The German Dominican mystic Meister Eckhart (c. 1260—c. 1328) preached, “God is not found in the soul by adding anything, but by a process of subtraction.”  But in the capitalistic West, we think very differently. We all keep trying to climb higher up the ladder of success in any form. We’ve turned the Gospel into a matter of addition instead of subtraction. All we can really do is get out of the way. The spiritual life is often more about unlearning than learning, letting go of illusions more than studying the Bible or the catechism.
When C. G. Jung was an old man, one of his students read John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and he asked Jung, “What has your pilgrimage really been?” Jung answered: “In my case Pilgrim’s Progress consisted in my having to climb down a thousand ladders until I could reach out my hand to the little clod of earth that I am.”  Wow!
The word “human” comes from the Latin humus, which means earth. Being human means acknowledging that we’re made from the earth and will return to the earth. We are earth that has come to consciousness. For a few years we dance around on the stage of life and have the chance to reflect a little bit of God’s glory. As a human, I’m just a tiny moment of consciousness, a tiny part of creation, a particle that reflects only a fragment of God’s love and beauty. And yet that’s enough. And then we return to where we started—in the heart of God. Everything in between is a school of love.