A thief in the night

 

for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. – 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4 (NIV)

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. – 2nd Peter 3:10 (NIV)

There are many ways to describe a teacher. As a spiritual friend. A guide. A coach. (I like that one.) And maybe my favorite, as a thief!

A teacher – whether inner or outer – is a thief that robs the student of identifications, or at least set them up so they are more likely to lose their identifications.

The awakening process as a whole is also as a thief in the night.

Whether it is the sudden awakening of what we are to itself, or the gradual process leading up to this shift, the awakening robs us of identifications. It robs us of taking any overlay of a sense of “I” as substantial or real.

And it happens as a thief hidden in the darkness of the night, behind the scenes and in surprising ways.

As with any robbery, there is often some resistance to losing what is taken away. The more resistance, the more drama and sense of struggle. And the more it is allowed to happen, the easier the process is.

(I wonder if not those who have a prayerful relationship to God have an advantage here: God, let your will happen, not mine.)

So the awakening process is like a thief in the night in at least three ways. It robs us of identifications. It happens behind the scenes in surprising ways, as a thief in the night. And there is often some temporary resistance to losing what is taken away.

Initial draft…

There are many ways to describe a teacher. As a spiritual friend. A guide. A coach. (I like that one.) And maybe my favorite, as a thief!

A teacher is a thief that robs the student of identifications, or at least set them up so they are more likely to lose their identifications.

So one of the functions of an inner or outer teacher (really just the same), is to act as a thief.

Another way of seeing it is that the awakening itself is a thief, robbing you of the middle man, of the overlay of “I”, or at least of taking that “I” as solid and substantial. And that is true of the awakening process as well even if it is more gradual. Behind the scenes, it robs you of identifications, one after another. In both cases, it is a thief, and it is hidden and surprising as a thief in the night.

There is another way the process is similar to a thief: There is often a resistance to it. It feels like something is taken away, which is true. And what is taken away is what we used to identify with, so no wonder there is resistance.

The more resistance, the more kicking and screaming, the more drama and sense of struggle. And the more it is allowed to happen, the easier it is. I wonder if not those who have a prayerful relationship to God have an advantage here: God, let your will happen, not mine.

So the awakening process is like a thief in the night in at least three ways. It robs us of identifications. It happens behind the scenes in surprising ways, as a thief in the night. And there is often some temporary resistance to losing what is taken away.

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