Not a mopping being…
… just a mopping experience
since this July,
with no end in sight,
for no reward but the
of our community debt
that had been growing
be asked to start
blessing through me
–me seemingly just toiling
outside closed apartment doors–
people who had been feeling higher
on the crumbling social ladder
by judging others
all these blessed
having human experiences
in a state of constant prayer.
Three years online today
Glowing with gratitude for
all our heavenly and earthly friends
💜 💜 💜
💜 💜 💜
This privative alpha
explains why we are here,
whatfrom our liberation.
Language, Myth, Truth are indeed one,
leading us home, back to One.
The goddess Lethe leads back
to Aletheia, our natural divine state,
only after we traverse Hades the Unseen,
to one of whose five rivers Lethe gave her name.
was born by Eris,
goddess of strife and discord,
who had been born by Nyx, goddess of night.
gave birth to discord,
who could not but bear forth oblivion.
Before we shed a mortal garment
and get presented with the prospect
of entering a new one,
let us Remember:
No authentic nurturers of Light
guide us to embodiment agreements
based on past pain, unfulfilled desires,
responsibility for deeds we did not commit.
Breaking the parasite-feeding cycle
is in God’s hands working through us.
All forgetfulness dissolves
when we allow Divine Wisdom
to awaken our inherent sacred sovereignty,
freeing our powerful souls to the Truth.
This is what Τruth, Αλήθεια means:
the end of forgetfulness, the recovering
from Λήθη’s memory-wiping waters;
of our Divine Essence.
Leon of SolitaryThinkers From Hades to Light, November 2016
“From Lethe’s waters when I drink
I may forget the joy of our Being
but there’s no doubt I’ll see again
the love we are can have no end”
Part of the lyrics of a new traditional masterpiece composed and performed by Σταύρος Σιόλας, poetically translated here by me. Thank you beloveds for fighting the good fight with us; Truth always prevails. Enjoy the unconcealed otherworldliness of our incarnational illusion in Της Άρνης το Nερό:
We do not struggle for ourselves, nor for our race, not even for humanity.
We do not struggle for Earth, nor for ideas. All these are the precious yet provisional stairs of our ascending God, and they crumble away as soon as he steps upon them in his ascent.
In the smallest lightning flash of our lives, we feel all of God treading upon us, and suddenly we understand: if we all desire it intensely, if we organize all the visible and invisible powers of Earth and fling them upward, if we all battle together like fellow combatants eternally vigilant – then the Universe might possibly be saved.
It is not God who will save us – it is we who will save God, by battling, by creating, and by transmuting matter into spirit.
– Nikos Kazantzakis
through Leon of SolitaryThinkers
Complementary post: T O I M M O R T A L I T Y
∞ blessings beloveds
As sublime as the following essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Evanthia Reboutsika‘s music above is the ideal accompaniment to reading it. To living it. Reading it without skipping a word, living it fully like it is impossible to be skipping moments of our blessed lives, enjoying it like we would never consider leaving out as redundant even one note of a magnificent orchestral piece.
Words here are the notes. Ideas, the instruments. Emerson is the conductor. The composer, Divinity. Enjoy the symphony of Love.
My chosen title for this post, “The soul may be trusted”, will make perfect sense by its conclusion, as will my older image-poem at the end.
On our sacred paths of remembrance, the pathless paths of experienced progression from personal to all-encompassing love, Dear Ones, let us always be aware of heaven’s abundantly available support and guidance.
Essay V from Essays: First Series (1841)
by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Every promise of the soul has innumerable fulfilments. Nature, uncontainable, flowing, forelooking, in the first sentiment of kindness anticipates already a benevolence which shall lose all particular regards in its general light. The introduction to this felicity is in a private and tender relation of one to one, which is the enchantment of human life; which, like a certain divine rage and enthusiasm, seizes on man at one period, and works a revolution in his mind and body; unites him to his race, pledges him to the domestic and civic relations, carries him with new sympathy into nature, enhances the power of the senses, opens the imagination, adds to his character heroic and sacred attributes, establishes marriage, and gives permanence to human society.
