Alive… Awake… & Inspired

Here we are: The Living Fires of Love

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Again and again… I start to understand what does it mean… that everything is WITHIN ME: IN-FOLDED as the impulse to love and appreciate all of life. You can watch all recent Agape Services online – using the link above or this one: http://www.agapelive.com/index.php?page=597

The journey of a Mystic

REMIND ME WITH EVERY PASSING DAY THAT APPEARANCE IS NOT REALITY
~Evelyn Underhill

Today I found much delight in the description of Evelyn Underhill’s mystical Journey. Witness the huge difference in language – no even one trace of a spiritual new age jargon that is so popular today.

She describes the first stage as:

1. Awakening the Self – quoting Henry Suso (disciple of Meister Eckhart): “That which the Servitor saw had no form neither any manner of being; yet he had of it a joy such as he might have known in the seeing of shapes and substances of all joyful things. His heart was hungry, yet satisfied, his soul was full of contentment and joy: his prayers and his hopes were fulfilled.” (Cropper p. 46)

The second stage she describes as:

2. Purgation of self (transcending the ego) quoting the Theologia Germanica: “We must cast all things from us and strip ourselves of them and refrain from claiming anything for our own.”

Third stage is:

3. Illumination – and she quotes here William Law: “Everything in …nature, is descended out that which is eternal, and stands as a. ..visible outbirth of it, so when we know how to separate out the grossness, death, and darkness. ..from it, we find. ..it in its eternal state.”

The fourth stage she describes as:

4. the dark night of the soul – quoting Mechthild of Magdeburg: “…since Thou hast taken from me all that I had of Thee, yet of Thy grace leave me the gift which every dog has by nature: that of being true to Thee in my distress, when I am deprived of all consolation. This I desire more fervently than Thy heavenly Kingdom.”

And last she devotes a chapter to the unitive life, the sum of the mystic way:

When love has carried us above all things into the Divine Dark, there we are transformed by the Eternal Word Who is the image of the Father; and as the air is penetrated by the sun, thus we receive in peace the Incomprehensible Light, enfolding us, and penetrating us.’ (Ruysbroech)

Now, that’s to me pure delight… it’s like manna from Heaven what she writes here:

We are all the kindred of the mystics. ..Strange and far away from us though they seem, they are not cut off from us by some impassable abyss. They belong to us; the giants, the heroes of our race. As the achievement of genius belongs not to itself only but also to the society that brought it forth;...the supernal accomplishment of the mystics is ours also. ..our guarantee of the end to which immanent love, the hidden steersman. ..is moving. ..us on the path toward the Real. They come back to us from an encounter with life’s most august secret. ..filled with amazing tidings which they can hardly tell.” (Cropper, p.47)

Questions…

“Perhaps our descendants will regard our present ignorance with as much sympathy as we feel to ancients for not knowing whether the earth went around the sun. If the general picture however over Big-Bang followed by an expending universe is correct, what happened before that? Was the universe devoid of all matter and then the matter suddenly somehow created? How did that happen?
In many cultures the customary answer is that God or Gods created the Universe out of nothing. But if we wish to pursue this question courageously we must of course ask the next question: Where did God come from? If we decide that this is an unanswerable question, why not save a step and conclude that the origin of the universe is an unanswerable question. Or if we say that God always existed, why not save a step and conclude that the universe always existed, that there is no need for creation that it’s always here.” – Carl Sagan.