When I read the 8 Beatitudes, I’m struck by the consciousness of “feeling” and the implication of compassion for oneself and for the other. So, in all humbleness, my thoughts…
“Blessed are the poor in spirit” – this is a humble recognition of how we can no longer see with clarity the angelic world, and we struggle inwardly with ourselves, to be humble and compassionate with ourselves and our shortcomings, and in this first step of recognition, we gain “the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed are they who mourn”—we grieve, not only for the tragedies around us, but for ourselves as well. We allow ourselves to feel grief, to mourn, and in living deeply into that grief, we find compassion—we become compassionate towards ourselves and towards others, and thus “they shall be comforted” in that compassion.
“Blessed are the meek”—while “blessed are the poor in spirit” is an inner humbleness, “blessed are the meek” is an outward humbleness, that we are weak and the trials of our physical existence are daunting, and that we often feel overwhelmed, “meek”, towards the tasks and trials of life. When we this “outer humbleness”, when we truly acknowledge our limitations, our “meekness”, then we are in a position to “inherit the earth”, as an inheritance to be cared for compassionately and respectfully.
“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness” – imagine how as children we have all experienced being wronged, and how this repeated experience jades us to taking up the banner of righteousness, instead we silently give up. Imagine how we have to search deeply into ourselves, into our feeling life, to discover that hunger and thirst for righteousness, and then to engage the will and act upon this feeling. And in that activity “they shall be satisfied”. This is not a satisfaction that is given to us in revenge or justice, but it is an inner satisfaction of the wisdom gained in deeply feeling truth from lies, right from wrong, good from evil.
“Blessed are the merciful”—an act of compassion, to be merciful both to ourselves in our struggles and in others and their struggles, from which we “shall obtain mercy.” Again implying, when we act with mercy toward others, we are acting with mercy on ourselves as well. We are letting go of our own anger, fear, pain, and in being merciful, in forgiving, we let go of our own pain, and what act of mercy that is! And with that letting go, that openness, with that act of forgiveness, we become unblocked and return to a place of humble being, a place where we can truly mourn, where we can recognize our own weaknesses, and where we can hunger and thirst, rather than silently give up, for righteousness.
“Blessed are the pure of heart”—in our humble recognition of our poor spirit, in the compassion we have for ourselves and for others as we mourn, as we recognize our limitations in the outer world, as we struggle to discern what is true and good, as we do all this we are transforming ourselves constantly into ever more “pure of heart”, and then we “shall see God”, in us, around us, in the other.
“Blessed are the peacemakers”—How can strife exist when we become pure at heart? How can we not see each of us as “children of God” when we see God in ourselves and in each of us?
“Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness”—but the reality is, there will always be people who persecute those of pure heart and peacemaking, and it is the consciousness of this, that we will be persecuted “as the prophets before”, that those conscious people gain “the kingdom of heaven”, holding fast to their principles.
So in the end, the 8 Beatitudes are a journey, a journey that is incorporated in many (if not all) of the modern ideas, such as Marshall B. Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now, etc.