by Richard Rohr
TRUE CONTEMPLATION, true religious experience, dissolves the fortress of "I" by abandoning its defenses. It looks out from a place of perfect simplicity. You can't stay there, but if you know this simplicity once, it is enough for a lifetime.
If the veil parts once and you know life is radically okay, then you are--to use the normal Christian language--a child of God. You are in union. There is nothing to prove. Nothing to attain. Everything is already there. It is simply a matter of recognizing and honoring and trusting.
All spiritual disciplines exist to help you trust this personal experience of yourself, which is, not surprisingly, also an experience of God. People are usually amazed that the two experiences coincide: when we know God, we seem to know and accept our own humanity; when we meet ourselves at profound levels of recognition, we also meet God.
We don't have any real access to who we are except through God, and we don't have any real access to God except through forgiving and rejoicing in our own humanity.
From Ego and Soul, in Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer, by Richard Rohr (New York: Crossroad, 1999).