touch of God

Touch of God Awakens the Soul

Touch of God

“Understand this well: when we turn within ourselves in contemplation, the fruitive unity of God is like to a darkness, a somewhat which is unconditioned and incomprehensible. And the spirit turns inward through love and through simplicity of intention, because it is active in all virtues, offering itself up in fruition above all virtues. In this loving introversion, there arises the seventh gift, which is the spirit of Savoring Wisdom, and it saturates the simplicity of our spirit, soul , and body, with wisdom and with ghostly savors. And it is a ghostly touch or stirring within the unity of our spirit; and it is an inpouring and a source of all grace, all gifts, and all virtues. And, in this Touch of God, each person savors their exercise and life according to the power of the Touch and the measure of His love. And this Divine stirring is the inmost mediator between God and ourselves, between rest and activity, between the conditioned and the unconditioned, between eternity and time. And God would that this ghostly touching within us first of all, before all gifts; and yet it is known and tasted by us least of all. For only when we have lovingly sought God in all our practices eve to the inwards deeps of our ground, do we fist feel the gushing in of all the graces and gifts of God.” ~John of Ruysbroeck

Turn Within

Yes, we must turn within ourselves, but that doesn’t mean all answers are found within and nothing outside of us matters. We need both the within and the without. Those who pay attention only to the world within are no better off that those who only deal with the external world.

Unity of God

I have to say that I don’t like Ruysbroeck’s choice of words when he says the unity of God is like darkness. What he means is that it is something that cannot be known by the mind, the intellect. God is present, but unknown because we are trying to communicate with Him using the physical senses. God can only be comprehended through the spiritual senses, which must first be awakened. Otherwise, we stay in ignorance of God, and that is what Ruysbroeck means by darkness, in this case. To feel the Touch of God, we have to awaken our spiritual faculties. Continue reading “Touch of God Awakens the Soul”

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ship of God

Ship of God on a Stormy Sea

THE SHIP OF GOD

“Deep companion of the beings of light! In your mercy, give me your strength and help me with your own hand. Dress my soul, O Lord, and speak to me. Help me when enemies close in. … Beneficent friend, free me. My soul is crying in my body at every blow and dagger stab. My hour of life and this form in flesh is over, and all its days of turbulence. … Springs of darkness opened, and the giant fishes transfixed me with fear. My soul fainted before those dreadful forms, hideous to look at. Their bodies lack a human shape. These are the demons, the banished princes, transfixing me with terror. … They rose to drown me. In every neighborhood there were storm winds. Rain, the mist of all fogs, lightning and drums of thunder, shores of clouds, hail, crashing sea. The skiff rose over the crest of a wave and glided into a hidden trough. … With the drownings the sails swallowed water, and the masts shook together in the turmoil. The rudders dropped into the sea. Those left on board turned to stone. Redemption became a habit. From every source the wind blew the prison locks loose. Stars whirled wildly about, planets fell out of orbit. The earth shuddered, as did my foundation. Lofty heavens sank. … The wheel of the zodiac lost its course. The seal of my feet and joints of my toes, every link of my soul’s life was loosened. Each joint of my hands and fingers was loosened and its seal taken off. Their meaty life grew feeble. My limbs fell cold. My knees froze together in fear. In my legs the strength was struck and drained away. When I saw the dark, the strength in my limbs collapsed, and my soul moaned at all its opposing forms. Who will save me? Who will save me; make a new way? … Who will rip off this body and dress me in a new one? After I spoke with trembling soul I saw the savior.
“After I spoke with trembling soul I saw the savior and saw his helmsmen, who came down to dress my soul. I raised my eyes that way and saw deaths hidden by the envoy. Hurt was remote. So too sickness and distress. Their vision left, their darkness fled. Everything was holy and unsurpassed. Light shone elating and lovely, swelling my mind with gladness.” ~Parthian Songs

Ship of God?

This Parthian Manichean song is titled The Ship of God, yet when you read the first part of it, you would think it is more like the ship of Satan. In fact, it almost seems that the first part of the song is talking about a completely different ship than the final section. In truth, there is no ship at all, it is pure allegory. The allegory could represent the material world or the human soul. Both interpretations seem to work. This might be better titled Ship of God on the Sea of Satan.

