Saying For Today: The self is all surface, this love is all depth. This love is the depth, the depth of depths.
*Brian Wilcox. 'the gift of a sweet personality'. Flickr
A continuance of dialogues with a sage who did not see himself as a sage, but others did; from Brian K. Wilcox. "Meetings with an Anonymous Sage."
* * *
We humans are living mysteries of unfathomable depths, living in an unimaginably mysterious universe. What we know of ourselves (and the cosmos) is just the tip of an infinitely vast, divine iceberg. All of our knowledge rests in a vast sea of not knowing. It is figure, while the unknown is our ground.
*Estelle Frankel. The Wisdom of Not Knowing.
* * *
If video does not play from this site, press artist-song upper left to be taken to video on YouTube.
What did you mean, the path finds us, we don't find it? Also, I would like you to share from your experience this love you speak of. Are there any experiences that stand out to you?
The earliest was as a lad of nine years. I had been raised in a conservative Christian, rural church. We had meetings on Sunday mornings and nights, and Wednesday nights. Following a message by the pastor in Sunday meetings, we would have what was called an invitational time. He would stand in front of the pulpit and communion table, on a level with us the congregates. We would sing a song, and anyone who felt led to go up and share with the pastor about what was on the heart would be welcome.
Of course, it being an evangelical church, the most important decision would be to do what we called "accept Jesus into your heart." So, now and then, someone would go up to do this, also we called this "receive Jesus."
On this night, as the song began being sung, I felt a strong sense of inner calling to go up and receive Jesus into my heart. I resisted this. On a second stanza, I looked at my mother and said, "I think I'm being told to go up." She did not tell me to. Yet, she affirmed her support. When she saw I was going to go up, she moved aside to make space for me to exit the pew and walk the aisle to the pastor.
When I began walking, I felt as though another power, or presence, lifted me the rest of the way. It seemed as though time stopped. Tears began flowing from my eyes, down my face. There was a sense of total, unselfconscious surrender to what felt like the most amazing love one can imagine possible. I am not sure anyone can even imagine this purity and power of love.
In the front, before the congregation, the pastor leaned down. He asked me what I wanted. Using the language I had been raised with, I said, "I want to be saved." We had prayer, my repeating his words. Again, I felt immersed in pure love all this time.
Afterward, the congregates all came to the front, in a line, to congratulate me on this decision and to give hugs. Many of them were in tears also. Now, I could feel all this love pouring from these people. So, love was added to love.
After the meeting I went to the car, while my parents were speaking with persons on the church grounds. I sat quietly. I felt two things, a peace I cannot put into words and like a burden was lifted off my back. This lifting of a burden had a real physical sense to it, it was not merely psychological. Something, I sensed, had been removed from me, something I had been carrying around, something that had weighted me down. I was only a little boy, and I did not know how to speak of this but in simple terms, but it was all very real, very pure. Even now I am using simple terms, trying not to analyze this too much.
So, alike what you shared yesterday, Jesus was the form for you to experience this love through?
Yes. It took many years for me to see that there are many religious persons, as forms, through which one might experience the same experience of and surrender to love. This was what had been given to me, as some may experience the same grace through Krishna, for example. Yet, this love is this love, and when one is immersed in it, it is best not to analyze what it is. The moment we try to understand such a mystery, we create a separation between the pure encounter and secondary thought about it, what we called yesterday the shift from the first moment, perception, to the second moment, conception. We move from heart to head, while this love is not arising from the head ~ mind, or thought.
Could this happen through a human being, I mean like a lover or friend, rather than a great figure like a Jesus or a Buddha?
If through a great religious figure or someone else, the Presence is the same. This kind of indepth spiritual love-awakening could potentially occur through anyone. But we usually do not assign such devotion and meaning to the so-called common person to condition ourselves to such receptivity. Also, some beings transcend time, so we can connect with them in this indepth way. I see a Buddha or a Jesus to be influencing us even now, partly for they knew in a way most of us do not the Birthless and Deathless. Really, however, we are all transcending time, we simply do not acknowledge it, and, so, we do not communicate the ineffable to others the way some beings did and do. Yet, there is no logical reason why this epiphany of love could not happen through even a person not linked in any way with a religion or spirituality.
Many persons question such experience, such epiphanies?
So what? If you are immersed in love, do you care who questions that? I experienced a love so beautiful that night and through the form of religion I had been given as a child, and it has been an inspiration to me over the last fifty years. So, would it not be ignorant for me to care who agrees or disagrees? This degree and kind of love is rare among humans, so why would I expect most persons to begin to appreciate what happened then? Some would disagree simply because it is associated with religion, or a particular religion, or Jesus... why need I care? When you are intoxicated with grace, you are free from the dictatorship of the mind, your mind and that of others. The self is often afraid to admit such divine presence is possible, the self likes to be infatuated with itself, and such divine intoxication challenges the self affirming itself as in control, as the peak of possibility. The self is all surface, this love is all depth. This love is the depth, the depth of depths.
Have you continued in this devotional path?
Yes and no. For many years, several decades, I followed a devotional path, even after I opened up to other religion and spirituality. Now, I have integrated the paths of knowing and loving. I departed the love path and engaged only the knowing path, for a time. It has taken years to experience the integration of these two. I said, "I have integrated," while the integration happens by divine influence, in ways we cannot manipulate; so, in a real sense, to claim we can do such integration is incorrect. We cannot integrate, we can only cooperate.
Then, what's this knowing path?
Let us begin that with our next sharing time. Remember, however, as I have said, there is no clear demarcation between these two ways. Each one followed leads to the other.
May I ask one more question before we depart today?
Why are so many now critical of such claims of having these experiences spiritually?
Some could say, "God is the great Unknown." Equally, I think we can say rightly, "Love is the great Unknown." The ego fears the unknown, how much more the great Unknown. So, while such experiences are openings that arouse fear, they invite us to a depth we are not familiar with, but is more whole and more true to our true nature. So, many persons shun the unknown and disdain it, not for it is untrue, but they are not prepared to consider it might just be true. As Jesus said, "Many are called, few chosen," meaning, "We are all invited, most of us prefer the familiar, that which validates the illusory sense of egoic control on territory we have been socialized to see as the bounds of the possible." Yet, some would say this disdain of such experiences is simply pride. The reasons why for one person or another, who knows? I think most would say the fear of the unknown is at the root of the resistance to the unknown in any way it expresses itself. In fact, arrogance is often, if not always, a veil for fear. I have often said that love is what we most fear and most desire. Yet, love responds gracefully to a simple "Yes," when we invite love, love that has invited us. In reality, the "Yes" of our response is the same "Yes" as the invitation, one "Yes."
May Peace go with you!
*Brian Wilcox. 'A Beautiful Arrangement'. Flickr
(C)Brian K. Wilcox, 2019
The theme of "Lotus of the Heart" is 'Living in Love beyond Beliefs.' This work is presented by Brian K. Wilcox, of Maine, USA. You can order Brian's book An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, through major online booksellers.