Thursday, January 1, 2015

receiving life

Virgin Enthroned
Boston Museum of Fine Arts

As we begin this new year, I think we ought to come back to this quote for a moment:

Life is so desirable in itself that we desire it for itself. Those who are in hell in eternal pain would not wish to lose their life, neither devils nor souls, because their life is so noble that it flows direct from God into the soul. And so, because it thus flows immediately from God, they want to live. What is life? God's being is my life. If my life is God's being, then God's essence must be my essence, and God's self-identity my self-identity, neither more nor less.   

M.E., The Complete Mystical Works, P. 330

I think it's quite easy to not know in the least that Life flows immediately from God. I speak here from personal experience on the matter; because I recall a time when I did not at all understand this, and I misunderstood it 100%, even as I remained 100% certain that my understanding of what life was was very, very good indeed, considering myself one smart damn cookie, as I did (and for the most part still do, ego being what it is.)

The idea that Life flows immediately from God thus seems, perhaps, quite foreign; in truth, everyone believes that their life belongs to them, as though they had made it and owned it themselves. This is much like Meister Eckhart's comment that people love God the way they love a cow:

But some people want to see God with their own eyes as they see a cow, and they want to love God as they love a cow. You love a cow for her milk and her cheese and your own profit.

When I love God the way I love a cow, I think it is my cow; and my God. In the same way, I think this is my life; and yet in fact I receive this life, that it, it flows inward into me from a higher source. It flows inwards into me in every cell of my body; and through Grace I may come to understand this directly by sensing it, rather than merely thinking about how interesting, exciting, or awesome this idea is.

To know Life directly through the sensation of this inward flow is to understand something quite different about the whole world; for the world is not as I see it, and isn't made as I think it is made. It arises in every instant through this inward flow, and it arises completely and wholly within the Being of the Lord. There isn't actually any separation in this of one part from another; it is a wholeness, what the Buddhists call dharma, although they are for the most part as unable as the rest of us to precisely comprehend what this means. In Buddhism, it means, roughly speaking, Truth; and this is approximately correct as well. Life and Truth are not distinct from one another.

Then again, nothing is truly distinct; distinction means separation, and our perception of separation arises first and at once from our lack of a connection to the Lord. If we establish a relationship to the inward flow, the influence, of the Lord, we establish a relationship at once to truth and to Life; and everything one might need is directly found within that inner force which sustains.


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