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(NOTE: This transcription has been automatically generated through an AI program. Consequently, this transcript may not match everything you hear in the podcast episode, and it may contain errors such as spelling, grammar, word choice, etc., due to the limitations of current AI technology.)
Hey everyone. So this is episode four of season four, we’re going to be continuing our discussion of detachment, enjoy.
Consider for a moment, a person, let’s say the person wants to be in better physical shape and lose weight first. The person must identify what pleasures the person may be overindulging and meaning for the sake of themselves, not for a real need, meaning they’re eating too many calories because they’re not, they don’t need the calories to survive, they’re just eating them because they like the taste of food, the pleasure of taste of food.
So that’d be pizza, I’m going to pick on pizza, even though I love pizza. Pizza pasta muffins, whatever the person needs to reorient his or her diet towards food that are probably less pleasurable at the moment, but are conducive to generating health. So in the second step the person will feel pain, right? So this is the pleasure of pain. Again, not pleasure when eating healthy foods like carrots rather than pizza pasta and muffins. Pizza is delicious for the record. Anyway, foods like pizza, Pizza, pasta, muffins are not inherently bad.
That’s the key here. The problem is not food per se, food per se is good, You need food to eat. In fact, I even saw, I think this was Louis de Granada, but he basically said that in order to fight, I think it was to fight gluttony basically said, when you’re eating, try not to eat too fast. But he also said to tell God that you’re eating because you need the energy to continue to serve him and that’s the only reason you’re eating or something, something that affected is very, very helpful.
Anyway, the problem is that back to the issue of dieting, the problem is that the person is too attached to foods that contribute to weight gain and possibly poor health. Again. So the person who’s struggling who wants to is saying my pleasure in eating food is greater attachment is greater than my health, which should be a higher good. The person might not have even noticed the weight gain or decreased health in the beginning. So again, this is the same in the spiritual life when you start to get attached to something, you don’t notice at first that you’re attached again to use the twitter example, you’re just using it, it’s kind of fun.
Oh this is great. You don’t notice that your moods changing. You don’t notice that you’re struggling with your relationship with your spouse or with your family or with your friends. At some point, the consequences of the attachment become apparent and the person realizes that he or she needs to make a change in the case of the diet by placing health above pleasure of foods in case of twitter, it’s getting offline to improve your mood and how to be more kind to people because it let’s say it makes you agitated.
So anyway, the actions needed to make this change involves pain. So to diet is pain, not pleasure, but the results were better health. Get off twitter, The results are, you know psychologically and spiritually being more at peace. So when a person tries to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, perseveres and abstaining from foods like pizza pasta and muffins or eating them in small amounts, the person may discover a few things. So now this person has the initial pain of dieting, the person is the initial pain of getting off of twitter.
Now they’re starting to discover something. Well the carrots are becoming tastier and more pleasurable than sugar based products. The time spent off twitter is becoming more pleasurable than being on twitter. The foods like pasta and muffins may still be pleasurable, but they don’t have the same effect on the person anymore, meaning they’re not attached to them, meaning they can live without them. They may later on eat it every now and then but they don’t want to, it’s not that it’s important to them, what’s more important than health in the case of twitter, The person may go on twitter again in the future, but like it’s just one among many social media platforms or things they do on the computer, it’s not that important.
So second, a person may attain the ability to eat smaller portions or abstain completely from certain foods and thereby experience detachment from the foods, even though this food’s still bring pleasure when eaten that’s pretty obvious with the diet. Example, for detachment, in the case of twitter, this person may say, you know what, I’ll only be on Twitter 15 minutes a day or just don’t even do it. And then they have this detachment from social media that even though they did, it would still bring pleasure. So therefore the person now has become detached from certain foods from certain technology, social media and attached to generating health attached to generating more integrated existence.
We can even say that the person’s health is contrary to the person’s attachment of food. Okay, so this is something that’s pretty important that I want to pause on. So contrary, notice how the person with detachment, notice how what happens is at first you’re eating the, you know the food for the sake of pleasure. All right, then the person says, okay, I need to generate health and myself for whatever reason, okay, they realize it’s the highest good. You could have an imperfect reason for generating health just by the way, like, you could have an imperfect reason for loving God.
Fear of the Lord would be the beginning of loving God, right? So I fear the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, you say in our act of contrition. You could just say, look, I love God because I don’t want to go to hell, that’s imperfect, but still something when you start eating the carrots and the vegetables, it’s going to be painful. But the reason it’s painful is your rehabilitating your physical body. Two other things. And that change causes pain because it’s taking what was there, removing it at the same time replacing it.