The natural association of the sentiment of love with the heyday of the blood seems to require, that in order to portray it in vivid tints, which every youth and maid should confess to be true to their throbbing experience, one must not be too old. The delicious fancies of youth reject the least savour of a mature philosophy, as chilling with age and pedantry their purple bloom. And, therefore, I know I incur the imputation of unnecessary hardness and stoicism from those who compose the Court and Parliament of Love. But from these formidable censors I shall appeal to my seniors. For it is to be considered that this passion of which we speak, though it begin with the young, yet forsakes not the old, or rather suffers no one who is truly its servant to grow old, but makes the aged participators of it, not less than the tender maiden, though in a different and nobler sort. For it is a fire that, kindling its first embers in the narrow nook of a private bosom, caught from a wandering spark out of another private heart, glows and enlarges until it warms and beams upon multitudes of men and women, upon the universal heart of all, and so lights up the whole world and all nature with its generous flames. It matters not, therefore, whether we attempt to describe the passion at twenty, at thirty, or at eighty years. He who paints it at the first period will lose some of its later, he who paints it at the last, some of its earlier traits. Only it is to be hoped that, by patience and the Muses’ aid, we may attain to that inward view of the law, which shall describe a truth ever young and beautiful, so central that it shall commend itself to the eye, at whatever angle beholden.
And the first condition is, that we must leave a too close and lingering adherence to facts, and study the sentiment as it appeared in hope and not in history. For each man sees his own life defaced and disfigured, as the life of man is not, to his imagination. Each man sees over his own experience a certain stain of error, whilst that of other men looks fair and ideal. Let any man go back to those delicious relations which make the beauty of his life, which have given him sincerest instruction and nourishment, he will shrink and moan. Alas! I know not why, but infinite compunctions embitter in mature life the remembrances of budding joy, and cover every beloved name. Every thing is beautiful seen from the point of the intellect, or as truth. But all is sour, if seen as experience. Details are melancholy; the plan is seemly and noble. In the actual world — the painful kingdom of time and place — dwell care, and canker, and fear. With thought, with the ideal, is immortal hilarity, the rose of joy. Round it all the Muses sing. But grief cleaves to names, and persons, and the partial interests of to-day and yesterday.
The strong bent of nature is seen in the proportion which this topic of personal relations usurps in the conversation of society. What do we wish to know of any worthy person so much, as how he has sped in the history of this sentiment? What books in the circulating libraries circulate? How we glow over these novels of passion, when the story is told with any spark of truth and nature! And what fastens attention, in the intercourse of life, like any passage betraying affection between two parties? Perhaps we never saw them before, and never shall meet them again. But we see them exchange a glance, or betray a deep emotion, and we are no longer strangers. We understand them, and take the warmest interest in the development of the romance. All mankind love a lover. The earliest demonstrations of complacency and kindness are nature’s most winning pictures. It is the dawn of civility and grace in the coarse and rustic. The rude village boy teases the girls about the school-house door; — but to-day he comes running into the entry, and meets one fair child disposing her satchel; he holds her books to help her, and instantly it seems to him as if she removed herself from him infinitely, and was a sacred precinct. Among the throng of girls he runs rudely enough, but one alone distances him; and these two little neighbours, that were so close just now, have learned to respect each other’s personality. Or who can avert his eyes from the engaging, half-artful, half-artless ways of school-girls who go into the country shops to buy a skein of silk or a sheet of paper, and talk half an hour about nothing with the broad-faced, good-natured shop-boy. In the village they are on a perfect equality, which love delights in, and without any coquetry the happy, affectionate nature of woman flows out in this pretty gossip. The girls may have little beauty, yet plainly do they establish between them and the good boy the most agreeable, confiding relations, what with their fun and their earnest, about Edgar, and Jonas, and Almira, and who was invited to the party, and who danced at the dancing-school, and when the singing-school would begin, and other nothings concerning which the parties cooed. By and by that boy wants a wife, and very truly and heartily will he know where to find a sincere and sweet mate, without any risk such as Milton deplores as incident to scholars and great men.
