Saturday, April 26, 2014

The naked essence

For your works to live, God must prompt to you in the inmost part of your soul, if they are to live, for there your life is, and there alone you are living... Therefore, Turn away from all things and realize yourself in your naked essence, for whatever is outside of essence is accident...

 Meister Eckhart, the complete mystical works, Sermon 59, page 306-307

 I say with assurance that one crumb from God's table is worth more than all of the gold in the world. Together one such crumb is together all crumbs, because a single crumb is a whole meal and is all meals. If the taste of this crumb were to be taken in in the morning, it would fill one for the whole day, regardless of what happens.

I would say even further that the whole world is not worth this one crumb. Because to taste even one crumb from God's table is to be completely filled with the Presence of God. And this is what we exist for; to be filled with this Presence, and to do the good. One should know this in one's heart.

The idea of perfection is like the idea of this crumb, because one crumb is perfection. The tiniest fragment of what is perfect is completely perfect, and what is perfect is complete. Therefore, if one takes a tiny crumb that is perfect into oneself, if one receives that crumb, what is received is wholly perfect, and no matter how tiny it is, nothing more need be added to it. Such are the gifts of God; and in this way, as I have said before, one taste is a whole meal.

 This morning, as I walked back from the river, I realized that what God sends is impossibly whole and unbearably beautiful; and every time it enters me, I break, and am glad for it. Because it is only in this broken state that I can take in what is real.

It seems strange to realize that I need to become broken in order to become whole; and yet what breaks inside of me is unnecessary in its own wholeness, but necessary in its brokenness. And it is that necessity of breaking, of turning into fragments that no longer resist the power and glory of the Lord, that attracts me: dying in this way, inside, is nothing but sweetness.


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