Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of December 19, 2011

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Sacred Impulses


Our life is not flat. We have peak moments, experiences that raise us beyond the ordinary, or better, make the ordinary extraordinary. The deepening of our inner life, by our inner work, raises our basic level, so that we need not seek out unusual peak experiences. Rather we find the tenor of our whole life approaching what was at one time for us a peak experience.

How does this happen? We grow more porous inwardly, more open to the higher worlds beyond our usual automatic mode of cognition and reaction, less prone to distraction, to living solely on the flat surface of life. One excellent way to represent this opening is in terms of the Sacred Impulses. In truth, there is only one great Sacred Impulse, the Divine Will. But as It enters the prism of human experience, It breaks into a full rainbow of colors. Various traditions parse this rainbow in different ways. We shall take the following representation:

    1. Wish
    2. Hope
    3. Faith
    4. Acceptance
    5. Joy
    6. Love
    7. Wisdom
    8. Participation

These Sacred Impulses belong to a higher world than the one we usually inhabit. But they can come into us, if we are open enough, if we can allow them to well up from deep within. Our role in this is not an active one, though not inactive either. We open to receive the higher. We make an opening in ourselves that has the shape, the flavor of one of the Sacred Impulses, and that opening attracts and welcomes that impulse into us. We open to these qualities that have no peer, that are not corrupted, that carry the purity of the Sacred, that will transform our being if we let them.

The Sacred Impulses have been described as higher emotions and as sublime or immeasurable qualities. We might also describe them as modes of spiritual action or manifestations of higher will, as the principal way that the Divine Will touches our human experience. These impulses transform us and have the power to change the world, to align us with the Force that creates and sustains this universe. When the Sacred Impulses act in us, through us, they bring an unmistakable taste of rightness, they answer our questions and show us our direction.

Our work with respect to the Sacred Impulses is to open to them, to be willing to be their bearer, to disavow our contradictory and self-centered motivations that block these better angels of our deeper nature, to let go of being enthralled by the contents of our mind so we may connect with the Sacred beyond our mind, beyond our consciousness, and then to respond appropriately. One wonderful aspect of the Sacred Impulses is that they can come to us as we are, although they tend to get garbled or ignored. But the deeper we go, the greater the purity of our heart and intentions, the more clearly and directly we come under the influence of these higher impulses.

In the coming weeks, we will explore the Sacred Impulses, what they are, how they work in us, and how to make room for them within our being. For this week, look at the quality of your own motivations. What drives you? What do you care about?


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