‘Still Life with grapes’ – Giovanni Segantini, 1899 – Wikimedia
The Beatitudes is the name given to eight blessings that Jesus pronounced at the beginning of his ‘Sermon to the Mount’ in the Gospel of Matthew (5:3-10). Each of these blessings begins with the Latin word ‘beātī’ (from ‘beātus’ meaning ‘happy’, ‘wealthy’), translated here as ‘blessed’. They are short and bold little sayings that I have come across lately, eight ways to be blessed, eight blessings on the path to our true being, each the recipient of some profound meaning which I have endeavoured to develop here. I hope you enjoy the reading…
“Seeing the multitudes, he went up onto the mountain. When he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He opened his mouth and taught them, saying,”
~ Matthew, 5:1-2 (World English Bible)
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
~ Matthew, 5:3
You’ve got to be empty. Not to indulge in your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, making them the owners of your kingdom. You’ve got to be empty. To not be seduced by every passing colours. To stop being a possessor, forever looking for what could enrich you. You’ve got to be empty. To not be involved, endlessly busying yourself with everything you have gathered to exist, looking in them for an identity. You’ve got to be empty, to stay away, to keep alone. To be the one disinterested, self-sufficient, which means finding peace in the essential of what you are. That essential is ‘being’. Simply being, devoid of anything that this being could be, or have, or think, or feel. Then this being will enrich you in its austerity, it will clothe you in nakedness, it will fill you in emptiness. Being is all you will ever own, for the simple reason that it is all you are. Nothing else is but being. This is the only asceticism worth living. Be blessed with that inner poverty.
“Blessed are those who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.”
~ Matthew, 5:4
Your suffering has meaning. Don’t think of it as something bad, that you must strive to get away from, by all means. Don’t try to suppress it, for it is your sacred cure. It is your healing path. In it, is hidden all that you ever wanted or longed for. In it, is held the secret for your dearly sought after happiness. Your suffering will bring you comfort if you let it reveal the reason for its presence within you. It is here on a mission. You’re suffering because you are engaged with the wrong partner. You are engaged with your thoughts, feelings, experiences, but not with yourself — who you truly are. So your suffering is the mourning for the loss of your true essence or self, which you have buried under your fascination for the glitter of objects. It is also the mourning for the death that it is to find an identity in a self separate from objective experience. Look beyond this apparent death or loss, and you will be met with the bliss of an inextinguible comfort.
“Blessed are the gentle,
for they shall inherit the earth.”
~ Matthew, 5:5
You don’t have to show off to prove that you exist. You will only be showing your cover, all your beliefs and conditioning — what hides your true being. Stay behind, in the back room as to say. Stay a humble observer. Be with your own discreet, unassuming self. Live in and as your own being and your apparent self will appear so humble as to wholly disappear in that indestructible essence. See yourself as being of it. Experience the peace contained in it. This is how you inherit the earth. This is how you discover yourself as one with experience. This is how you see the world as being made only of your own infinite, inseparable self. This is the given of god — your security. But don’t be a self. Don’t make yourself harsh with it. For to be a self is to be insecure. To be a self is a form of violence. It is pretentious, assertive. And that self has no heritage to give. It will steal the ineffable presence of meekness from you, and will prevent your surrendering to god.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be filled.”
~ Matthew, 5:6
You’ve got to love the truth of your own being, to have that ineffable longing for it. Not to desire it. For one can desire all kinds of things. For desire is a dubious affair, that may not come from the right place. So don’t strive for it, making truth into an effort, goodness into a practice, sanctity into something to achieve. Be happy with hungering your deepest, already achieved being. Be confident with thirsting that inborn goodness that is the very nature of your most essential self. Feel it rather than seek it. Visit it. Show your interest. Make it your inner strength. Let yourself be guided by this will of god. The truth of your own being will equip you with all the heart and stamina necessary for your sacred quest. And then you will find in yourself, already here, already now, fully achieved, the truth that is your own being, the goodness that is the signature of your deepest self, and the sanctity that is the presence of god in yourself. Let yourself be filled by it.
“Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.”
~ Matthew, 5:7
Be thankful. That’s how to be merciful. Gratitude is the sign of your understanding. No complaint has ever been heard from the mouth of god. Gratefulness is in your deepest nature. Show some mercy towards your experience. Cease judging yourself and what comes to you from the depth of ages. Every happening comes with a secret, benevolent message. It doesn’t mind your rejection, for you will hurt nothing but yourself. It doesn’t mind your separation, but you will feel like a self that suffers and reacts. Feel experience as being made only of your deepest self. Don’t let it threaten you. That’s how happiness flowers from the depth of your being. That’s how you are shown mercy. By being with the gentleness of your own being. By embracing its all forgiving character. Feel that everything that is characterising your being has no influence upon who you truly are. Therefore you cannot be hurt or manipulated by it. You are only unconditional benevolence.
“Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God.”
~ Matthew, 5:8
Your salvation doesn’t reside with the thoughts of the mind. These are only appearances, they do not represent who you are deeply. They will distract you, will be used by you as a refuge for your self. All appearances work the same way, be they feelings, sensations, or perceptions. They will allure you in the net of their charms. They will never tell you who you are. You have to dig deeper. You have to feel that part of you that is uncontaminated, unable to be sullied. You have to reach the core of your self; the heart behind all the layers of belief and conditioning; the primary gold of your purest being. This core was never small or hidden, but is your own sumptuous self, in which no sense of separation can ever survive or be noticed. This is how you see god, when the pure heart of being is felt. And the seeing of god is but the feeling of love in and as your very own self. That is who you are: a love so pure as to be unsullied, fearless, and unconditional.
“Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.”
~ Matthew, 5:9
Peace is the reward for simply being. It is the gift that goes with living in truth. It is you walking in god’s shoes. It is what it feels like to live in eternity, when time is seen to be the peaceful space of presence. It is what it feels like to live without boundaries, when the world is experienced as your own unconstrained, infinite self. It is what it feels like to not be a man, or a woman, or any person caught in perpetual identification. Feel the peace of your own being as the fabric of your very self, and you will be like a progeny of god, a true son or daughter of life, of truth, of peace. And feel the resonant power of peace. See how it will extend its presence and influence to all around you, how experience will be dyed in it, coloured by its quality, revealed as being of its very essence. This is how true friendship thrives. This is how you can be made a peacemaker, a promoter of god, and finally, both an active architect and builder of a more peaceful world.
“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
~ Matthew, 5:10
Don’t be afraid of the challenges of experience. All your difficulties are nothing but god searching you in every corner of experience; moulding you to its image; expanding your sense of being; making it fill the whole space of experience; rendering you as strong and malleable as thin air; soaking you in an ever deeper ocean of peace. That’s how you are made a permanent resident of the Kingdom of Heaven, on account of this constant affliction, this persecution of life. Any true spiritual seeker knows about it, has experienced this night, when you feel yourself perpetually lost, wounded, vulnerable, a seeker thrown on a bumpy road, a self wounded by its own thirst. But this is only the affliction of love; only love being a tough educator, sweeping every single residue of separation to make you like a pristine ground. God is not an advocate of half-ways. The peace of your own being was never meant to be a half-peace. The Kingdom of Heaven has its ways.
Beatitudes sayings by Jesus (circa 4 BC – AD 30 or 33)
Painting by Giovanni Segantini (1858–1899)
Additional text by Alain Joly
– Beatitudes (Wikipedia)
– Sermon on the Mount (Wikipedia)
– Jesus (Wikipedia)
– Giovanni Segantini (Wikipedia)
– Back to Pages