Our souls have been gifted with a three-centered knowing—intellectual center, emotional center, and movement center—all active, working, and cooperating together to connect us with God.
—Cynthia Bourgeault, The Wisdom Way of Knowing
Our intellect often struggles to wrap its mind around our experiences of God. Yet the daily occurrences of the Divine interacting with us are just as real as the air we breathe but cannot see, just as true as the pulse of our heart beating within our chest, but which often beats unnoticed.
How can our intellect fully know how deeply our spouse or pet loves us? Can the mind alone see the power of true friendship or understand why a loved one stands vigil at their parent’s deathbed, holding their hand, reminding them it’s okay to go home while they stand on the shores of letting go?
The mind seeks rational proof of love. It searches for cognitive evidence of God’s existence. It wants to hear and measure the audible voice of the Spirit before it will believe it’s real.
When the mind is the only tool we use to experience the world, we dismiss, doubt, or all together miss the burning bushes through which God reveals himself to us.
So, how do we trust our experiences of God if the mind cannot fully comprehend them?
Perhaps the pathway is through our body and emotion—the other two legs of the three- legged stool with which the Creator has gifted us to be able to connect with him.
To experience God we need to have an inner-body experience.
We notice how a shooting star takes our breath away, how the gentle lick of a pet’s tongue against our skin opens our hearts to the emotions of unconditional love and affection.
Some experiences we come to realize are intended to be beyond the mind’s capacity to understand. The mind then frees itself and works in harmony with our body and emotions within the divinity of our soul as we become aware of the gentle stroke of God’s fingertips on our daily lives.
I can’t touch my spouse’s love. But, I can feel her moist breathe against my skin as she holds her cheek next to mine and silently we say our graveside good byes to my mother’s now lifeless body.
I cannot explain what joy is, but I know it exists because I’ve watched each of my four children emerge from the womb into this world and experience the emotions of how richly they bless my life.
I don’t fully know what letting go means, but I notice the gentle rush of life-giving air that fills my lungs and quiets my body as tears of awe roll down my check and I stand watching my daughter trembling, dressed-in-white, take the hand of her spouse on their wedding day.
God is love and love is much larger than our intellect can comprehend.
And he is such a loving God that he desires we experience him fully through our mind, emotions and our bodies as we immerse ourselves completely into the beauty and magnificence of this creative gift we call life.
When we experience the Divine through our mind, body, and emotions working in harmony with each other, we learn to trust the Divine brushstrokes within the daily painting of our lives.
brian j plachta