Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Unbounded— Resignation and the will of God, part three


God cannot do divine works in the soul, for whatever enters the soul is ruled by measure. Measure means inclusion and exclusion. But it is not thus with divine works: they are unbounded, and are included but unen­closed in divine revelation.  —Meister Eckhart, The Complete Mystical Works, P. 247

 Although it may not appear to be so at first glance, this question of what is measured — of what is included and excluded — is critical to understanding the idea of resignation and the Will of God.

The soul — that is, that which we are, a created thing, a creature — always falls into the realm of inclusion and exclusion. The good and the bad, and our perception of it, belong to this realm, and the soul, being a fragment of the whole, has no way to understand outside of its own realm.

Yet divine works — the divine understanding, the inner understanding — are unbounded. By this, we understand that they have no limitations. It is impossible to constrain them with our ideas, including the ideas of the good and the bad, so as soon as we fall victim to this, already, we cannot understand.

Divine works are included in divine revelation — that is, they exist there — but they are unenclosed. This means that they have a complete freedom that is not affected by the measurements applied by the soul.

 All of these things may sound like lofty metaphysical concepts, but actually, they pertain quite exactly to the daily, even momentary, inner experience of the divine flow, the influence. This higher influence is unbounded; it is untouched by the world, sacred, and holy. It is virginal; and I am not worthy of it. But nonetheless, it arrives.To know this is to know that one does not know; and, at the same time, to know that there is a knowing that transcends knowing.

All of the gentleness that ought to belong to a correct inner attitude flows from this understanding; and we cannot speak of it here in words, because the only way to understand is to receive, and to receive is to melt.

My father — my real, biological father — is reaching the end of his life and having frightening lucid dreams that always comprise more or less the same scene.  He told me about these hallucinations early this morning.

He is in a hotel, a place where many people live, and he is usually in the basement. The crowd around him are a rough crowd, as he describes them; they are all frightening types who he fears will harm him. They are bullies. Food is always on the way, about to be served, and everyone in the room is taking care of themselves first. They intimidate him, and they always get the best food for themselves, leaving him out, and not paying attention to him. He is afraid to speak, because if he says the wrong thing they will attack him.

This dream is about inclusion and exclusion. In the dream, the bullies, those who are selfish, include themselves and exclude generosity and compassion. They are greedy and they want all the food for themselves. This is how we actually are. All of the food in life belongs to the Lord, to the higher principle which is manifested; yet we somehow want to swallow it all, even until our bellies burst, and keep it for ourselves, instead of sharing with others in a loving way.

So this gentleness of correct inner attitude simply doesn't exist; instead, both inwardly and outwardly, the bullies rule our inner cafeteria.  Like all bullies, they specialize in creating doubt; and so the right parts of myself are afraid to speak.

Much more could be said about this dream, which is actually an exact replica of some of Swedenborg's images of hell, but enough for now. The point is that we ought to be receiving this higher influence; yet it is appropriated, stolen, by a rough crowd. That rough crowd is our outer self; it is the part that wants to set limits on things, to rule things by measure. The soul, oddly, which ought to function in a much better way, has fallen prey to these parasites.

To come closer to the intimate experience of an inner life is to begin, quite slowly and over many years, to understand what it means to not be ruled by measure. This is not something a man comes to in a moment, or even a year. One must submit over and over again for many years in order to approach this idea in an inward and meaningful sense.

Hosannah.


2 comments:

  1. Lee, it sounds like your father has already begun going through the "Bardos"; I remember as my beloved Grandfather was dying I went and saw him. He had declared himself atheist and his wife was devout Irish Catholic but didn't go to mass because of John's atheistic declaration, but kept a large plaster Puer Aeternus Christ Lord Jesus with the Crown and the Earth in His Hand. "And a child of 7 days will teach you."

    I have been keeping my eye out for Nickolas as he goes through the travails and the agony (old Greek = Trials and tribulations) and when I visited my Grandfather John, 3 days before his death, I overheard him say, "Catherine,I'm Scared!" I became very angry at that, both AT him and FOR him. He died aged 56. Being 62 now myself, that seems so short, but he loved me. I have that.

    Now your Father is passing, in God's time...I keep them in my heart. And forever will. Love, Richard

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