‘We are the cause of all our hindrances. Guard yourself against yourself then you will have guarded well.’
These words from Eckhart – like all his words we’re using this Advent – were delivered from the pulpit.
And they are offensive.
Eckhart Von Hockheim, his birth name, was not a dull preacher; breaking tradition by preaching in his native German rather than in Latin.
But who wants to hear that they themselves are the problem?
‘Guard myself against myself?! Just who does he think he is? I’ve done a meditation course!’
No one thinks they are the problem; all imagine that everyone else is the problem. Or their circumstances are the problem. Or their bad luck.
‘If only these were sorted, everything would be fine!’
The dangerous Eckhart disagrees. He says I am the problem and until I address this, I am shooting at kites in the wind, addressing nothing of significance.
And so today, if only for a moment, I let go of my self-justifying ways and the frightened lies I tell myself to maintain my rickety self-image at the expense of all else.
Like a medieval flagellant, we beat ourselves daily with self-deception.
But when we stop and allow the truth of ourselves to appear – such happy, joyful and unhindered days!
For we are the cause of all our hindrances; and when we guard against ourselves, we guard well.