Monday, May 26, 2014

Without mediation

The more a thing is in common, the nobler and more valuable it is. I have life in common with those things that live, in which life is added to being. There are more of them that have being than have life. I have senses in common with the animals. I would rather lose my senses than my life. My being is dearest of all to me, it is the thing I have most in common, and is my most intimate thing. I would rather give up all things that are under God. Being flows without mediation from God, and life flows from being, and therefore I like it best and it is the dearest thing to all creatures. The more universal our life is, the better and nobler it is.

— Meister Eckhart, the complete mystical works, Sermon 74.

Take note of what the master says here. Being flows without mediation from God, and life flows from being.

 There is a temptation, of course, to take this as an allegory; but there is nothing allegorical in it. We are in the midst of this truth as surely as you read these words; and we are incontrovertibly, irrefutably, inescapably in the midst of it, so firmly cemented within the truth of this circumstance that it would be impossible to remove us from the matrix without shattering us like fragile crystals hit with a hammer.

 All of Being is like this, in that it flows — exactly like water — into the matrix of reality and is embedded there absolutely. Living things can sense Being; unliving things cannot, but this does not mean that they are exempt from its circumstance, or that they don't have it. Take note how the master indicates the difference between things with and without life; and how precisely he notes the commonality of sensation with animals. There is actually a very high teaching embedded in these few sentences.

The commonality of Being, which is created by relationship, is where the essence of its nobility lies. Interestingly, all of created reality has things in common with itself — for example,  all of the molecules in a crystal, for example, beryl, or a diamond, are in closely organized relationship — and we can see their nobility, which gives us things such as emeralds.

Yet the nobility of Being that is possible for things that live is even greater; for they are not static, they have greater possibilities, even though their lives are much shorter. Those possibilities include the appreciation of nobility, which is a greater thing than to have it. The emerald is noble; but it cannot know it unless there is a living being to form a relationship with it. In the same way, God is the most noble thing of all, because He transcends all things; and yet, that nobility would remain unknown without living things that had Being to sense it.

In an odd sense, this means we are the greater part of God, if we but knew it.

 So it is this aspect of relationship itself that confers the nobility; and although the idea of something that's noble is old-fashioned, it brings in the idea of an elevation, of levels, which is so essential to understanding the nature of inner work. We tend to forget, most of the time, that everything we think of and do in regard to inner work on this level is of this level; and we can only know another level from with in it, from the active action of that level within us, which has nothing to do with us thinking and doing as we are on this level.

Eckhart further says that this quality of being is the most intimate thing in him. And it is this intimacy, this fineness of attention and this fineness of sensation and this fineness of intelligence and feeling, that I speak of so often.

Without an intimacy, there is nothing; and the intimacy is always with a finer and a higher energy, which confers nobility from within, without regard to outer circumstances.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.