Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > Intimacy and Knowing and Seeing

 
 

Intimacy - Musings No. 3

Sep 10, 2017


LOTUS OF THE HEART

Living in Love beyond Beliefs

Longing

The only purpose of Love is to love, and our loving leads us Home, to the Heart of the Universe. We can begin by loving anyone, anything, here and now. To do that, we become intimate with our own being, for Intimacy is One.

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This writing continues a series Intimacy. To read in succession, you may start at September 3, 2017. There you will find, also, an introduction.

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Writes Terrance Keenan, in Zen Encounters with Loneliness, words applicable in and outside Zen, for Zen is nothing added to life, but the Way of Life:

... Zen, not unlike science, values simple, concrete, everyday direct personal experience ..., to perceive "livingly" without analysis. This just drives people nuts. There has to be something to figure out, a puzzle to solve. How can we understand without reasoning why? How can we trust the authenticity of experience when we cannot share it with another? Isn't reason and analysis our way of sharing? Only sometimes. When I am in love ... I know and she knows and neither of us has to analyze anything.

Everything is an expression of Life - everything. Both suffering and pleasure can magnify this life, but the life is always present, even when we are not present to it. As C. S. Lewis wrote of the "eternal life" Jesus taught and embodied, this life is a Quality, more than biological existence or unending duration - biology is bounded by time and space, while eternal life is infinitely-intimate for not bounded or temporal - an unending duration is still temporal, and the common perception of an afterlife of such duration has nothing to do with eternal life, but the latter negates even the wish for the former. So, to live eternal life now is to know directly what you cannot articulate, only symbolize or sign. The moment, generally, we begin to analyze anything, anyone, we take a step away from pure Intimacy, from knowing to knowing about or trying to know about. But if we let rest analysis, we simply know. This is Intimate, but demands no particular feeling state, or emotion, of closeness. Yet, there is a sense, or non-emotional feeling, but one cannot speak that, only know by experience.

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I live beside a river. I like to take a daily walk or two there and stand or sit and simply watch the river flow, the trees, as well as appreciate and enjoy the varied nature along the path to and back. This is simple, usually lacking any sense of ecstasy or transcendence. This is simply being-with, communion, seeing, as Keenan notes, "livingly." Analysis arises and sinks. I give myself to the river; the river gives itself to me. How? By being what we each are. There is no need for me to resist analysis, even as I do not walk to the river to pursue thinking about the river. I appreciate it. I choose to commune with the river, for I know the river as the expression of More, a More the river and I are part of. Still, the river in itself is worthy of reverence, it has value as a river among many rivers.

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So, yes, we are thinking beings. Analysis arises. Part of the fruit of meditation is contemplation, not as thinking about, but in the sense the Christian mystics used the term: theoria, as the Greeks would say, meaning a knowing that transcends knowing about. So, in this is no denial of the forms of life, but encounters them within a direct, unmediated acceptance. One knows, which is not knows of or about. Contemplation teaches us not to meditate on, but to be-with livingly. This is a reason I say the silence is alive, is not a mere nothing. Or, we could say, in Buddhist terms, "Emptiness is a quality of Fullness, Fullness is a quality of Emptiness." There is nothing more Full than Nothingness, and this Fullness includes all things seen-and-unseen. Receptivity to this Nothingness allows, consequently, intimacy with the forms arising as appearances within Nothingness, or Emptiness. Theists could say, "All is in God, God is in all." And, "To see anything is to see God, whether one recognizes he or she is seeing God, or not." And, "Why seek for God? See." See by being shown, for our effort to see by looking negates seeing, our trying to know negates knowing. Intimacy arises from "outside" self-efforts, that is a reason all efforts to see, to know, lead to such only by depleting effort. Grace is essential.

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This reminds me of being invited by a girlfriend to an art exhibit in Atlanta, GA. The exhibit was on Impressionism. I had not studied such, never studied art of any kind, while my girlfriend had graduated with an art degree. I walked in and traversed through the exhibit, having no idea, not knowing about, of what I was seeing in these masterpieces. Yet, when I left, walking outside onto the street, something had changed within me. This was like carrying an aroma that soaked within and upon me simply by walking through the exhibit. I sense this is what we are sharing today, that is, intimacy is a knowing or seeing that arises the more we release the need to examine, to analyze, to compartmentalize. Like, "To know you more, I give up knowing you." Or, "The less I know you, the more I know you." Like looking into an Icon, we know it and Something more, for we release the need to control by putting it into language. We are Icons. Intimacy is enhanced through letting be, and that being is living and is an invitation to closeness, to love. Love is inviting us to Itself. I can love a person, I can, as well, love anything, if I let love be, rather than deciding what love is, or ought to be, or needs to be.

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Our knowing another, so Intimacy with, means being and being each relating in a communion in which each realizes knowing the other is a sharing of mystery with mystery. We, as with an Icon, welcome the Truth, the Grace, to see and be seen through the veil of the body and the story related with the body. We do not deny these things, we cannot rightly negate that the other appears as a certain color or size or religion or .... Yet, these are merely personal details, not the transpersonal Quality of the other, of us together. We honor the details, but see through them by allowing ourselves to know, to see, rather than merely look at or know about. This is Intimacy and requires us to become comfortable with knowing we ourselves are not what we appear to be, for we are not a mere appearance. Intimacy is beings being-with, not merely appearing together or associating together. Intimacy, finally, is a Gift, for Love is always the same.

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The only purpose of Love is to love, and our loving leads us Home, to the Heart of the Universe. We can begin by loving anyone, anything, here and now. To do that, we become intimate with our own particularized being, for Intimacy is One.

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©Brian Kenneth Wilcox 2017. Brian is a Hospice Chaplain, seeking to serve all living beings by serving those preparing to die and their friends and family. Brian lives a quasi-hermitic life beside the Santa Fe River, High Springs, FL. He integrates varied religions, but most especially the contemplative paths of Buddhism and his native faith, Christianity. Brian received a 'mystical' Christ-experience at age 9, being introduced to a peace untouched by pain and suffering. Later, in his mid-30s, after surviving a dark night of despair, in which he chose life rather than suicide, Brian was vowed to a contemplative Christian way of life. This began many years of ardent reading, spiritual practice, and exploration of many spiritual paths, including publication of his book An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love. Brian lives with the affirmation that Love, not as emotion but Divine Presence, transcends all paths of religion and spirituality and is our Source and Destination. As St. Paul writes in the Christian Bible, "Now remain always, faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love." Peace to All!

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Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > Intimacy and Knowing and Seeing

©Brian Wilcox 2017