“The peculiarity you remark in my experience, needs some explanation. You say I do not seem to be wounded, nor blame myself when reproved for a fault. To which I reply simply, there is no more of self remaining in me to be wounded. This indifferent state you notice in me, arises from the state of innocency and infancy in which I find myself. Our Lord holds me so far removed from myself, or from my natural state, that it is impossible for me to take a painful view of myself.
“When a fault is committed by me, it leaves no trace on the soul it is as something external, which is easily removed. Do not infer that I am blind to my faults. This light of truth is so subtle and penetrating, that it discovers the slightest fault. Souls which are in the natural life, have real faults, as a paper written over with ink is strongly marked,therefore they see and feel them. But souls, transformed into God,have faults as a writing traced on sand when the wind is high, the wind defacing it as soon as it is traced. This is the economy of Divine Wisdom.” ~Madam Guyon
Madam Guyon is not talking about physical wounds, but mental ones. The friend she is responding to in this letter (all of her writings are letters), apparently wonders why she is not hurt and angry when someone says he still has faults, she isn’t perfect. Guyon wisely replies that there is no more of self in her to be wounded. Here, she refers to only lower self, egotistical self, materialistic self. It doesn’t mean she has no self, but has awakened the higher Self which is usually capitalized in Hindu scripture to distinguish it from the mundane self.
Many today will take this claim of Guyon’s as a statement that she has successfully destroyed her ego. They are wrong. If she had, she would not bother to write this letter in response to her friend. The fact that she is responding means ego still exists in her, but is under the control of the higher self. It is like a dog on a leash and wearing a muzzle.
It is not truly an “indifferent state,” as she calls it. If she were truly indifferent about her faults, she would ignore them entirely. Instead, she sees her faults as hings that must be recognized and removed. She knows that as she develops her spiritual self, the flaws of the physical and mental will gradually disappear.
Guyon is in this indifferent state, she says, because of the innocence and infancy she is now in. What does she mean by that? She is not a child. She has not become again an infant. But she is like and infant, because she has awakened a new Self. Her spiritual Self is newly awakened, and so, in a sense an infant. And it is innocent because it has committed no evil deeds. It is only the mind and body that do evil, not the soul.
Writing in the Sand
In her awakened state, Guyon says any faults she has, any wrong she does, is as quickly erased (corrected) as the wind blowing over tracings on sand wipes out the writing. Don’t misunderstand. This indifferent state doesn’t mean she is indifferent to her faults, her errors, her sins. It is that she recognizes that being human and still material, she has such faults. But being spiritual, she doesn’t hide them, or let them bother her. Instead she quickly corrects them and moves on.
This is the attitude we must all have for continued spiritual development. We must be so much into that indifferent state that we keep digging deeper and deeper into our thoughts and behavior to find them and correct them. Only then can we continue on to higher levels of being and consciousness,