rely on God rather than retreating to our own illusions of control [Philippians 4:6-8], but he exhorts us to focus on those things which are truly beautiful.  By training our minds to focus on content that brings us joy, we begin to indirectly influence the emotions that cause us distress.” (Marcus Geromes M.Div, LMFT)

“In order to become mature we must cultivate the skill of speaking honestly about ourselves without illusion or evasion. Because we were made in the image of God and yet reveal to the world something far less, the truth about ourselves is some ugliness layered over great beauty.” (Rev. Christopher H. Martin)

#MartinLaird #JeanClaudeLarchet #StGregoryofSinai #MarcusGeromesMDivLMFT #RevChristopherHMartin

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