I have been told, that in some public discourses of mine my reverence for the intellect has made me unjustly cold to the personal relations. But now I almost shrink at the remembrance of such disparaging words. For persons are love’s world, and the coldest philosopher cannot recount the debt of the young soul wandering here in nature to the power of love, without being tempted to unsay, as treasonable to nature, aught derogatory to the social instincts. For, though the celestial rapture falling out of heaven seizes only upon those of tender age, and although a beauty overpowering all analysis or comparison, and putting us quite beside ourselves, we can seldom see after thirty years, yet the remembrance of these visions outlasts all other remembrances, and is a wreath of flowers on the oldest brows. But here is a strange fact; it may seem to many men, in revising their experience, that they have no fairer page in their life’s book than the delicious memory of some passages wherein affection contrived to give a witchcraft surpassing the deep attraction of its own truth to a parcel of accidental and trivial circumstances. In looking backward, they may find that several things which were not the charm have more reality to this groping memory than the charm itself which embalmed them. But be our experience in particulars what it may, no man ever forgot the visitations of that power to his heart and brain, which created all things new; which was the dawn in him of music, poetry, and art; which made the face of nature radiant with purple light, the morning and the night varied enchantments; when a single tone of one voice could make the heart bound, and the most trivial circumstance associated with one form is put in the amber of memory; when he became all eye when one was present, and all memory when one was gone; when the youth becomes a watcher of windows, and studious of a glove, a veil, a ribbon, or the wheels of a carriage; when no place is too solitary, and none too silent, for him who has richer company and sweeter conversation in his new thoughts, than any old friends, though best and purest, can give him; for the figures, the motions, the words of the beloved object are not like other images written in water, but, as Plutarch said, “enamelled in fire,” and make the study of midnight.
“Thou art not gone being gone, where’er thou art,
Thou leav’st in him thy watchful eyes, in him thy loving heart.”
In the noon and the afternoon of life we still throb at the recollection of days when happiness was not happy enough, but must be drugged with the relish of pain and fear; for he touched the secret of the matter, who said of love, —
“All other pleasures are not worth its pains”;
and when the day was not long enough, but the night, too, must be consumed in keen recollections; when the head boiled all night on the pillow with the generous deed it resolved on; when the moonlight was a pleasing fever, and the stars were letters, and the flowers ciphers, and the air was coined into song; when all business seemed an impertinence, and all the men and women running to and fro in the streets, mere pictures.
The passion rebuilds the world for the youth. It makes all things alive and significant. Nature grows conscious. Every bird on the boughs of the tree sings now to his heart and soul. The notes are almost articulate. The clouds have faces as he looks on them. The trees of the forest, the waving grass, and the peeping flowers have grown intelligent; and he almost fears to trust them with the secret which they seem to invite. Yet nature soothes and sympathizes. In the green solitude he finds a dearer home than with men.
“Fountain-heads and pathless groves,
Places which pale passion loves,
Moonlight walks, when all the fowls
Are safely housed, save bats and owls,
A midnight bell, a passing groan, —
These are the sounds we feed upon.”
Behold there in the wood the fine madman! He is a palace of sweet sounds and sights; he dilates; he is twice a man; he walks with arms akimbo; he soliloquizes; he accosts the grass and the trees; he feels the blood of the violet, the clover, and the lily in his veins; and he talks with the brook that wets his foot.
The heats that have opened his perceptions of natural beauty have made him love music and verse. It is a fact often observed, that men have written good verses under the inspiration of passion, who cannot write well under any other circumstances.
The like force has the passion over all his nature. It expands the sentiment; it makes the clown gentle, and gives the coward heart. Into the most pitiful and abject it will infuse a heart and courage to defy the world, so only it have the countenance of the beloved object. In giving him to another, it still more gives him to himself. He is a new man, with new perceptions, new and keener purposes, and a religious solemnity of character and aims. He does not longer appertain to his family and society; _he_ is somewhat; _he_ is a person; _he_ is a soul.
