Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Glory, Grace and mercy and the Law of Three, Part II: ideation, manifestation, relationship

Let's talk about the three aspects of each of the three forces a little bit.

Glory is ideation.

It represents the intellect of God. The intellect of God has three different aspects: an intellectual aspect, a physical aspect, and an emotional aspect, in that order. 

When we understand the Glory of God, we understand it first as the transcendent intelligence that give birth to all things, both things that can be thought of, and things that cannot be; indeed, the majority of its nature lies beyond what can be thought of and is in the realm of what cannot be thought of, since this original realm is infinite, inaccessible, and forever shrouded in mystery. 

Within the Glory, we might say, anything and everything that can be thought of is not God. 

Yet everything that can be thought of it as thought emerges from this unknown realm becomes manifest Glory. 

The Glory is an abundance; that is, it is infinite and forever springing up out of itself in a fountain of fecundity. It is the absolute and essential creative force. This gives birth to what is called the Perfection, which refers to the conscious awareness of all things as they embody materially—that is, a sense the Presence of God. Yet this has not only the conceptual and intellectual nature that we are discussing here; the Glory also has a physical nature, which consists in the embodiment of the material itself; and an emotional nature, that is, a feeling nature, a sensitivity. 

This sensitivity is the tactile contact we have with all things material, which give birth to affinities and relationships. 

Affinities and relationships constitute the emotional part of the intellect of God.

Grace is manifestation. 

It begins with its physical nature, that is, the energy that's actually sent into the material realm from the realm of the divine in order to inwardly form relationship between various aspects of creation. 

Grace begins as a physical energy that flows, that is, a force embodied in substances and materials; yet it must then embrace the emotional aspect of its being, which consists of relationships and affinities. 

Becoming embodied as energy, it's born as conscious labor; conscious labor is the essence of the physical aspect of God. 

It gives birth, as it evolves in its rotation clockwise around the diagram, to intentional suffering, that is, the suffering of relationship that arises as a result the flow of the energy

Ultimately, conscious labor and intentional suffering — this physical and then emotional evolution of force — has to complete itself in a return to the intellect of God.

Mercy is relationship.

It begins with intentional suffering, that is, on the spiritual side of the enneagram. Beginning with intentional suffering—that is, an emotional relationship born of seeing of the sorrow of all things—and rooted in the essential practice of God's greatest gift, forgiveness, this force starts out already ascendant to the intellect of God, and moves directly into it in its second iteration; only after that do its material results arise in the form of further conscious labor. 

Of the three forces, Mercy most fully embodies the complete story of how the rotation is effected and how the forces relate to one another, because it begins with suffering, embodies God's will through intellect, and then continues to work again by engendering conscious labor. 

This is why Mercy is considered to be God's greatest attribute in Sufi systems; in a certain sense, it better represents the conceptual framework of the homeward path than the other two forces do. This is one of the reasons that the passion of Christ is considered to be the most important story in the Christian tradition. It is the story of intentional suffering; and indeed, as a practical abstract of God's Mercy, it is all-encompassing.

Looking at this from a related point of view, if we look at the right and left hand sides of the enneagram, we can understand that conscious labor — Grace — occupies the natural, or physical, side of the enneagram, and intentional suffering – mercy – occupies the left or spiritual side. In this sense, our conscious labor belongs to the world, and our intentional suffering belongs to God. 

Both are necessary; and it's impossible to have one side without the other, if a balanced development is to be achieved.


Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.

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