Reply To: Dr Mark Vernon's talk, A Revolution in Attention

  • Clea De Vries

    October 27, 2022 at 12:45 am

    Thank you so much for your response, Mark. You have such a beautiful writing style.

    What I am taking from this conversation is the importance of learning to tune into our subtle awareness and how this should inform everything we do. In counselling, it elevates psychotherapy from techne to healing encounter. In everyday life, people who once seemed problematic, small-minded, and adversarial suddenly look more like bright souls on a long journey. Even the substance of physical reality seems brighter and more alive. But no amount of reading and thinking about this idea creates the experience of it. One has to be willing to spend hours sitting with the maddeningly elusive until finally, those “subtle, almost ignorable, lights” (love the way you phrased that) start to expand. Then we discover the lights are not subtle at all. They never were. It was only a matter of where we were placing our attention.

    I’m not familiar with Ignatian spiritual philosophy but I will definitely explore this further, thank you.

    A final comment. I love the way you are working with Christianity. I had to walk away from the religion myself, not least because I could not accept the idea of eternal damnation, which equates to permanent removal of choice and any option to grow and change. I also struggled with the crucifixion and the idea of a god who requires repentance and obedience rather than self-determined growth based on reflection. My personal feeling is that all souls eventually reach point of realisation that any behaviour not driven by love inevitably leads to extinction. This is more or less what you have lifted from Dante (if I understand you correctly). However, we cannot hope to grasp this idea without some understanding of the sheer enormity of eternity and how souls grow and develop in such an arena. I also liked a suggestion you offered in one of your videos on Dante about the meaning of the crucifixion, which seemed to be that it may not have been strictly “necessary”, but rather a dramatic way for God to get our attention.

    It has been wonderful
    connecting with you. I will keep following your work. Thank you.