And here let us examine a little nearer the nature of that influence which is thus potent over the human youth. Beauty, whose revelation to man we now celebrate, welcome as the sun wherever it pleases to shine, which pleases everybody with it and with themselves, seems sufficient to itself. The lover cannot paint his maiden to his fancy poor and solitary. Like a tree in flower, so much soft, budding, informing loveliness is society for itself, and she teaches his eye why Beauty was pictured with Loves and Graces attending her steps. Her existence makes the world rich. Though she extrudes all other persons from his attention as cheap and unworthy, she indemnifies him by carrying out her own being into somewhat impersonal, large, mundane, so that the maiden stands to him for a representative of all select things and virtues. For that reason, the lover never sees personal resemblances in his mistress to her kindred or to others. His friends find in her a likeness to her mother, or her sisters, or to persons not of her blood. The lover sees no resemblance except to summer evenings and diamond mornings, to rainbows and the song of birds.
The ancients called beauty the flowering of virtue. Who can analyze the nameless charm which glances from one and another face and form? We are touched with emotions of tenderness and complacency, but we cannot find whereat this dainty emotion, this wandering gleam, points. It is destroyed for the imagination by any attempt to refer it to organization. Nor does it point to any relations of friendship or love known and described in society, but, as it seems to me, to a quite other and unattainable sphere, to relations of transcendent delicacy and sweetness, to what roses and violets hint and fore-show. We cannot approach beauty. Its nature is like opaline doves’-neck lustres, hovering and evanescent. Herein it resembles the most excellent things, which all have this rainbow character, defying all attempts at appropriation and use. What else did Jean Paul Richter signify, when he said to music, “Away! away! thou speakest to me of things which in all my endless life I have not found, and shall not find.” The same fluency may be observed in every work of the plastic arts. The statue is then beautiful when it begins to be incomprehensible, when it is passing out of criticism, and can no longer be defined by compass and measuring-wand, but demands an active imagination to go with it, and to say what it is in the act of doing. The god or hero of the sculptor is always represented in a transition _from_ that which is representable to the senses, _to_ that which is not. Then first it ceases to be a stone. The same remark holds of painting. And of poetry, the success is not attained when it lulls and satisfies, but when it astonishes and fires us with new endeavours after the unattainable. Concerning it, Landor inquires “whether it is not to be referred to some purer state of sensation and existence.”
In like manner, personal beauty is then first charming and itself, when it dissatisfies us with any end; when it becomes a story without an end; when it suggests gleams and visions, and not earthly satisfactions; when it makes the beholder feel his unworthiness; when he cannot feel his right to it, though he were Caesar; he cannot feel more right to it than to the firmament and the splendors of a sunset.
Hence arose the saying, “If I love you, what is that to you?” We say so, because we feel that what we love is not in your will, but above it. It is not you, but your radiance. It is that which you know not in yourself, and can never know.
This agrees well with that high philosophy of Beauty which the ancient writers delighted in; for they said that the soul of man, embodied here on earth, went roaming up and down in quest of that other world of its own, out of which it came into this, but was soon stupefied by the light of the natural sun, and unable to see any other objects than those of this world, which are but shadows of real things. Therefore, the Deity sends the glory of youth before the soul, that it may avail itself of beautiful bodies as aids to its recollection of the celestial good and fair; and the man beholding such a person in the female sex runs to her, and finds the highest joy in contemplating the form, movement, and intelligence of this person, because it suggests to him the presence of that which indeed is within the beauty, and the cause of the beauty.
If, however, from too much conversing with material objects, the soul was gross, and misplaced its satisfaction in the body, it reaped nothing but sorrow; body being unable to fulfil the promise which beauty holds out; but if, accepting the hint of these visions and suggestions which beauty makes to his mind, the soul passes through the body, and falls to admire strokes of character, and the lovers contemplate one another in their discourses and their actions, then they pass to the true palace of beauty, more and more inflame their love of it, and by this love extinguishing the base affection, as the sun puts out the fire by shining on the hearth, they become pure and hallowed. By conversation with that which is in itself excellent, magnanimous, lowly, and just, the lover comes to a warmer love of these nobilities, and a quicker apprehension of them. Then he passes from loving them in one to loving them in all, and so is the one beautiful soul only the door through which he enters to the society of all true and pure souls. In the particular society of his mate, he attains a clearer sight of any spot, any taint, which her beauty has contracted from this world, and is able to point it out, and this with mutual joy that they are now able, without offence, to indicate blemishes and hindrances in each other, and give to each all help and comfort in curing the same. And, beholding in many souls the traits of the divine beauty, and separating in each soul that which is divine from the taint which it has contracted in the world, the lover ascends to the highest beauty, to the love and knowledge of the Divinity, by steps on this ladder of created souls.
