Saying For Today: Simply put, your summons is to let yourself be loved: that may feel like a death, for it is, but it is also life.
what we truly want is not to live our own life, but to live life, even more true, for life and us to live together in harmony, you and i
when I no longer have a life can no longer speak my life I am most ready to live
and what a life! yes what a life!
The following poem, written in a month of solitude 2018, reflects back on what my religious upbringing, Christian, Baptist, referred to as 'invite Christ into your heart.' Now, 50 years later, I see Christ differently and the same ~ I guess that is how it is with all intimate relationships. I no longer claim a particular theology, or dogma, about Christ, about anything. I do sense a paradox of Jesus being Christ, but Christ being much, much more than the man Jesus. Christ, to me, is not a Christian Christ or a Christ of religion. I respect, however, Jesus remains that to many, though I found the church unwelcoming of my experience of Christ and, so, I no longer associate with it. Love leads us to new fidelities, as Love is seen differently through our time with anyone. So, possibly, love for Christ has led me from the commitment to the tradition in which I invited Christ into my heart. And, possibly, I can encourage others to know that they can leave the church and still love Christ. And, possibly, what I truly am saying is that Christ is Love, and I see no problem that many choose another word to refer to this Life in its consummate expression.
to feel love like I did in that little, red-brick, country church philadelphia, 'church of family love' sunday night aged 9 (tears, tears, tears) opened me up eyes and heart, all of me like lightening slicing open the sky scarring for life no curative cauterizing for that no one can fall into the relentless arms of the Beloved disarmed by kindness like Christ gives and come away not awakened under lock and key for life (sure, he and I have run together from him to him so Iíve stopped running) when that Grace pulls you in youíre a charmed captive before you know it a mouth only able to say yes (even saying no you're saying yes) there beside the pierced side being washed in blood, water, and who knows whatever to live this newness of life where existence dies what love! love leaving you wondrously wounded for life
One thing I appreciate from my upbringing is the mythic depths in the story of Jesus. This is reflected in words referring to the story of the death of Jesus, ending ... leaving you wondrously wounded for life ~ "life" can be read as a double entendre. Does it refer to the span of life, to life itself, or both?
There is a huge difference between being wounded and wondrously wounded. Any real connection to the depth of Grace, of Love, of another, will wound you, for the power and purity of Love will meet the darkness lingering with you. What to do then, what but to surrender?
See, intimacy is not first for our pleasure, such as to have fun with someone. Intimacy is for our growth together, a growth in capacity to be-with gracefully. Resurrection is not about a happier you, but a new you, ever-becoming-new.
And, then, in loving ourselves compassionately, in response to the other embracing us kindly, the Light turns back toward the Light to meet the Light. The Grace that wounds does not then heal, not as two separate acts, the wound and the healing are of one act of Life affirming Itself, not as death, but Life as Life.
Simply put, your summons is to let yourself be loved: that may feel like a death, for it is, but it is also life. All that follows a "Yes," the heart-posture of grateful assent, flows in grace to the other and, finally, to everyone and everything.
* * *
So, why would anyone choose to love first and foremost Jesus, God, Buddha, Allah, Krishna, ... these religious figures?
One could say I began with Jesus. To me, as a child, he was my best friend, he loved me absolutely, no one else I knew loved me like that, and I loved him. I still do. I often did not feel that love in my home, though my parents loved me. Yet, we are given these images that no one can live up to. So, it is not so much a matter of judging others that they do love me like a Jesus, say, but that my friendship with him has encouraged me myself to be more loving, even more forgiving of those who have deeply hurt me in their misdirected efforts to love me.
One reason humans often may begin with such beings, these represent a safe space to be loved totally, to learn the power and grace of surrender to something one aspires to but cannot reach. However, for me, a time came wherein I felt ready for this same assent to this One through others and, then, another like human being. Yet, this is the same assent, for Love is only Love, with whom and through whom we are graced to be invited more deeply into our Source, ourselves. I, now, no longer believe one can experience more deeply Presence apart from other human beings; however, often my experience has a different tone when alone. Also, at times, I feel a stronger love when away from him or her than when with him or her.
So, does it matter whether that figure is a Jesus or a Buddha, or someone else?
Love meets us as and where Love meets us. Why should that be a problem to me? I came up being taught Jesus is the only way for humans to God, the Source. I taught that, for that was the truth as I had been taught. Now, I do not care what or whom anyone comes to grace and healing through. It could be anyone. When Love shows up, you just say, "Welcome." That simple, and you do not have concern about what anyone else thinks about the way given you.
