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21    Silence and Introspection

Becoming aware of the psychological and spiritual darkness in which one argues with oneself, far from God, is a liberating step.

Reminding oneself of the nature and source of the thousand lights which delude and blind us is a positive step.

If we succeed in walking the paths of life without resorting to artificial light, sooner or later the way opens to meeting the true source of universal, eternal light which comes directly from God, by way of rediscovering the divine spark living within each one of us.

Experimenting with the kind of search most effective in lighting up this spark is not only our duty but also spiritually intelligent.

Whoever has tried silent worship knows that in its best moments, which are not rare, they have the conscious experience of seeing into themselves as if through transparent walls of a room lit up with a light of spiritual origin, neither artificial nor reflected. The motives that really move us, and the end point towards which we are proceeding appear clearly outlined; feelings, thoughts and needs undergo an otherwise impossible cleansing.

The inward process of change — prefiguring an outward one — surely corresponds to being "born again" as promised by Jesus.

Verbania, 5 VII 1991

Since my life is so full of falsity, I should forgive the falsity used against me. Since I have myself on many occasions been lacking in love and guilty of slander, deceit, or arrogance, I should forgive every shortcoming in love and every form of hatred, deceit, and arrogance ... We should wage the war against the evil in humanity not by judging others, but ourselves. That respect for life which I apply to myself and makes me look with tenderness at beings different from me will be shared by others.

Adapted from Albert Schweitzer, Civilization and Ethics.

English text by Simon Grant, based on the translation by George T. Peck revised 2008-03-04
[Original Italian by Davide Melodia]

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Please send any suggestions for alternative translations of any of these meditations to Simon Grant.