Somewhat like this have the truly wise told us of love in all ages. The doctrine is not old, nor is it new. If Plato, Plutarch, and Apuleius taught it, so have Petrarch, Angelo, and Milton. It awaits a truer unfolding in opposition and rebuke to that subterranean prudence which presides at marriages with words that take hold of the upper world, whilst one eye is prowling in the cellar, so that its gravest discourse has a savor of hams and powdering-tubs. Worst, when this sensualism intrudes into the education of young women, and withers the hope and affection of human nature, by teaching that marriage signifies nothing but a housewife’s thrift, and that woman’s life has no other aim.
But this dream of love, though beautiful, is only one scene in our play. In the procession of the soul from within outward, it enlarges its circles ever, like the pebble thrown into the pond, or the light proceeding from an orb. The rays of the soul alight first on things nearest, on every utensil and toy, on nurses and domestics, on the house, and yard, and passengers, on the circle of household acquaintance, on politics, and geography, and history. But things are ever grouping themselves according to higher or more interior laws. Neighbourhood, size, numbers, habits, persons, lose by degrees their power over us. Cause and effect, real affinities, the longing for harmony between the soul and the circumstance, the progressive, idealizing instinct, predominate later, and the step backward from the higher to the lower relations is impossible. Thus even love, which is the deification of persons, must become more impersonal every day. Of this at first it gives no hint. Little think the youth and maiden who are glancing at each other across crowded rooms, with eyes so full of mutual intelligence, of the precious fruit long hereafter to proceed from this new, quite external stimulus. The work of vegetation begins first in the irritability of the bark and leaf-buds. From exchanging glances, they advance to acts of courtesy, of gallantry, then to fiery passion, to plighting troth, and marriage. Passion beholds its object as a perfect unit. The soul is wholly embodied, and the body is wholly ensouled.
“Her pure and eloquent blood
Spoke in her cheeks, and so distinctly wrought,
That one might almost say her body thought.”
Romeo, if dead, should be cut up into little stars to make the heavens fine. Life, with this pair, has no other aim, asks no more, than Juliet, — than Romeo. Night, day, studies, talents, kingdoms, religion, are all contained in this form full of soul, in this soul which is all form. The lovers delight in endearments, in avowals of love, in comparisons of their regards. When alone, they solace themselves with the remembered image of the other. Does that other see the same star, the same melting cloud, read the same book, feel the same emotion, that now delight me? They try and weigh their affection, and, adding up costly advantages, friends, opportunities, properties, exult in discovering that willingly, joyfully, they would give all as a ransom for the beautiful, the beloved head, not one hair of which shall be harmed. But the lot of humanity is on these children. Danger, sorrow, and pain arrive to them, as to all. Love prays. It makes covenants with Eternal Power in behalf of this dear mate. The union which is thus effected, and which adds a new value to every atom in nature, for it transmutes every thread throughout the whole web of relation into a golden ray, and bathes the soul in a new and sweeter element, is yet a temporary state. Not always can flowers, pearls, poetry, protestations, nor even home in another heart, content the awful soul that dwells in clay. It arouses itself at last from these endearments, as toys, and puts on the harness, and aspires to vast and universal aims. The soul which is in the soul of each, craving a perfect beatitude, detects incongruities, defects, and disproportion in the behaviour of the other. Hence arise surprise, expostulation, and pain. Yet that which drew them to each other was signs of loveliness, signs of virtue; and these virtues are there, however eclipsed. They appear and reappear, and continue to attract; but the regard changes, quits the sign, and attaches to the substance. This repairs the wounded affection. Meantime, as life wears on, it proves a game of permutation and combination of all possible positions of the parties, to employ all the resources of each, and acquaint each with the strength and weakness of the other. For it is the nature and end of this relation, that they should represent the human race to each other. All that is in the world, which is or ought to be known, is cunningly wrought into the texture of man, of woman.
