*Brian Wilcox. 'The Union of Love'
Copy of Greek Orthodox icon, painted by Iconographer Thomas Doolan, was printed in the workshop of Saint Gregory of Sinai Monastery, Berkeley, California, is of "The 'Glykophylousa' Virgin and Child," 11th Century. The Greek 'Glykophylousia' means "sweetly-kissing."
* * *
A man had pneumonia and went to a doctor. The doctor prescribed medication. After the sick man got the prescription filled, he read all about the drug. He was found dead, several days later, in his home. Beside him was a stack of printed articles about the drug - ingredients, usages, how it worked, side effects, what to do in case of accidental overdose, and so forth. He had not removed a single pill from the bottle.
Knowing about keeps Truth at a distance; knowing is beyond intellection, is intimacy. To know the Truth, one has to welcome the Truth into oneself. Then, one realizes, not just knows about, the Truth.
* * *
A religious believer asked, "Do you believe in God?" "I once did," said the Sage. "What happened?" inquired the believer. Answered the Sage, "I know God." The believer asked, "What's the difference between believing in God and knowing God?" Said the Sage, "When you come to the end of believing, you'll know."
* * *
On a June day, the grass said to the shadow of an elm tree, "You move to right and left over-often, and you disturb my peace."
The shadow answered, “Not I, not I. Look skyward. There's a tree that moves in the wind to the east and to the west, between the sun and the earth."
And the grass looked up and for the first time saw the tree. It said in its heart, "Why, look, there's a larger grass than myself."
And the grass was silent.
* * *
esteemed greatest of all Catholic theologians
received a sacred revelation
while celebrating mass in Naples
afterward, he said,
I can no longer write,
for God has given me such glorious knowledge
that all contained in my works are as straw"
three months later he died
his prodigious work, Summa Theologica, incomplete
Transpersonal-integral philosopher, Ken Wilber . . .
You have to know that there actually is a transcendental something, if you are going to free anybody from anything—if there is no beyond-the-given, there is no freedom from the given, and liberation is futile
If there are only surfaces - its - relatives -
no one can realize depth - the Absolute -
the Something making surfaces possible
And what can we say
of all those who have spoken
of knowing intimately Something
more than us
through the ages
in widely divergent and distant cultures?
with their minds
that royalty-posing little 'i'
assumes it can logically deny the Something
is lauded as intelligent, is faddish now,
but is ignorant
for one has to ignore
logically to deny
Yet, as the philosopher Dallas Williard wrote
of the esteem given the doubters in American culture . . .
You can almost be as stupid as a cabbage
as long as you doubt
and be considered smart
It seems they forget
to inquire to themselves:
"What just is this God that I deny? -
that God isn't, for it's the God
created by little i-s in the first place
The God of deniers is
sewn from the same cloth as
the God of believers
Only when saying
"I know for I don't know"
does one know
we are playing the ancient
we don't agree on what the Something is
isn't saying that Something isn't
the Mystery is a sure ain't nothing
says the Buddhist, Lama Surya Das
This nonceptual Something
can't be affirmed or denied conceptually
literalistic theism and literalistic atheism
being bad-faith creeds
Belief and non-belief
each is a
Like the debris
on the Sea saying
"There're no Sea-depths"
Like a leaf
floating on a river saying
"There's no water"
To know God
one must realize (so, realization)
God - be in-godded
we're like lovers trying to enjoy coitus
with all our clothes on -
"Oh! how futile this is!"
- And, can't that be
a reason for the affirmation of or denial of
the God in our minds
for we're fearful to open our hearts to Love Itself? -
among those who say God, God, God . . .
they live a practical atheism
the taste of water
one tastes water
The taste of water
can't be denied or affirmed
The ancient poem in the Jewish Scriptures, Psalms,
Taste and see
the Living One is good
one may begin as a believer
continuing to walk the Way
walks to knowing
This doesn't mean
what this is he or she knows
The more subtle
the less definable, describable
the more elusive
The Infinite is
infinitely elusive -
can you hold the wind in your hands?
no separation between
knowing and known
Loving this Something known
knowing this Something one loves
To know is to love
to love is to know
we live in a world of its
its among its - objects among objects
If that's so
love is not love
only the stimulation of neurons, hormones, and nerves -
the words "I love you" mean nothing at all
but you-a-body do something to me-a-body
that we truly love anyone, anything says
there is Something
under the trees
* * *
The Sage was asked, then, by the believer, "How may I know this beyond belief?" The Sage told a story.
Once a man in India, planning a vacation with his family, was told by a friend, "You'd really enjoy visiting Bombay. My family and I went there on vacation and found it to be a delightful city." He proceeded to speak of what his family enjoyed about the city. The husband talked with his family, "My friend says Bombay would be a wonderful place for our vacation. It sure sounds so to me!" So, the family decided to go to Bombay. They drove a long distance and came upon a sign reading "Bombay." The family, disappointed, returned home. Later, the husband met his friend, who asked, "How was the vacation in Bombay?" "Not very good," the husband replied. "We went all the way to Bombay. Bombay didn't impress us at all. Unlike what you said, it was just a sign beside the road."
The Sage said, "The Way of the signs is the Way beyond the signs. The Way of love leads to the Beloved, the Lover, even as the scent of the rose awakens one to the rose."
* * *
©️ Brian Wilcox, 2020
*Brian can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org; his book, An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, is available through major online booksellers, including Amazon and Books-A-Million, or via the publisher, AuthorHouse.
*Sources ... "On a June day..." The Shadow, in Kahlil Gibran. The Complete Works of Kahlil Gibran; Dallas Williard. Hearing God; Ken Wilber. OneTaste; Lama Surya Das, Dozgchen Meditation Training.