Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > Spirituality as loving Devotion


Rose & Gardener ~ a joyful intimacy

a case of you

Feb 10, 2020

Shadows & Light (no. 1)

*Brian Wilcox. 'Shadows & Light (no. 1)'.

Anything that's beyond understanding we call a mystery. Therefore the eternal reality is a mystery....

But the fact that the eternal reality is beyond understanding does not mean it is beyond reach. Mysteries cannot be understood but they can be "realized."

*Francis Pring-Mill. In Harmony with the Tao.

* * *

If you touch your finger to anywhere on the spider web, the whole moves. Such is intimacy with the Sacred, for the Sacred is the Whole of every part and each part a part of the Whole.

* * *

Worship, religious or otherwise, is Life being intimate with Itself. The nature of Life is to love. Life is Love. Love being Intimacy, is naturally, spontaneously intimate. So, we can enjoy Intimacy manifesting as stillness and movement. To be intimate, one does not have to do anything beyond the trusting surrender to Life, this in which one makes himself or herself open to Grace; intimacy arises from this non-doing, from which intimacy expresses outwardly again.

called many names has
no name

name the Flower
you have moved away from
the Flower

quietly, reverently inhale the scent
to become
the Joy

in Silence ~ no words ~ make Love
with the Gardener
by making Love with the Rose

The time-honored use of sexual imagery for spiritual devotion is one window we can look in on the fact of and need for intimacy with the Life we belong in and with. We are born for intimacy, even as we arise from intimacy moment-by-moment. Nothing is not intimate, for all inheres together. The enjoyment of intimacy is a means Life expresses Itself through us, and this can be how one views worship ~ as love-making. This is why we feel such joy when we sense closeness with another human being or other creature. Even the body is born in intimacy, in the coming together of a sperm and an ovum; then, this body spends many months of gestation in the womb, within. So, our nativity is intimacy.

* * *

In surrender to Life, we can transcend closeness as an emotive experience. This does not negate intimacy as having a feeling quality, yet that feeling will not be arising from the natural senses, or emotion, even when evoking that realm of the physical. That is, in most intimacy, persons mean a personal, egoic experience; in spiritual closeness, intimacy is not personal, even if 'reaching down' into the physical senses ~ physical is not equivalent to personal, to egoic. 'Reaching down' means at best we could speak of personal intimacy only as the transpersonal intimacy manifests in the realm of personal, the personal serving the transpersonal. In this spiritual love, the physical serves Spirit, so its movements move from and with Spirit, not losing connection with the Source.

* * *

How do we, then, love what we cannot put a name to? First, we can acknowledge that the mysteriousness of the Mystery does not mean we cannot know the Mystery. I can never know anyone or anything apart from an unmediated knowing, by a self-revelation of that other. So, with Life. Knowing that I can know Life is a good first step in knowing Life.

As indicated in the poem above, to love the Whole, we love any part of the Whole, for each part manifests and reflects the Totality that gives it uniqueness as an expression of one Life.

So, one could inquire, "How do I begin to love Life?" A wise reply would be, "Love anything." This is similar to loving the universe, literally, one verse, by loving anything in it, for the universe is the One Verse.

* * *

One could inquire, "Does one have to believe in the existence of God to love God?" Whatever we name Life, to love anything in life is to love Life. Whatever God is, God would not be dependent on one believing in God, or God would not be God. Likewise, whatever God is, this Isness manifests in everything, so to love anything, that Isness that makes it is is loved in that loving. Also, one cannot logically deny that an atheist or agnostic might love God, even though not affirming God, as much or more than one who affirms the existence of God.

Of course, such intimacy with Life is likely to be enhanced when one affirms It, even though he or she cannot name It. Also, loving anything from the Source, that is the summons to love the Source, as each aspect of Nature points to the Source of Nature. This even as any subject of Nature, be it say love or a rock, mirrors the Whole through the particularity and refers one back to the Universal from where it arises.

* * *

Instructive here is the first chapter of the Tao Te Ching, and I quote the acclaimed rendition of Stephen Mitchell in his Tao Te Ching...

The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.
The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin of all particular things.
Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.
Yet mystery and manifestations arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness. Darkness within darkness.
The gateway to all understanding.

So, let us compare this to human relationships. When I cease the effort to know you, knowing arises, for you are a spontaneous self-revelation of your mystery. Trying to know you, this blocks knowing you. Both self-revelation and knowing must be in concord: occurring spontaneously. That which is spontaneous cannot be known in any way but spontaneously. Hence, with Life: "Free from desire, you realize the mystery." So, we want to know in the sense of unmediated knowing, not knowing about, which is always indirect; this knowing occurs only through the self-revelation of the Mystery Itself. Therefore, in intimacy with anything, we can move to a conscious intimacy with its and our Source, but only by Grace, the spontaneous self-disclosure of Life Itself. Then arises conscious reverence for and loving of the Source, when before one may have only been intimate with the Source through parts of the Whole. When the Whole is realized through the Whole, one no longer is intimate with Life only through parts, but directly intimate with Life as Life. Again, so with human relationships, we can move to know the wholeness of the other through an aspect of the other, but we long to be wholly known and can be so known only consciously through a spontaneous communion of closeness-with-closeness. In such intimacy with the other, one is intimate with God, Who is Intimacy Itself.

*Video can be accessed on original site via below upper left artist-title...

*(C) Brian Wilcox, 2020.


Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > Spirituality as loving Devotion

©Brian Wilcox 2020