“The person love does to us fit,
Like manna, has the taste of all in it.”
The world rolls; the circumstances vary every hour. The angels that inhabit this temple of the body appear at the windows, and the gnomes and vices also. By all the virtues they are united. If there be virtue, all the vices are known as such; they confess and flee. Their once flaming regard is sobered by time in either breast, and, losing in violence what it gains in extent, it becomes a thorough good understanding. They resign each other, without complaint, to the good offices which man and woman are severally appointed to discharge in time, and exchange the passion which once could not lose sight of its object, for a cheerful, disengaged furtherance, whether present or absent, of each other’s designs. At last they discover that all which at first drew them together,— those once sacred features, that magical play of charms, — was deciduous, had a prospective end, like the scaffolding by which the house was built; and the purification of the intellect and the heart, from year to year, is the real marriage, foreseen and prepared from the first, and wholly above their consciousness. Looking at these aims with which two persons, a man and a woman, so variously and correlatively gifted, are shut up in one house to spend in the nuptial society forty or fifty years, I do not wonder at the emphasis with which the heart prophesies this crisis from early infancy, at the profuse beauty with which the instincts deck the nuptial bower, and nature, and intellect, and art emulate each other in the gifts and the melody they bring to the epithalamium.
Thus are we put in training for a love which knows not sex, nor person, nor partiality, but which seeks virtue and wisdom everywhere, to the end of increasing virtue and wisdom. We are by nature observers, and thereby learners. That is our permanent state. But we are often made to feel that our affections are but tents of a night. Though slowly and with pain, the objects of the affections change, as the objects of thought do. There are moments when the affections rule and absorb the man, and make his happiness dependent on a person or persons. But in health the mind is presently seen again, — its overarching vault, bright with galaxies of immutable lights, and the warm loves and fears that swept over us as clouds, must lose their finite character and blend with God, to attain their own perfection. But we need not fear that we can lose any thing by the progress of the soul. The soul may be trusted to the end. That which is so beautiful and attractive as these relations must be succeeded and supplanted only by what is more beautiful, and so on for ever.
Mysticism is not an escape from the responsibilities and pressures of life. The Sufi master Bhai Sahib descrihed mystical life as “to bear the heat and burden of the day.” We have to learn to live the life of the soul, which itself is embodied in this world of form. The life of the soul embraces the two worlds, the outer dimension of time and space, and the timelessness of the eternal moment. As a mystic you stand with “both feet ﬁrmly on the ground and with your head you support the sky.” This is why mystical life is so demanding and why it is only for responsible men and women.
For many of us there comes a time when there seems to be no way forward, no way that echoes what we value or aspire to. This is the moment when we need to step aside from the stream of the collective, when we need to allow ourselves to become confused and lost.
For those who have the courage to become lost, a silent metamorphosis begins to take place. While our conditioned values tell us we need to know where we are going, the wayfarer begins to walk a different path – one that leads away from form and deﬁnitions towards the undeﬁned and unexplored. If we step with both feet into this space of not knowing, a real hope can then surface. This is not the hope of a better future, not the hope born in patterns of time, but a hope that belongs to the rhythm of the soul, to the real becoming of ourself.
At this time those who want to make the journey leave behind the shore, while others stay close to the land, within the seeming security of the known. This is when mystical life becomes a lived possibility. when we can make the transition from a tangible world to one based upon the intangible sweetness of God’s love for us. For each of us this moment of transition will be different, and yet underneath it is the same because we are turning from our life to God’s life. We begin the great adventure, the search for what is real amidst the illusions of the world.
