The Eskimo Nebula- NGC 2392
The photograph accompanying this post shows the death of a Sun-like star.
Rather than embarking on a far ranging investigation of the cosmological implications of sorrow as they relate to the mortality of the universe and even God Himself, in so far as He materializes, I'd like to get personal on this question.
Sorrow creates me. At the heart and in the soul of every act of Being is an intense and immeasurable kernel of sorrow, which is generally covered up by innumerable manifestations that coat it, like the layers on a pearl. Sorrow is, however, a pearl in reverse; because whereas pearls are tiny, worthless bits of sand or shell covered with layer after layer of gleaming beauty, sorrow is a grain of infinite perfection coated with layer after layer of grit and mud (creatures: that is, the ordinary world and material being) that obscure its beauty.
The work of Being is to peel off those layers until one reaches the core of this perfection, which is inestimable.
It's impossible to understand what religious action is unless one touches the core of this perfection of sorrow and encounters it personally within Being. This is, in many ways, one of the highest aims of inner work; and although there's a great deal of talk about detachment, freedom, and so on, to touch sorrow goes beyond any of these things and into the heart of the question of what God is.
Sorrow, at its esoteric heart, is not sorrow — it is something quite different which is impossible to write about. One needs, simply, to penetrate this question deeper and deeper within the marrow of one's bones until the veil is taken away and one knows for the first time exactly where the soul touches God.
This is an inner cosmology, not an outer one; and there is an analogy to the formation of suns and solar systems, because the formation of the inner sun, a light that provides the illumination of this question, involves the collapse of all of one's impressions and Being into the gravity of the soul, much like matter collapses to form a sun.
It is in this collapse that ignition takes place; and only then does the inflow, Swedenborg's description of the arrival of the higher energy, begin to take place in any reliable and consistent manner.
Until then, one "works." One cannot possibly understand how much in vain all of this "work" is until revealed in the light of true Grace, which puts the vanity of everything a human being owns and does themselves in an indelible perspective. (Consider this idea in light of yesterday's post about organic shame.)
I have spoken before about the idea that joy — which seems, for all of us, to be the real aim of spiritual liberation — is really just a by-product of the work that brings us to sorrow, and ought not to be elevated to a position it does not belong in. We can never have any joy whatsoever, real joy, unless we touch the heart of sorrow, because joy cannot be known until one has first paid for it through this action.
I speak not of temporal, outer, and ordinary things and the joys they bring here; these are material matters born of creatures.
Don't get them confused.