August 16

The Fourth Guiding Principle:  Purification

       Before you can acquire, or even know, the thing you truly desire, you must root out all that comes between you and your ultimate goal.  There are weeds in the garden of your soul that have been allowed to grow, thorns and thistles that you have unknowingly cultivated and nurtured.

      Are you aware that there is a garden within where wild things grow?  What are these weeds, these thorns and thistles?  How did they get there in the first place? 

      I’ve asked myself some of these same questions regarding my own garden behind my house.  Before I planted anything at all in my backyard plot of virgin soil, I noticed wild, unwanted plant life had sprung up without the least effort on my part.  It was truly amazing to watch this happen so quickly; and it left me wondering how and where these intruders got in – I certainly didn’t put them there!

      Be that as it may, I can assure you if the garden of your soul has been left unattended there is a jungle of tangled growth choking out your authentic seeds of desire.  These weeds are there as a result of the attachments and addictions we humans have – the things, people and places that we latch onto with a willful grip of iron.

      In this section we are going to examine more closely the emotional weeds that choke the human psyche.  And you are going to learn about the purification process that you must experience in order to nurture your truest desires.  There are three aspects to this process: 

  • Self-examination
  • Confession
  • Forgiveness

      The three aspects listed above relate to the 12 Step program; I’m referring to steps 4, 5, 6 and 7.  Each one follows the other in a logical sequence:

“Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves”

“Admitted to God, to ourselves, and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”

“Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”

 “Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.”

      These four steps suggest how we ought to seek to purify ourselves.  The principle of purification implies that something is corrupt and in need of surgery. Just like the home of a hoarder in which there are too many unnecessary and useless things crowding out living space, we need to experience a cleanup and a purging of major proportions.

      In order for you to even begin to root out that which doesn’t belong you will need to take stock of what is actually there.  It will be necessary for you to make a ‘searching and fearless moral inventory’ of yourself.  This is a big step, but an important one, because it involves the removal of all that is choking out the very thing that you truly desire.  Only a careful and thorough assessment will render an effective outcome.