Taking this step is frightening. The wayfarer must leave behind everything she knows about her world. The sense of abandonment and loneliness can be overwhelming, and one must be strong and determined. But once you have seen through the collective bargaining of life, the mad rush of buying and selling that we have come to call progress, then a different picture can form. As in Plato’s story of the cave, you step away from the shadows falling on the wall, and see beyond the entrance of the cave to where sunlight is reflected on the water. Then you can know the real laughter and joy of being alive for God’s sake. In this moment something else is born, a quality of being and becoming that belongs to the soul.
If we base our life and sense of purpose upon the ego, then we will be left with the shifting shadows of its illusory self. This is one of the oldest philosophical truths that has been engraved into the foundation of so many cultures before our own. The ego is an illusion and so its perception of life, its values and goals, are based upon an illusion. Yet today we have become experts at building upon this sand, forgetting the primal truth of the flow of the tide, and the storms that build up out at sea, the unexpected hurricanes that wash everything away.
Those who have the courage to lose what others consider precious can leave behind these shifting foundations. They can step into the hinterland of their own soul, and begin to take responsibility for what is really theirs. The responsibility of the soul takes us where we can never imagine, into both terror and beauty. And it allows us to reclaim what our culture has lost, the wonder of what it means to belong to God.
For those interested in spiritual life, worldly challenges hold little interest. Instead, they are called to use their gift of consciousncss to praise and honor God who gave them this gift, whose divine spark they carry within their heart. ln order to praise God more fully, these individuals are drawn into religious or spiritual lives. Through the teachings and practices of the path, through prayer and devotion, they are able to purify themselves so that they can worship God more completely, so that their spiritual aspirations can become less obstructed by worldly desires or by instinctual drives. The work of puriﬁcation helps us become more accessible to divine love, so that we can listen more attentively to God’s voice and be more sensitive to divine guidance.
Much of religious or spiritual life is a process of puriﬁcation, whether this is done through exercise, chanting, fasting, or prayer. The more the practitioner works upon herself, the more she has access to her spiritual nature, the part of her that looks towards God. Gradually more and more of her consciousness becomes accessible to spiritual purposes; she is able to use more of this divine gift for its higher purpose: to praise and witness God. This work is a lifetime‘s struggle, a continuing process of puriﬁcation, and the individual is constantly challenged by conﬂicting feelings and thoughts, by the desires of the ego and the pull of her own lower nature.
Today much of the process of puriﬁcation takes the form of psychological work: confronting and integrating the shadow and other conﬂicting aspects of our psyche. Finding our faults is not just a process of separating the light from the dark, but also of integrating our darkness. For each of us it means taking upon ourselves the responsibility of being human. As we are taken into the realm of our own complexities, the price of self-knowledge is always more responsibility. We have to become responsible for our own darkness, for our own pain and lack of self-worth.
Slowly, gradually, the effort is rewarded; light is found in the darkness and it becomes easier and easier to look towards God. The religious or spiritual life becomes all-embracing as the individual is drawn more completely into the circle of remembrance. Divine love shines then more directly into our lives; the path of the soul is more visible. Those who remember, look towards God and come to know how much they are loved and supported in all aspects of their lives, in every moment of every day.
Puriﬁcation is an essential aspect of spiritual life and religious life. Yet one of the distinguishing features of this work of preparation is that it remains focused on the transformation of the seeker herself. While the seeker might use her own effort to free herself from old patterns and offer herself in service, the mystic knows that real transformation can happen only through His grace. Only through His grace can something open within the heart, can the path become visible. Without His grace we remain locked in the prison of the ego, in the illusions of our own self. Progressing through predominantly linear and often predictable stages, the process of puriﬁcation brings the seeker along the spiritual path towards the goals speciﬁc to her spiritual system. Much of contemporary spirituality that centers on personal development and transformation uses models of puriﬁcation as the basis of its approach. lt is here that real mysticism is distinguished from spirituality, as the mystical journey is never about the mystic.
For the lover of God, puriﬁcation is only preparation, part of the work that takes us to the arena of love. The real mystical journey is what happens when we lose ourselves, when we become absorbed in God. Within the circle of divine love, there is no path and no wayfarer, just a deepening absorption, a dissolving into what cannot be named. Here, the mystical truth that “there is no dervish, or if there is a dervish that dervish is not there” becomes a lived reality.