Okay, there’s never an existential vacuum. It’s always like a as you remove it, the other grows and that’s what a contrary is. So again, if you took your imagine you take your left hand, you put it up high, like it’s a bar graph, right? And then you take your right hand and put it low like it’s a second, you know, data point on the bar graph. And then as your left hand comes down you move your right hand up. Okay? That’s what I’m talking about with, contrary, there’s never and a vacuum meaning there is no value on either one side of the two different bars.
The key is that they as one goes down the other goes up as one, you know, as the left goes down, the right goes up as the right goes down the left goes up. That’s a good analogy for contrary, it’s you’re reordering things, you’re reordering things. So again, the analogy of the bar graph is kind of imperfect because it’s quantitative but just think of it this way it’s imagine it’s like you have a table, here’s another analogy, you have a table and there’s a bunch of stuff on it, and there’s a proper way to arrange the table.
And there’s the table when there’s just stuff thrown on and it’s a complete mess, stuff thrown on. A complete mess would be attachments to things like certain foods that are bad for your health, or to twitter to social media or whatever. And an arranged table would be a table that is not contrary to your health. If this is if the ranging the table is equivalent to eating diet food, or arranging the tables equivalent to spending time off social media, all these things would allow you to be detached and ordered.
Considering these analogies I’ve given you. And we’re going to go back to the main discussion of Saint John of the Cross and his doctrine of detachment. So we can say that if a person is attached to anything in this life, in such a way that the thing is placed above God, then the person cannot begin to generate a healthy spiritual life or relationship with God through union of love. In other words, the person will never admit to the spiritual life beyond these attachments. Why? Because they’re the number one thing, you’re never gonna you’re just gonna be stuck.
It’s gonna be. That’s it. So what can a person do to remove beyond these attachments. Well, the key here is for the person to identify what attachments and pleasures. Keep the person away from knowing loving and serving God alone. So once these are identified, the person can detach from those pleasures and reorder his or her heart toward God. And detaching from these pressures and reordering one’s heart to God is extremely important because as St. John of the Cross explains, a person must attach and reorder his or her heart in the dark night of the sense, which is the first step of growing in union of love with God.
Now, okay, so, dark night of the sense in dark night. So let’s just pause for a second. So let’s just talk about dark night. So the God is darkness only relative to us to our to how we can operate so to our powers, let’s say. But I I like to keep it on. The sense of the person we don’t possess the capacity to take in what God’s trying to give and it gets a better way of saying it. So just as staring at the sun will make a person go blind because the light of the sun is in excess of what your eyes can handle with the capacity of your eyes.
But really you to see physical light when we try to stare directly at God, Air quotes are we’re overwhelmed since by our nature, our powers are finite and God is infinite. So the term darkness actually enlighten us more than we initially thought in that God is dark night to the soul in this life because we only see him by faith. So our faith sees the activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives. And let’s just focus here for a second on the active night of the senses, John talks about the active night of the senses in that do interior acts and and do spiritual things.
They’ll give you delight and satisfaction of the senses and what it’s going to do when you start doing these spiritual things. Ie you start, you know, in the case of dying, you started in your carrots after you get past the pain. Part of the initial pain, what’s going to do or get off twitter is you’re gonna see these pleasure and possible other things. Now, these other things aren’t God. So these interior acts, let’s say, or devotions, they’re not God, their spiritual things in relation to God. So what’s gonna happen in the accident in the sense that you’re gonna take pleasure and you’re going to get consolation in it?
And that’s got kind of let’s say putting chocolate on the broccoli, you know, he’s treating you chocolate covered broccoli, he’s like, okay, you know, come this way, this is the way you should be going and yeah, it’s gonna be hard later on down the road and you start getting to just the broccoli part. But I’m putting a little chocolate on it right now to get you to see that you shouldn’t be attached to these finite things, you should be attached to me.
That’s kind of the quick discussion of the dark night of the sense. So the dark night of the sense is a whole other conversation, other podcast that I’ll go into at some point. But I just wanted to bring up detachment this season because I feel like it’s something that we all struggle with. And I wanted to clear out some misconceptions about what detachment is, how it’s not saying pleasures bad, how it’s not saying you need to give everything up. And I’ll conclude this season in the next episode and we’ll basically kind of sum up what’s been discussed here.
Talk to you then.
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