5 - In memory of Rene Voillaume 1905 -2003, His Message

2000 London2000 London

A double life

There are days when we perceive with a disconcerting acuteness that we are leading a double life: the one that is imposed on us by every cell of our fleshly being, life as such, the only one that has any meaning for the majority of people. This daily life is made up of all the sense experiences, social relations, feelings, pleasures of all sorts of all sorts, which constitute the psychological context of our personal lives and colour each of our days with a measure of joy or sadness.

But there is the other life, the one that we impose on ourselves in the name of our moral conscience. This second life appears to us, at some moments, as unreal, arbitrary, because it is always held before us for a free deliberation of our will. This poor will is so often covered over and stifled by the invading mass of impressions and spontaneous feelings! The rare moments of truth and unity seem to be those when the senses are peaceful and a purified calmness of the feelings is in some kind of harmony with the vital requirements of the spirit and of faith. This common impression of living a double life should not surprise us. It is not in our power to make this impression disappear even though it embarrasses us and sometimes leaves within us, a kind of discomfort at not having been able to choose. The true choice is, at every moment, interior and spiritual. It is essential for our equilibrium, not only our spiritual equilibrium but also our psychological equilibrium. We have chosen to live according to the spirit and faith, but such a choice is never definitive: it has to be renewed, maintained by an acquired certitude of the superiority of the life with God. (Marseilles, February 1960)