The mystical journey belongs to love, and not to any practices of purification. Having drunk the wine of divine intoxication “before the creation of the vine,” the mystic is born into this circle of love. She carries its hidden imprint as a scar within the heart. For the mystic there is neither the safety of a journey of spiritual ascent nor the certainty of redemption; there is neither paradise nor purgatory. The lover of God is not interested in personal salvation or enlightenment. Rather, she is destined to live a passion that has no boundaries, only the all-consuming nature of divine love.
That the mystical journey is not about the wayfarer, or leads to the death of the wayfarer, is so alien to our culture of self-identiﬁcation as to be almost incomprehensible. Consequently, mysticism is generally misunderstood in the West. Even contemporary spiritual traditions more often than not confuse the work of preparation and puriﬁcation with real mysticism. Spiritual traditions that have ﬂourished in the West, have simply given Western values of individuality and progress a spiritual twist. Replacing material with spiritual well-being has placed spirituality ﬁrmly within our collective horizon. We have been given a spiritual rather than material dream to pursue. This may have made spirituality more accessible to a Western culture, but has done nothing to support a true mystical orientation.
Our culture is so addicted to achievement, to progress, and the siren of success, that we seem unable to escape this fantasy. We imagine that spiritual practices and techniques will free us from the limitations of our ego–self, not realizing that the images of progress and goals that we project onto our new-found spiritual stage belong to the ego. No longer focusing on a better material life, we aspire towards spiritual goals, not realizing that we have just recreated a different form of self-interest. Is the enlightenment or inner peace we seek fundamentally different from the American dream of prosperity? Are we not just becoming slaves to another god or demon, another illusion? Sadly we do not recognize how easily we can lose the thread of our soul’s devotion in the mirage of conditioned spirituality.
How can we reclaim mysticism from the clutter and confusion of our contemporary spiritual marketplace? How can we discern the true freedom of our soul, the freedom in which everything is given, from the promises and practices of personal liberation? The mystic who has given herself to love knows what is beyond the borders of culture and conditioning. She inhabits a region of the soul where love and service are given freely and there is neither striving nor achievement. Living a relationship of oneness, she recognizes that the deepest longing of her heart belongs not to herself but to her Beloved.
Those who belong to this “brotherhood of migrants who keep watch on the world and for the world”, live without leaving traces, and are usually unrecognizable. In the outer world they are part of the crowd, playing their part, indistinguishable and unnoticed. Yet they hold the keys to the inner world, to the dimension of the soul and the real freedom that belongs to love. Belonging neither to this world nor to the next, they are the servants of love and carry the wisdom that comes from a commitment to love.
Unattached to form or structure, God’s lovers flow with the need of the time. wear the clothing and follow the outer customs of their environment. But inwardly they belong only to love, and are the guardians of the ways of love. Since the beginning of time they have played their part in the world, keeping open the gates of love and ensuring that divine grace ﬂows freely into God’s creation. Because they belong only to their Beloved, and seek neither material nor spiritual gain, they can do this work. Empty of intention, they are a part of the will and ways of their Beloved.
There is a need for the ways of love to be reclaimed and made conscious, for the hidden ways of devotion and mystical belonging to be made known. In their simplicity and ordinariness, those who belong to God have remained hidden. enabling them to pursue their work of devotion and remembrance without interference. But underneath our present collective clamoring for spirituality there is a hunger for what is Real; there is a longing for pathways unpolluted by the conditioning of self-interest. God’s lovers hold the keys of these pathways in their heart, and can read the signs that lead seekers to the truth.
I created much of the above synthesis
during intervals of watching
the following video.
As a composer and pianist at heart,
a global Greek and quite Scorpionic myself,
I’ve always soared with Yanni’s soul expression.
Thanks also to his synastry at work with his violinist,
this live performance sweeps the audience off their feet.
In this illusion of time, may we be awakening to
more and more joyful Divine Love
Until The Last Moment: