Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Providence

Photograph by the author

Providence is defined as the protective care of God;  it is often called Divine Providence, as though providence could be exercised through means other than the Divine, but this is in fact impossible. When providence isn't Divine, we have another word for it. It's called luck.

My old boss used to say he'd rather be lucky than smart; and in this world, that may be enough. But we cannot just hope to be lucky if we want to come into relationship with God. It's not about luck.

Providence extends itself into Being. Being receives Providence. Being itself, which is the property and territory of the soul, exists solely and only under the agency of Providence; this, because Being is a part of God, and cannot be separated from Him. The soul belongs always and forever to God, and thus each Being (material arising, or manifested Presence) is inviolable and invulnerable, from a certain point of view. This means that in their essences and from the most expansive point of view, all things are provident, under the care of God; for nothing can exist that does not, in its own form and in its own unique way, come directly under this care.

Any assumed mediation of this force is imposed and imaginary.

The fact that so much of manifestation carries terrible burdens which must be carried (cf. Sri Anirvan's Inner Yoga, Buddhi and Buddhiyoga) within this context is what creates what Gurdjieff called the Sorrow of His Endlessness. But we will not dwell on that today; because what is evident and must be understood is that Providence is directly connected with Mercy, the most powerful manifestation of Divine Wisdom, and Allah's most overarching,  most pervasive quality, which defines all other qualities of the Divine in its interaction with the material world. (cf. Ibn Arabi, in multiple texts.)

Hence the most efficacious prayer, Lord have Mercy; central to the Gurdjieff work, to Hesychasm, and to Christianity in general.

We use this prayer; and we must. Yet in fact it is completely unnecessary, because to ask for the Lord to have Mercy is like asking the sky to be blue. One need not, after all, request what is already in the nature of things; and our request can have no effect in any event.

So why ask for Providence—for Mercy—when Providence is present by default?

The acknowledgement is not for God's eyes, but our own. We recognize—see again—what we are; and if we see it in the context of the Providence which is already so freely given—a Providence which can only be sensed through the Reality of Being, through a true conjunction of the three centers—we see our lack.

This idea of seeing our lack can only be appreciated in a context; what we lack cannot be measured except by comparison to something, and that something is the inherent nature of Providence. When one truly sees anything for a moment, when one takes in an impression deeply, the action is one of seeing Truth—which is, in Buddhism, called the dharma, but is just as accurately called Providence: because all of material existence is provident.

It's this perception that can lead to an inner transformation.

may your soul be filled with light.




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