“Now we will speak further of the fourth manner of the coming of Christ, uplifting and perfecting a man by inward exercise in the lower part of his being.
“When the sun … enters the sign which is called Virgo, … men began to gather in the those ripe and lasting fruits which can be kept and consumed long afterwards. … In this season, all the work of the sun is perfected and fulfilled.
“So likewise, When Christ the glorious Sun has risen to the zenith in a man’s heart. …
“Now when Christ thus hides Himself, and withdraws the brightness of His shining, … then the man begins to complain. … Sometimes these unhappy men are also deprived of their earthly goods, of friends, of kinsmen; … and at times they fall into sickness, … and some into bodily temptations; or that which is worst of all, temptations of the spirit. … This is the utmost point at which a man can hold his ground without falling into despair.” ~John of Ruysbroeck
When Ruysbroeck says that Christ comes into man for “uplifting and perfecting,” he means the Christ Light of the spiritual sun. It is this light which awakens our dormant spiritual faculties. Once awakened, the spirit and the soul seek further enlightenment, which is really just remembering what they were before The Fall. This “uplifting” may be thought of as raising man’s frequencies closer to those of spiritual beings to make it possible for man to communicate with those higher dimensions. The “perfecting” part is the cleaning out from the body and mind old beliefs and concepts that kept us trapped in the low frequencies of the worlds of matter.
Ruysbroeck is telling us that we should gather our fruit when ripe and have a supply available for winter. This is partly a reminder that things happen in cycles. We must be aware of the cycles and work with them rather than against them. In a growth period, we should seek to grow in spiritual strength. When the cycle shifts, we should seek to hold on to what we have gained. Uplifting man does little good if during the down side of a cycle he lets it all get away.
He is also telling us that we should take in more spiritual energy than we need at that moment. When we do our techniques at dawn, we need enough spiritual light to last he day. But we also need to be careful not to get too carried away with taking in excess light. Too much light can result in headaches and irritability That is why we are advised to share some of that light by sending it out to others. That way we don’t get overloaded.
When Christ Hides
I don’t think Christ ever actually hides from us. The Christ power or light may be withheld from us, however. This is usually because we have misused it in some way, not because Christ is testing us as Ruysbroeck seems to imply. It is just as in this period, when the Light of the Sun of Righteousness is shining down upon us, only a few are using that light for spiritual awakening. Uplifting Man may be it’s purpose, but it only does so with those who are ready for it. It has no effect on those who are not ready to change, or simply can’t change. Between those two types are the people who are ready, but don’t know it yet. They will receive enough Light to get them to start seeking more until they achieve a true awakening.
still. Ruysbroeck makes a good point when he says those who find themselves deprived of health, friends, material goods, and so on should not give up and turn away from the Light. That is exactly what the devils and demons who do those things to us want! If they fail to keep us captive with temptations, they will try punishing us for turning against them. When we find they are doing that, rejoice, for it means we are on the right path. Then turn back to the Light and, like Jesus, tell them, “Ge thee behind me”.