An excerpt from Steven DiStefano’s new book Innocent Perception – A New Lens for Healing
A New Lens for Healing
Why are we born? I believe that this is a most profound question and that in our seeking to explore it, can give our lives that ultimate depth of meaning and fulfillment we all yearn for. What this question opens us to is to search out the lives, words, and teachings of our fellow human beings, who down through the centuries, were graced to awaken to this, our universal quest. All the world’s major religious traditions, including the philosophical traditions of humankind, have sought to answer this deepest of questions that has arisen out of our collective human experience.
Having been a member of a Trappist monastic community, which is founded on the Roman Catholic tradition, I believe that one answer to “Why we are born?” is to realize the twofold love of God and neighbor that the historical Jesus opens to us by his life, death, and what is termed his “Resurrection.”
In my study and practice of Buddhism, while I was involved in inter-religious dialogue as a monk, I found that the ultimate in life is to realize the Bodhisattva path. This path is the twofold devotion to the forces of light in the Universe and to the supreme wish that all our fellow beings may experience happiness and be free from suffering.
In turning to the other major religions – Hinduism, Taoism, Judaism, and Islam – we can find the twofold devotion to the eternal-divine source, in whatever term this is expressed, and to all our fellow beings. There is another equally deep question, however, that runs through all these traditions: What is the cause of our suffering? What is it that blocks or impedes us from realizing deep down the universal call from the eternal-divine source, or Spirit, to serve the good of all beings?
In the pages of this book you will read that a significant cause is the repression of early childhood traumas that we experienced in the family system in which we were raised, as well as other traumas that we experience throughout our lives. What is crucial to know is: How can we be freed of whatever negative mental/emotional/physical ills these traumatic experiences are causing us in the present?