Saturday, July 19, 2014

On the nature of universal circulation, part II: the lungs of God

It is in the nature of all things that what is above always flows downward into things below, insofar as the lower things are adapted to the higher: for the higher things never receive from the lower, but the lower receive from the higher. Now since God is above the soul, God continually pours into the soul and cannot fall away from her. The soul can indeed fall away from Him, but as long as a man keeps right under God, he is immediately receptive to this divine influence unmixed from God, and is not subject to anything else, neither fear nor joy nor sorrow, nor anything else that is not God. So, cast yourself then completely under God, and you will receive His divine influence wholly and solely.

—Meister Eckhart, The Complete Mystical Worksp. 449

As we are, if we open our Being, God flows into us. This is the process I have been engaged in  observing for the last 13 years; and the mystery of its organic manifestation, the irrevocable stamp of individuality (that is, literally, undividedness) which it confers, is worthy of a lifetime of study. Yet, in the midst of my instantaneous and eternal consternation, which consists completely of Being without knowing, I have always held in front of myself the question of what the nature of this process is. It seems to arise from a higher level; and it seems to come from "outside" me; yet in fact, it's quite certain that it doesn't come from outside, no matter how stubbornly the conceptual mind seems to insist on this. In fact, the inflow always arrives inwardly, from inside; and in fact, this underscores my singular identity as a particle of God.

Yet the vessel does not just receive energy. It is not a dead end. And I cannot say that the energy that is received simply serves my own growth; because I don't grow that much. Yes, I grow a little bit; but most of what is received in arguably serves a different purpose, which is much larger than me. If anything, I corrupt that purpose, even though I participate in it and am privileged through grace to make some small contributions. This is the dilemma of sin, that a person can be good, and still sin.

 In any event, what happens after the energy is received? In order to understand this, I have to look again to the question of the cosmological processes and why these mysterious entities called black holes exist in the first place.

 A black hole is the center of gravity of a galaxy; and anyone who has had deeper experiences of sensation and has a direct and organic understanding of how Being forms in relationship to an inner center of gravity will know how essential that center of gravity is to the rooting of Being in sensation. Everything that is organized, that fits into these storage structures we create within being — which, as I pointed out in my earlier series of posts, are somewhat like honeycomb, storing the nectar of impressions — must be formed around the center of gravity. In a beehive, that center of gravity is the Queen, who, like God's Word, is perpetually fecund: another demonstration of correspondences. This idea of the center of gravity is female relates to Eckhart's ideal of the soul, which is also female (see page 453 of sermon 93, as well as many other sermons.) Speaking once again from my irrevocably Marian roots, the symbolism of the Blessed Virgin serves here as the center of gravity for Being; and when the center of gravity for being is born, it is analogous to the birth of Christ — that is, the gravity is what makes the birth of Christ possible, because it establishes the other end of the process of the inflow, that of the outflow back into God.

 This flow that takes place within us, so closely tied to sensation, and born of the essentially fecund an creative action of universal energy, does not just "flow inward." To receive is not enough; the aperture on the other end of Being that flows the energy back into God must also be open. So the inflow proceeds from heaven, through humanity, back into heaven; and as it flows through human consciousness, it is "aerated." That is to say, in exactly the same way that blood picks up oxygen as it circulates through the lungs and comes into contact with the air that is breathed in, as the energy that flows through humanity circulates, the impressions that man takes in aerate it so that it has a richer, higher kind of vibration as it returns by way of the inward flow back to God. In this sense, the universe itself is one of the alveoli in the lungs of God; that is, God breathes in and out, deriving sustenance from the impressions received by all of the conscious beings that populate our universe.

 Swedenborg, forever the committed anatomist, had what is undoubtedly the most sophisticated understanding anyone has to date recorded on the matter of correspondences between the human body and the heavenly kingdom. Gurdjieff's well-known contention that man was a universe in miniature, usually taken as an allegorical statement, was actually meant quite literally. The understanding of circulation in relationship to Being is an important one; because we are not distinct from God, we are God — we are part of His body.

 And perhaps I shall say a bit more about this tomorrow.

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