Ship of God in a Storm

So the song starts with the singer being caught on the Ship of God in a raging storm and asking for help from a spiritual being that he calls a “companion of the beings of light.” Beings of Light is another name for Angels. So he is asking for help from the companion of Angels. Why he doesn’t simply ask God is unknown. Perhaps it is just his way of reminding the listeners that they too can become companions of Angels and be free from the storm of matter. Continue reading “Ship of God on a Stormy Sea”

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as we sow

As We Sow, As We Live

As We Sow

“When you build, build as forever and your fame shall be sung among the great in the Everlasting Halls.

“He who has done you one good turn will be more ready to do you another than will the one to whom you have done a good turn. …

“There are men who live for themselves alone, and their souls are smothered in the deadly winding sheet of selfishness. There is no greater loneliness than that of a man who lives for himself alone. …

“Consider the petty man, his deeds are mean and his manner servile, his heart shakes in a small breast. … He is spiteful and malicious like a snake, he crawls in the dust, ever ready to strike. … He gossips and prattles like an idle woman and men look down upon him, for his ways are those of a half-man. His pettiness is an irritation to all. … He has no friends and men visit him for naught but their own benefit. His mind is occupied with matters of small moment, and bigger undertakings overwhelm him. The deeds of greater men he cannon understand and therefore derides them.

“Consider the vulgar man, his voice is loud, and his words bawdy. Like the ass, he laughs without understanding. His tongue rattles in his head. … In his ignorance, he pushes himself forward when he should remain behind. …

“Consider the man of no account, he is improvident and wasteful. He speaks of his own importance but deceives none but himself and the foolish. The man of no account walks the marketplace to buy a stone.

“Without merit himself, he appeals to the deeds of his forefathers for credit. What good is it to the blind man that his father could see? …

“He who establishes his reputation upon that of another erects a building without foundation. The ass of Pharaoh is still an ass. A worthless man does worthless things. His death removes an encumbrance from the Earth.” ~The Kolbrin Bible (MAN:15:2-19)

Build For Eternity

There is a famous story of a wealthy man hiring a carpenter to build him a home. The wealthy man is doing a favor for the carpenter who is approaching retirement, but the carpenter doesn’t know it. So he decides to cut corners and build with shoddy materials and workmanship. The finished home looks great, but won’t last. When the carpenter tells the wealthy man that the house is done, the wealthy man thanks him and then says, “I had this house built for a friend who deserves it.” He then hands the keys back to the carpenter saying, “The house is yours”. The carpenter is pleased but then disappointed because he knows it’s a shoddy house. The moral of this tale is that we are all building our own home, making our own clothes, cooking our own food, or whatever other things we do. That is because our deeds and very thoughts set an example that others follow. If we decide to build a shoddy house for the wealthy man to make more profit, the shoemaker will sell us shoddy shoes, and the grocer will sell us low-quality meat and vegetables. as we sow, so we reap. So always build the house for eternity, for your soul is an eternal being. While the quote doesn’t say it, the man who builds the shoddy house is a greedy man. This paragraph goes on to discuss many otter types of less-than-ideal humans. Continue reading “As We Sow, As We Live”

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life is hard

Life is Hard for Good Reason

“Even though life is hard, even though it is sometimes difficult to smile, we have to try. Just as when we wish each other, ‘Good morning,’ it must be a real ‘Good morning.’ Recently, one friend asked me, ‘How can I force myself to smile when I am filled with sorrow? It isn’t natural.’ I told her she must be able to smile to her sorrow, because we are more than our sorrow. A human being is like a television set with millions of channels. If we turn the Buddha on, we are the Buddha. If we turn sorrow on, we are sprrow. If we turn a smile on, we really are the smile. We cannot let just one channel dominate us. We have the seed of everything in us, and we have to seize the situation in our hand, to recover our own sovereignty.

“When we sit down peacefully, breathing and smiling, with awareness, we are our true selves, we have sovereignty over ourselves. When we open ourselves up to a TV program, we let ourselves be invaded by the program. Sometimes it is a good program, but often it is just noisy. … Even if our nervous system suffers, we don’t have the courage to stand up and turn it off,because if we do that, we will have to return to ourselves.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Life is Hard

Yes, life is hard. But as the song says, “I never promised you a rose garden”. Life on Earth, life in the material world is rarely, if ever, always pleasant. That is actually a good thing. If life here was always great, we would have no desire, no incentive, to seek a better life, a life of spirit. But even though life is hard, we can’t let it get us down and keep us gloomy all the time. We have to seek reasons to smile, reasons to have joy. So yes, life is hard, but you don’t have to be hard. Life is full of sorrows, but you don’t have to be trapped in sorrow. Continue reading “Life is Hard for Good Reason”

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