Saying For Today: And one of the greatest gifts to give the other is to reverence him or her as you would God, for that is just what you are doing in such loving devotion and selfless adoration.
We speak of reverencing God, holy things, holy places. We hear of respecting others, loving others, tolerating others, forgiving others, and being kind to others. We never hear of reverencing others. Reverence is left to the domain of religion, and rarely will you hear the word there.
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Is reverence a religious experience?
Yes, reverence is a religious experience, not an a religion experience. Reverence expressed as an aweed response of gratitude and praise is as everyday as any holy day.
I was taught in my religion that reverence belonged only to God. I question that now.
A religion persons seem to think to worship, to reverence, anyone, anything, but God would be blasphemy, yes, and something that would offend their version of God. Yet, when you see into another, you see into God. God, in that moment, sees into God. Now, how can you not feel some need to reverence that, when God in you sees God in the other?
I don't think one can fail to reverence, when seeing God in the other.
Here, we are past Thou with Thou, or God with God. There is, now, Thou, Thou looking with Thou. God adores God, eternally, in one moment of pure, spontaneous adoration, in that very moment you adore the other in his or her innate Beauty.
This seems to confuse the other and God.
You see the other is essentially God, and the person, the presentation, which veils also reveals God; this veil shares in the same godness, the same glory, the one Beauty. In intimacy one is prior to two, so God becomes and is becoming you and me.
How about nonhuman species?
The Heart of God is in all that lives, summoning by simply being, recognition, knowing, that lifts us beyond trivilizations into the heights of subtle, sublime joy. A natural outcome of this is praise. In praising what we think a person or animal, this is praising God through the praise.
But can't we easily get stuck with the thing that we think we're praising or adoring?
This joyful adoration leads us beyond the forms of this world to the formlessness of Grace prior to the form of the other wherein reverence was evoked, Presence recognized and celebrated. Idolatry is not worship of the form, but worshiping form as the Absolute, rather than as expression of the one Formless. The person is form, is the shape of God, but not God, not as person. That behind the eyes is God, that living in the Heart of All is God.
Some things evoke this in me, this reverence and adoration, some things I don't think ever will.
Not all things share alike in evoking this we speak of. If I see a mountain with the Sun rising above it in the morning, I might pray and weep. If I see some shit beside the road as I walk, I will likely turn away and with no sense of awe. This is due to conditioning and natural responses of the body. So, we are conditioned socially and bodily to be attracted to worship in response to some things, not other things. A flower that smells well, that might lead me to worship, a sewer that stinks is as holy as the flower, but it does not share the capacity to evoke reverence. Yet, in itself, the sewer is as holy as the nearby church.
Should I try to overcome these prejudices, as some teachers say?
No. In time, attractions and distractions will shift simply through your fidelity to your devotional path. Be at-peace with the humanness of attraction and aversion. You can know them as one, even while not liking them both.
I once wrote a poem, I wish to share with you ~ for us to return to this idea of intimacy we often speak of, as reverence thrives in intimacy. I entitled it, "Hand Searching for Hand," and wrote it after the death of a patient I had only days before shared goodbyes with. She and I had been very close spiritually, as close spiritually as I had ever been to a patient; in fact, I could not recall sharing this sacred intimacy with anyone to the same degree before. Sharing our goodbyes for each other, for me was something I wished to bless her with, but I was saddened to know I might never see her in this life again. I did not. After hearing of her passing, I wrote this poem and the words following it.
i sit beside the bed i with bowed head, closed eyes she speechless, closed eyes
some say she is dying
i say "No" to no one
i know she cannot
she preparing to shed human disguise a veil of the Glory
she holds my hand eyes still closed hers and mine
hand as dear to me as if hand of Christ
it is that hand
moving hand searching for my hand holds, pulls on my hand
holding tightly then loosely
i with bowed head with closed eyes worship reverently not some god somewhere but here
she an Altar she Spirit Sky
mother father brother sister friend anyone anywhere
no distance between us everyone
what can I say to say rightly? nothing.
now, today, disguise gone temple torn down appearance that came, left
looking through her Light i worshiped the Sun she remains, is
i miss her smile i already did
she gone lives on - how?
i feel the warmth of her hand i always will always will
There is a way to touch and be touched, and, therein, Heaven pours upon you Its luminous bliss. How could a Love like that ever die?
You truly loved her a lot, that's clear from those words.
I still love her. Such love is something given you, you cannot just throw it away by your choice, for you did not give it to yourself. I loved her with a holy reverence, I adored her in body and as soul. I, also, respect that she is no longer in the form I knew her. In memory I know her still in the manner of her human form. Knowing someone in the way we knew them, after they pass out of the body, this can assist us in continuing to love that one. Later, we can learn what it is to love them otherwise. Heaven is only found in love, whether for one present in form or having passed from the body. And one of the greatest gifts to give the other is to reverence him or her as you would God, for that is just what you are doing in such loving devotion and selfless adoration.
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*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.