Religion and spirituality : God's love and the soul's perfection
A book excerpt from the spiritandflesh.com religion and spirituality online library.
Ah, how the paradoxes of life exist to deny and also fulfill us, as I found while hovering in suspended animation all those years. What I found is that the self behind the self cares little to be assuaged, or entertained, or encumbered by the exigencies of participating in the manifest; I found that there is a livingness which is made obvious only when the subject falls ambivalently away from the object, and behind that screen of boredom the witness, which refuses to be enticed into, or amused by, the passing artifice, becomes obvious. And so the ego must abate and lay down like a beast of burden confined to its squalid little pen, and the self behind the self must become the focus of consciousness if the wheel of samsara is to be ground to an effortless halt.
In a way one must be tired of life in order to find Life, for the never ending round of creation and destruction is only stopped when the vehicle runs out of gas. And so the stimulations and distractions of modern life only come to create a riot of digression in which the captivated soul flits about like a pinball, hither and thither, and never comes to settle in the ambitionless lethargy of the unbothered and purposeless self behind the self.
It is only through this lack of outreaching, lack of attainment, and lack of care that the undamned flood of gyrating, antecedent energy pours into the awaiting absence of the impoverished, open being; it is through this living, womb-like abyss that the universe spins itself out, funneling into its own spacious accelerator, mixing, swirling, fermenting, and exploding out of both ends of the antipodal cylinder. And so it is through the positionless, directionless, unaspiring host that the influx and outflux intermingle and give balance to each other, while the acolyte of apathy hangs precariously between the two worlds, hovering at the estuary of being and non-being, where only those who have evolved in both the salt and the sulphur can survive. Here the creator and created dissolve from their differences, pattern is shifted, form mutates, and the infinite essence betrays its hidden laughing volition. And this is the shift which turns the soul toward home.
When you have learned to endure this reality, that is when you fall in step- you stop walking in the maelstrom of the mind's apologies, you spit for the last time on the ground, halt short in your tracks, forget the reason you were moving, forget where you were headed, why you were going there, where you are now, and who you are. The earthquake of your life ends softly, and you realize nothing of what you were is you. The mad movements are merely over, the interference has cleared, and the blessed congress of perverse redemption forces you out of the storm. The clouds blow away. The birds begin to sing again. The children come out to play. But nothing really changes. The clarity of your absence negates nothing. You still sleep, and wash, and hope, and wait like before. And yet ...and yet, something has changed. Everything has changed. And that war is over.
It was from that estranged position of absent presence I was chronically basking in while living in the desperate melancholy of the loveless Ivanhoe, that I had an experience which would provide a clear and indisputable sense of a form of love which would make relationship love- although blessed, and beautiful, and one of the most precious gifts we have in life- seem like a surrogate revelation given to us before we are capable of being bequeathed our fullest reward.
What happened was a far stranger event than I had ever imagined. I was in my room, sitting alone on a decrepit mattress, in that sorrow-soaked building, listening to the mad shouts and grunts of patrons entering and exiting the bar below, and at some point during the evening I must have totally switched off, that is about all I can say- I left, and in walked God's love, filling an absence I did not even know I had. It was as if there existed a tunnel running through me all of the sudden; in fact, there was no me, only the tunnel, and the incredible, healing, accepting, connecting, and redemptive flow of divine love was rushing through me and emanating out onto earth, and I knew without a doubt- in the unquestionable clarity of such a blessing- that this was a miracle that could heal the agony of loneliness and separation which was so prevalent in the substratum of every human life.
There was an immense feeling of ease and tranquility accompanying this love, and I saw that if I could continue allowing this to happen through me, I could then walk through the world casting the grace of God's love wherever I pointed my hollow attention. All the while this was happening I was doing nothing, it was just happening, and I couldn't understand how; I had no idea of the way in which it came about, nor how to prolong it. It was beyond my reason, and filling the room, and I was mentally trying to understand the process- how was I, who had never felt such transcendental power from this type of divine union, and who, without choice, had become an empty channel through which this love was now pouring into my vacant room- how was this benediction possible, and how was I to further its happening?
The love went on for quite a while, and I contemplated and received it, and my brain could make no headway as to what I was doing, or what I had to do, to allow this love to wash through me perpetually. And then, as the wonderful feeling of the invasion of God's love was fading out, an answer came to me about how it would come again, if ever it did- an answer which made no logical sense but which I knew was the answer- the only way in which it was possible for me to become an empty conduit of divine love; and that answer, which spoke unequivocally to me back then, was simply: "Be yourself!"
Ah, but of course, it suddenly made sense. All I had to do was deny nothing, repress nothing, be ashamed of nothing, and the clog in the conduit would be washed away and nothing would remain to block the flow.
Looking back I get the sense that I was being given a lesson at this time- a brief experience of what I was not at that period of my formative existence capable of fully attaining, but what was certainly a goal worth striving towards.
I see now that Divine Love was visited unto me back then, at a time when I felt as far away from it as ever I have been. It was as if I had to get to the furthest end of the anode in order for the cathode to discharge its load and force me back into equilibrium.
And now all that was required of me was to actualize the divine fiat- to be myself. Ah but what a task this would turn out to be.
(excerpted from In and Of: memoirs of a mystic journey, by Jack Haas)