“Now mark how, in each of our works, we shall go out to meet God, and shall increase our likeness unto Him, and shall more nobly possess the fruitive unity. By every good work, how small soever it be, which is directed to God with love and with an upright and single intention, we earn a greater likeness, and eternal life in God. A single intention draws together the scattered powers into the unity of the spirit, and joins the spirit to God. A single intention is end, and beginning, and adornment, of all virtues. It offers to God praise and honor and all virtues, and it pierces and passes through itself, and all the heavens, and all things, and finds God within the simple ground of its own being. The intention is single which aims only at God and in all things only at their connection with God. The single intention casts out hypocrisy and duplicity and a man must possess it and practice it in all his works above all other things, for it is this which keeps man in the presence of God, clear in understanding, diligent in virtue, and free from outward fear, both now and in the day of Doom.” ~John of Ruysbroeck
When Ruysbroeck says we should “go out to meet God,” he isn’t talking about literally moving, but a mental and spiritual moving. He means that in the things we do, we need to think of how doing them serves God. And when they don’t directly serve God, they should at least serve Man in a way that God would want them to. What that means is not always obvious. There are those who are fond of saying “What would Jesus Do?” but in most cases, they have no idea what the answer to that question is. You can’t get the answer from your local preacher or from your brain. The only way to truly know what God wants you to do is to awaken your spirit and soul. Only the soul knows spiritual things, therefore, only the soul knows God and what God wants. We might occasionally guess correctly without awakening the soul, but the only sure way to get it right is to go through the awakening process.
You might think that fruitive unity has something to do with being fruitful, and it can mean that. In this case, however, I think the other definition of “fruitive” applies. It means possessing unity or enjoying unity. But unity can mean many things. Unity with what, or who? Unity with a frog or a tree doesn’t matter. Even unity within your material family is not particularly significant. The fruitive unity Ruysbroeck is talking about is unity with God. That is the only unity that allows you to “meet God” in all that you do. It is the only unity that brings, over time, a complete knowledge of the spiritual realms known as Gnosis. Fruitive unity allows Gnosis to happen. Continue reading “Fruitive Unity With God and the Universe”