As I delved into the writings of a theologian from the 8th century , I stumbled upon a passage that struck a chord within me. The author, whose work can be loosely translated as “Contemplations and Reflections on the Deeper Meaning of Prayer,” (Since the work is not in english) posits that the plans of the divine and deeper spiritual knowledge are akin to precious treasures, buried deep and obscured from those who do not actively seek them out. This analogy extends to the fruits of the earth as well, for they too are not immediately apparent, but require peeling away layers to reveal their sweetness. Some of the sweetest fruits are not the easiest ones to grow or has the hardest shells. This, the author asserts, is an immutable principle: that which is most valuable is often the most elusive.
This, I believe, holds true for spiritual knowledge as well. To attain a deeper understanding of the divine, one must engage in a process of laborious exploration and comprehension. Such knowledge is not imparted easily to the indolent (lazy) or impetuous (hasty) souls. It accrues over time, through the application of both mental exertion and patience. It grows with time, comprehension and hard work.
The same can be said of prayer. To experience it in its fullest, one must make a concerted effort to delve deeper, approaching it with a sense of incremental progression and unwavering commitment. To reach the most profound understanding, it is necessary to take it slowly, gradually and incrementally, breaking through screens and levels, struggling to understand and remaining loyal to the knowledge. It is only through this process that the knowledge will start to yield to you.
A fortress of protection is built around you, fending off distractions of the mind, as you strive to understand the deeper meaning of prayer. It is in this journey, this struggle, that we find true understanding and enlightenment.