As a non-profit relies heavily on the good will of donors to continue bringing individuals and churches – FREE OF COST – the resources and tools needed to further the vision of progressive Christians. If you are in a position to contribute we would be grateful for your donation.   Please Donate Now.

It seems to me everything just “Is.”


Question & Answer

Q: By Nelda

If/when ego is attuned or at Oneness there is no judgement or comparison. When ego gets disconnected from Source perception shifts… then that which I like I call ‘good’ and that which I do NOT like I call ‘bad’.

As the spiritual path unfolds before me if I have finally learned each experience has within it an opportunity to be drawn closer to the Source, to develop reliance and trust in that Source. My life has presented some intense faith provoking experiences. When I meet them with the anticipation of eventual blessing to be revealed, it is NOT necessary to (even though I do at times) become despondent and hopeless.

A: By Kevin G. Thew Forrester, Ph.D.

Dear Nelda,

You pack a lot into your reflections. In response, I’ll offer some distinctions you might find helpful.

I would invite you to consider distinguishing the ego and the soul. By soul I mean our sense of self that is Being manifesting uniquely as you in each arising moment. You speak of the Source, and Being is the Boundless Source. You can think of the ego as your soul constricted by defenses, by armoring, by ignorance, by instincts. The ego imitates the soul, seeking the Source but unable to experience the connection, you might say, because of the boundaries it imposes to try to survive without being transformed.

You also speak of “perception,” which is helpful and accurate. Since the soul is Being being you, she knows her Source. Yet it is also true that the soul needs to learn how to trust what she perceives and what she knows. For the ego, the spiritual world is often reduced to the small, moral, superegoic field bounded by “good” and “bad” or “right” and “wrong.” For the spiritual journey of the soul, the focus is the inner journey home to the truth of who she has always been but has forgotten. In a sense, the ego’s unrelenting concerns (anxiety) dulls the perception of the soul and lulls her to sleep about what truly matters: union with the Source.

An essential quality within the soul is that of basic trust in the beauty and goodness of the Source. The ego cannot relax into trust because of the defenses, and so despondency and hopelessness arise. But the gift within the despondency and hopelessness is our realization that we can do nothing to acquire connection with the Source, or to gain value, or to become lovable. What we learn to do is nothing (wu wei, in Taoism), rest and relax in the arms of Being, because the Source is already the essence of our soul. This realization about the nature of reality moves the soul to engage in those spiritual practices (e.g., meditation, curious inquiry, service) that actually deepen her union with the Source without becoming lost in distracting egoic concerns about salvation or superegoic preoccupation with “good” and “bad.”

~ Kevin G. Thew Forrester, Ph.D.

This Q&A was originally published on Progressing Spirit – As a member of this online community, you’ll receive insightful weekly essays, access to all of the essay archives (including all of Bishop John Shelby Spong), and answers to your questions in our free weekly Q&A. Click here to see free sample essays.

About the Author
Kevin G. Thew Forrester, Ph.D. is an Episcopal priest, a student of the Diamond Approach for over a decade, as well as a certified teacher of the Enneagram in the Narrative Tradition. He is the founder of the Healing Arts Center of St. Paul’s Church in Marquette, Michigan, and the author of five books, including “I Have Called You Friends“, “Holding Beauty in My Soul’s Arms“, and “My Heart is a Raging Volcano of Love for You” and “Beyond my Wants, Beyond my Fears: The Soul’s Journey into the Heartland“. Visit Kevin’s Blog: Essential Living: For The Soul’s Journey

Review & Commentary