Archive for January 10th, 2010

Antoni Gaudi Casa Batllo

We have just today begun a series of home improvement projects. Our home was built in the 1950’s and, except for a great deal of exterior work and room painting, wallpapering and carpeting, the inner structure is in need of work. I find myself  excited and upbeat in having things being worked on around the house. Today, contractors ripped out old drywall, a shower fan, and a broken door to a guest room, and began the process of reinforcing tiles, inserting new sheet rock, a new fan, spackling, and, tomorrow, comes the painting.

While the process makes a mess while underway, there is something thrilling about starting over. The renewal goes deeper than simply a matter of decor. The feeling dimension tied to it is very real. I was struck by my sense of putting things in a fresh perspective, trying on new wall colors, and finally dealing with long-standing disrepair. Tonight, I am thinking about the spiritual analogue to new drywall, spackle and paint: the structures of thought, the smoothing of seemingly disconnected ideas, and the new perspectives and “shades” of meaning that personal renewal brings.

Though I do not subscribe to plastic surgery, except in the case of serious injury, disease and related disfigurement, cosmetic surgery revolves around vanity. Renewing one’s living environment can be vain, but is also as likely to reflect an inner movement; a need for a change, a fresh vantage point, or emergence of a new vista. Our own appearance remains the same, and  the emphasis instead is on our emotional, intellectual and spiritual landscape.

Logion 22 in the Gospel of Thomas says:

Jesus saw infants being suckled. He said to His disciples,
“These infants being suckled are like those who enter the

They said to Him, “Shall we then, as children, enter the

Jesus said to them, “When you make the two one, and when you
make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside,
and the above like the below, and when you make the male and the
female one and the same, so that the male not be male nor the
female female; and when you fashion eyes in the place of an eye,
and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and
a likeness in place of a likeness; then will you enter [the

The day’s efforts bring this saying from Thomas to mind, especially in the phrase, “when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside.” Is my home a fitting reflection of what’s happening within me? How does the work to renew the “outside” mirror what’s occurring ‘inside”? Of course, they could be completely independent, but I doubt it. As synchronicity congeals all around us in every moment, the timing of work in our environment is likely to be coincident with movements in the deep structures of the psyche.

Perhaps the outer changes prompt the inner movement, or the inner movement shapes our perceptions and motivations to align the environment with it. Of one thing I am unequivocally certain: our home is canvas for our souls, and the time is now, this year, to slowly, deliberately, and exuberantly, to pick up our brushes and paints, fabrics and woods, frames and furnishings, and tell the story of the ways in which we are re-writing ourselves.

© Brother Anton and The Harried Mystic, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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