Many seek this absolute love in a romantic relationship, what do you think about that?
It will not work, not as most understand romance. I went into a store to get a card for a dear one I was forming a close friendship with, we had just met and shared for a time only once. It was the season around Christmas. I looked around a store having hundreds of cards and could not find a seasonal card for her, they were fake looking, and others were sentimental. Finally, I settled on a non-seasonal card, one blank, for I liked the flower on it and it was simple, and authentic looking. So, I guess you could say I gave her a nonseasonal in-season card.
I'm a little lost as to how this relates to my question.
Divine love is not sentimental, its authentic and is attracted to authenticity. And it most sees beauty in the simply adorned, not the ornate; there is nothing ostentatious about pure Presence. Presence Itself is impressive for being Itself. Deeply spiritual beings are simple, ordinary, so real they can be somewhat a conundrum, or even threat, to others. They are not into the games people play, so to speak, so they may appear disinterested to a large degree, but they are vitally interested in what matters most, which is always about our heart together.
When we speak of a connection of sacred depth in which two become lovers, romance is not the most important, far from that. I prefer not to apply the word at all to this kind of relationship. This does not mean there cannot be a romantic quality, or aspect, to the relationship however. Two persons can be passionate lovers and be a means for each other of this Presence we speak of, yet the passion will serve the conscious spiritual unfolding of each other, and the relationship will be the crucible of the deepening connection. So, wisely, they will move reverently in discovering the depths of each other and inviting more indepth unfoldment. Actually, the evolution of the universe is occurring in that kind of relationship. And in this, one aspires most to see and respect the Sacred in the other and the other as the Sacred. One wishes to touch the other, the same way a religious officiant might handle something esteemed holy, for the other you touch is holy.
Have you had this with anyone in a passionate lover relationship?
When we know Love, we know Love, but we do not know it in all the ways it expresses, or in all the depths of any one way. I have, also, sought it in ways that proved to be futile. How can we know what this Love is with someone, if we do not know what it is not with someone?
When you know this Love within yourself for anyone, friend, lover, family member, ... when it happens within, you relax and receive it and enjoy it, and love the other through that happening within yourself. As to lover-with-lover relationships, this evolves out of a love for someone wherein the love as it is presently is a joy and fulfillment in itself. So, could it be you are ready to be a lover for someone, when you can be content not being that, but just in-Love with her or him? And I think we generally know this connection, like by instinct or intuition, or we would not long for it. We tend not to give up hope for it, for we feel its realness. Repressing this need is not healthy.
But you really didn't answer my question.
I did. Do you have another?
Is it possible to discover this deepening of divine Love in a life of solitude, outside of intimacy with another or others?
My experience is one may live in solitude, but without the gift of sharing intimately with humanness, not just the Divine alone, the flow of grace will undergo atrophy. Growing in intimacy with the Divine, one desires naturally to know that in the form of another, another with a body, the tangible form then becomes a means of Grace and deepening insight and capacity to care for another as one cares for oneself. This is reflected in the Eucharist in Christian churches, where the drink and bread, tangible, invite worshipers to the Intangible. We are each and all forms to God.
You speak of the power of this love. Is this why we tend to run from it? And, what do you advise for when we feel like escaping it?
The more pure the expression of Love, the more powerful, for less, we could say, diluted with ego. Ego is not a problem when it serves however. Yet, our sense of self is made of varied elements, including hurt from our past. And, yes, divine Love is powerful, more powerful than many of those who claim to know it truly know it. Most persons try to play with it: manipulating it, bargaining with it, to serve them, please them, give them something. Possibly, we all do that, to an extent. So, one does well to honor that within himself or herself that seeks to hide, even as honoring that which does not seek to hide. And one needs to honor that in the other. One is wise to respect the power of this Presence. So, feel the feeling of wanting to run. Respect that. Be with it. And the sense of needing to run can be a sign you need to run, for your inner sense is picking up something you may not be able to fathom, like warning lights going off. But this is different from the sense of trepidation one might feel from encountering purity of Presence.
You say love, and grace, and presence. Is this all the same?
Yes. Love is not a something, Love is a Being, is Being. Yet, we, also, sense this as an expression of Being. All loving is really Love loving, or, in traditional terms, God goding.
Video can be accessed on original site via below upper left artist-title...
(C)Brian K Wilcox, 2010
*Photograph. 'Christ the Redeemer.' anthony_gotto. Attribution-ShareAlike.