A Spring Within Us: A Year of Daily MeditationsUntil people have had some level of inner religious experience, there is no point in asking them to follow the ethical ideals of Jesus or to really understand Christian doctrines beyond the formulaic level. At most, formulaic moral ideals and doctrinal affirmations are only the source of deeper anxiety! Furthermore, that anxiety will often take the form of denial, pretension, and projection of our evil elsewhere. You quite simply don’t have the power to obey the law, or any ideal—such as forgiveness of enemies, nonviolence, or humble use of power—or achieve any satisfaction with sim- plicity and “enoughness,” except in and through union with God. Nor do doctrines like the Trinity, the Real Presence, salvation, or the mystery of incarnation have any meaning that actually changes your life. Without some inner experience of the Divine, what Bill Wilson of Alcoholics Anonymous called “a vital spiritual experience,” nothing authentically new or life-giving ever lasts long or goes very far. Gateway to Silence: We are one in Love.