Verses 9b–11a: (NEB) “If you cease to pervert justice, to point the accusing finger and lay false charges [or (RSV) If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil…], if you feed the hungry from your own plenty and satisfy the needs of the wretched, then your light will rise like dawn out of darkness and your dusk be like noonday; the Lord will be your guide continually.”
The crux of Isaiah’s message seems to be that we have the consciousness (Light) that comes from Divine guidance when we cease destructive activities towards one another. He calls us to stop accusations, false charges, finger pointing, and evil talk. We are to feed the hungry, satisfy the needs of the wretched, and shine brightly with God as our guide. Isaiah’s message is for our relationship to our inner as well as outer community.
The scripture gives us a symbolic picture of characters in our conscious and unconscious psyches/souls. We have the distorter of justice, the accuser, the liar, the hungry, the wretched and the Lord (or God Within). How we deal with the urges, impulses, longings, and feeling states that arise from these bits of self affects our connection to our self, God Within, and others.
Jesus said that we reap what we sow. Cultivating falsehoods, blaming, accusations, and evil talk puts us in a bind. Our ability to live our soul’s truth is hindered by the yoke of perversion from which these actions spring. Perversion distorts energy. It misuses truth. It manipulates. Instead of energy flowing towards life, it gets turned against life.
Isaiah calls us to stop perverting our energy and tend the needs of the hungry and wretched parts of ourselves. When we do this, the light (of consciousness) comes. We know the guidance of God Within. We reap what we sow.
We cannot hear the guidance of God Within when we are judging, criticizing, distorting, blaming, demeaning, or demonizing the messengers of felt experience that connect us to our soul. The desires, impulses, feelings, moods, fleeting fantasies and other inner contents are expressions of our larger Self, the point of connection to God in our psyches. We must be willing to feed and satisfy the needs to which they point.
We feed parts of our selves by dialoguing with and building a relationship with them. “Dialoguing with and relating to” is different from indulging and acting out the energies. When we stand with our total self, we have a consciousness that’s larger than any one compulsion, obsession, impulse, etc. We are able to dialogue with the inner state or character with an eye towards its seed truth. In the process, the hungry or wretched bit is integrated. It loses its compulsive power as it is connected to the whole of our psyche. It takes its rightful place in service of life.
The inner wretched parts of our nature show up as the unhappy or ill, the miserable or deprived, the inadequate or low quality, and the irritating states of consciousness we experience. Hungry bits of self show up in compulsions, obsessions, ruminations, and impulses.
When we live in conscious relationship to all that arises within us, we experience the light of God’s guidance. Carl Jung said, “By building a conscious relationship to the unconscious, we can mitigate the negative effects of the unconscious.” Conscious relationship allows the light of our soul to shine.
Isaiah says our light (the light of our soul) makes dusk like noonday—the falling darkness is lit with the zenith of the sun. In our psyches, the sun is God Within. Isaiah instructs us to “feed the hungry from your own plenty.” The sun, God Within, is the source of the resources we need. When we stop perverted responses, we can receive the resources of God Within. We can meet the hungry and wretched parts of our selves with compassionate presence. Then, our light can shine.
What in your psyche/soul is hungry? What do you long for? What are the needs behind your wretched states of feeling unhappy or ill, miserable or deprived, inadequate or low quality, and irritated? Identify how you can compassionately tend your needs.
Ask God Within to help you know the largess of your psyche/soul that has the needed resources. Follow the guidance that comes from consciously relating to all within as an expression of God Within.