“God has created the highest heaven, a pure and simple Radiance, which enrings and encloses all the heavens and all bodily and material things. …. It is an outward dwelling-place and a kingdom of God and His saints, full of glory and eternal joy. Now since this heaven is an unmingled Radiance, there is here neither time, nor space, nor movement, nor any change; for it is unmovable and unchangeable above all things. The sphere which is nearest to this glowing heaven is called the First Movement. For here all movement arises from the highest heaven, by the Power of God. From this movement the firmament and all planets derive their courses. And through it, all creatures live and grow, each according to its kind.
“Now understand this well: so likewise the essence of the soul is a ghostly kingdom of God, full of Divine Radiance transcending all our powers, except they be in that simplified state of which I will not speak now. Behold, in regard to the essence of the soul, wherein God reigns, the unity of our spirit is like in the First Movement; for in this unity, the spirit is moved from above by the power of God.” ~John of Ruysbroeck
God did create the highest heaven. He created the other heavens as well, if you think of the spiritual dimensions as being heavens. And this highest heaven does indeed have great radiance. In fact, this heaven is pure light, nothing else. This is, of course, a spiritual light. Spiritual light is not the same as physical light, although the two are related.
When the prophet Malachi wrote about the coming age of the Sun of Righteousness, he said this sun would shine seven times brighter than the normal sun. Physical science tells us that would be a very bad thing. If the sun became seven times brighter, it would burn up the Earth and everything on it. Fortunately, that is not what Malachi meant. He was talking about the spiritual sun, not the physical. The spiritual sun is linked to, and fed by, that highest heaven. More of that heavenly radiance is being sent into our spiritual sun. That is making the spiritual sun brighter and brighter until it will be seven times as bright as before.
The physical sun will not be seven times brighter, but it will be affected. Scientists already know that certain types of radiation coming from the sun have increased in recent decades. They don’t know why. They say it has no connection with global warming. They are wrong about that. The important thing is that the heavenly radiance reaching us through our spiritual sun is helping people awaken to their spiritual self. At the very least, it is making many people aware of the Great Illusion of matter, even before they are truly awakened.
Neither Time nor Space
Ruysbroeck says this highest heaven has no time or space. It has no movement and no change. All of that is true. This highest heaven is also called “the Godhead”. It is the place where God is totally united.
The next dimension below this one is the first one where change and movement can happen. Still, this level has no time or space. Some would say that there can be no movement without time and space. It is possible, however, to have a kind of movement that exists purely on a spiritual level. This is the highest level in which beings other than God can exist. I have covered dimensions more thoroughly in previous posts, so I won’t dig into that here. If you wish to read more about the dimensions, click here.
Ruysbroeck says this heavenly radiance of the highest heaven is unmingled. By that, he means that this dimension is one of pure light. It has no darkness at all. Not ten percent dark. Not one percent dark. It isn’t even one tenth of one percent dark. It is all light. That is what we need to return to.
Some people argue that spirituality is about accepting darkness as well as light. In a sense they are correct. But only in a sense. We have to acknowledge that darkness exists. We should not hide from it. Neither should we embrace it. We know it exists, but part of the work of spiritual people is to get rid of the darkness. Not by destroying it, but by helping God to transform it into light.
Ruysbroeck says the human soul is “ a ghostly kingdom of God.” This seems to us to be a strange thing to say. We think of a ghost as something dead, and the soul is not dead. The soul is eternal. It cannot die.
What he is saying is that the soul is a pale reflection of that heavenly radiance of the highest heaven. This is made clearer when he says that it is full of divine radiance that transcend all our powers. It transcends all our Earthly powers, for spirit, being eternal, has far more power than anything physical. It may not seem that way when you have not awakened those spiritual faculties, but it is. We can know that even on the level of matter by looking at what effect an awakened soul has on people. Jesus, Buddha and St. Francis of Assisi are good examples of those changed and made far more powerful by the heavenly radiance.