blowing in the wind

Blowing in the Wind: Deeds and Plans of Fools

Blowing In the Wind

“Our deeds are as thistledown launched upon the wind. We know not whence the winds of chance will bear them, or whether they will take root or be borne away, as though they never were. Our works are as edifices of mud built upon the river banks, which are swept away by the rising waters. The one certain thing in life is change.

“Men make plans. They are as naught, they are as words written on the waters, as commands given to the winds. Wise is he who knows the Plans of God, for to them the whole Earth conforms.

“Men cry out at the tribulations of life, not knowing that by adversity alone can they find their souls. They say ‘Why are we beset with trial and tribulation?’ for they cannot understand the contest. They say, ‘Why must we seek and never find?” knowing not that life is naught but a search and at the end man can discover nothing except man.

“O Man, gaze well upon the Earth. See, it is not by its nature a place of labor and not a garden of pleasure, or a panderer to your weaknesses? Truth is found in the Book of Life, but it may be understood just by degrees. For who among men receiving the whole would not be overwhelmed or destroyed?” ~The Kolbrin Bible (MAN:12:1-4)

Thistledown in the Wind

Many of us are not familiar with thistledown, but we are familiar with dandelions and their down, and that is an equivalent. We know how dandelion down can blow all over in the slightest breeze. As children, we probably delighted in blowing the down off a dandelion head and watching it float away. But what the Kolbrin Bible is talking about here is a more negative kind of blowing in the wind.

When plants like thistle and dandelion produce down, they want it to blow around. It is how they propagate and spread. Those bits of fluff each have a tiny seed attached to it and where it lands, a new plant will likely grow. But when the plans and deeds of men blow away in the wind, literally or figuratively, it is generally not a good thing, especially to the person whose deed or plan it was.

If you spent years building a house as close to your dreams as the building technology allowed, only to have it torn apart in a tornado, you will not be happy. In fact, many have become so depressed under such circumstances that they commit suicide. A less dramatic, but still difficult, example is the person who spent several years in a college or trade school studying a specific trade that they liked and that paid well, only to find soon after graduation that new technology has made that skill obsolete. Another form of seeing your life blowing in the wind like thistledown. Continue reading “Blowing in the Wind: Deeds and Plans of Fools”

passive love

Passive Love and the Reign of God

“The commencement of the reign of God, and of the passive way, is very highly relished by the soul. The soul passes days, and even years, separated from creature enjoyments without weariness. It advances very much more by this way, in little time, then by all the efforts of many years. It is not without faults and imperfections, but divine love diminishes them little by little, or does not permit the soul to become disturbed by them, lest it become discouraged and its love hindered. This state is called passive love. The soul sees no cause for fear; it supposes that all the work is done, and that it has only to pass into eternity, and to enjoy this good Sovereign, who already gives himself to the soul in so much fullness.

“But in the upward progress of the soul, it becomes no longer doubtful, whether the soul is to remain in the passive enjoyment of God and his communications. The soul begins to feel a drawing, to let God not only be all things to the soul, but there to reign separate from the soul’s enjoyment of his gifts. The soul now experiences what is called, by the author of the Imitation of Christ, the exile of the heart. It hears a voice in the depth of the soul, or rather, has an impression, that God reigns there alone.” ~Madam Guyon

Reign of God

Most of us who believe in God would say that God reigns now and always. But while that is true in general, there is an exception of sorts. That exception is the material universe that we live in. Since this realm was not created by God, but by the fallen angels called the Demiurge by Gnostics, God avoids it to a large degree. This realm is ruled by the Devil or demiurge, but with limits. God will not let him go too far in his nastiness with those he controls but doesn’t stop him completely. God is basically saying that if we choose to embrace the darkness, what the darkness does to us is our own problem. Though as I already said, He won’t let the demons go too far.

Think of it in regard to this allegory. Suppose you are a parent of a teenager. Your child is fascinated by tales of vampires. When he finds out that your new neighbor is a vampire, he starts visiting the place and wants to spend much time with the vampire. You, of course, are worried that one day, the vampire will kill him. So what do you do? Why you tell your child to stay away from the vampire, of course. You don’t threaten the vampire, you warn the child to avoid him. That is what God does with regard to the fallen realm of matter. He tells us to return to His realm of spirit, but few are listening. That is not entirely our fault. As we have sunk deeper and deeper into matter, it becomes harder and harder for us to hear that call from above.

But what Madam Guyon is talking about when she refers to “The commencement of the reign of God,” is that one day this realm will become spirit again and then God will reign here as elsewhere. Continue reading “Passive Love and the Reign of God”

God is love

God is Love, Wisdom, and Truth

“We say, God is Love, God is Wisdom, and God is Truth. In other words, Love, Wisdom, and Truth comprise the three fundamental things through which God is manifested. Between Love, Wisdom, and Truth, nothing else can get in. If you have Love, if you have Wisdom, if you have Truth, they are the only reality that you can count on. Nothing can get in among them, nothing can split them. You can build with them now everywhere. Wherever you go, they do not lose their value, their power, and their good. And they never lose their fairness and justice.

“We are seeking that Love, that Wisdom, that power in the world that must rejuvenate us, that must resurrect us, to bring us back to life, to make us smart, good,and strong, that’s what we seek.

“Everything that we have lost so far we can find in only three ways: through the road of Love, the road of Wisdom, and the Road of Truth. Those are the ways.

“What is the meaning of life? The meaning of life is the Truth. Then comes the question, ‘what is the Truth?’ That which connects us all things in one unity and gives them meaning, that is the Truth.” ~Beinsa Douno

God is Love

I think it is more precise to say that God is the source of Love, but saying that God is Love is close enough. God is the source of Love because God created all that is real, all that is good, and naturally loves all that he created. Still, like any parent, He can be displeased with our behavior even though He loves us. Many think that if we say that God is Love, we are saying that God has infinite tolerance for our behavior and would never punish us for doing wrong. In a sense, that may be true, but that is only because God doesn’t have to punish us, he has created a universe in which His Law is automatically enforced. For every action, there is a reaction. God doesn’t have to think, “Wow! Fred just jumped off of a cliff! Now I will have to make him fall!” It just happens because of gravity. Granted, the physical world is not the creation of God, yet the laws that govern it are similar since it was generated from the spiritual realms that God did create. So God is Love, but He is also Law and Order. Continue reading “God is Love, Wisdom, and Truth”

fruitive unity

Fruitive Unity With God and the Universe

“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

Meet God

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.

Fruitive Unity

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”