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”

God within

God Within Our Spirits and Souls

“God sees the dwelling and the resting place which He has made within us and through us; namely, the unity and the likeness. And He wills to visit this unity without interruption, with a new coming of His most high birth and with a rich pouring forth of his fathomless love; for he wills to dwell in bliss within the loving spirit. And He wills to visit the likeness of our spirit with rich gifts, so that we become more like unto Him and more enlightened in the virtues. Now it is Christ’s will that we should dwell and abide within the essential unity of our spirit, rich with Zhim above all creaturely works and above all virtues; and that we should dwell actively to that same unity, rich and fulfilled with virtues and heavenly gifts. And He wills that we shall visit that unity and that likeness without interruption, by means of every work which we do; for in every new ‘Now,’ God is born in us, and from this most high birth the Holy Ghost flows forth with all His gifts. Therefore we should go out to meet the gifts of God through the likeness and the most high birth, through the unity.” ~John of Ruysbroeck

God Within Us

The dwelling place and resting place that God has created within us is, of course, the Divine Soul. Ruysbroeck calls it “the unity and the likeness.” Both of those terms describe the human soul and nothing else within us. The soul is part of the Unity because it is spirit, not matter. Because it is spirit, it occupies all space, all time, and is, therefore, part of the Unity. If all spirits occupy all space and all time—and they do—then they must all be part of the Unity. Likewise, being spirit, the soul is the part of us that has the likeness of God because God is also pure spirit. Don’t look for God to have a body similar to ours, because he doesn’t. It is the Divine Soul that is created in His “image and likeness”.

Visit the Unity

I think this may be a mistake in wording or mistranslation of what Ruysbroeck said, or at least meant. I don’t think God wills to visit the unity, He is the unity! God within wills for us to join the unity. Our Divine Souls come from the Unity and are always part of the unity, but if we let them stay dormant within us, we are disconnected from the unity. So the key to visiting the Unity is to awaken our soul from its dormant state. We do that with the light from the Spiritual Sun. God within us is in the soul, not the body. Continue reading “God Within Our Spirits and Souls”

duality in unity

Duality in Unity, Many in One

“There is a principle having intellection of the external and another having self-intellection and thus further removed from duality.

“Even the first mentions is not without an effort towards the pure unity of which it is not so capable. It does actually contain its object, though as something other than itself.

“In the self-intellect, there is not even this distinction of being: self-conversing, the subject is its own object, and thus takes the double form while remaining essentially a unity. The intellection is the more profound for the internal possession of the object.

“This principle in the primal intellect since there can be no intellection without duality in unity. If there is no unity, perceiving principle and perceived object will be different, and the intellection, therefore, not primal: a principle concerned with something external cannot be the primal intellect since it does not process the object as integrally its own as itself; it it does possess the object as itself—the condition of true intellection—the two are one. Thus (in order to primal intellection) there must be a unity in duality, while a pure unity with no counterbalancing duality can have no object for its intellection and ceases to be intellective. In other words, the primal intellective must be at once simple and something else.

“But the surest way of realizing that its nature demands this combination of unity and duality is to proceed upwards from the Soul, where the distinction can be made more dearly since the duality is exhibited more obviously.” ~Plotinus

External Intellection and Self-Intellection

What Plotinus means when he speaks of intellection of the external is awareness of something or someone outside of ourselves. Self-intellection, therefore, means self-awareness. Plotinus says that the intellect of the external does “contain its object,” but sees it as something other than itself. I’m not quite sure what he is trying to say with that statement. Does he mean to say that all things are a part of ourselves and we just think they are external, or does he mean that there is but one intellect, one consciousness, so everything is part of that single unified consciousness and the separation is but illusion? I think it is possible to be separate beings and things, yet connected to the all, like individual bricks that are part of a wall. The structure of nearly everything in the universe seems to have a hierarchy to it including our physical bodies. The galaxy is made of many solar systems, solar systems are made of one or two stars and several planets, etc. One from many, that is the idea of a hierarchical structure.

One and the Same

Maybe these two types of intellect are really just a case of looking at the same thing from different angles. Does it really matter, for example, when we look at a tree if we think of it as a separate being or just a part of ourselves? It shouldn’t, but with some people it does. Many don’t think they are responsible in any way for the welfare of others, but they do care about themselves. But it really shouldn’t make any difference either way. How we treat others is just as important to our own well being as how we treat ourselves. Plotinus goes on to say as much himself. He says the intellect is the subject as well as the object, so essentially a unity. Duality in unity and unity in duality. That’s an idea that won’t make the anti-duality crowd happy, but maybe it should. Continue reading “Duality in Unity, Many in One”

unity of spirit

Unity of Spirit Through Inner and Outer Development

“Now consider diligently how we can acquire and possess the most inward exercise of our spirit in the created light. The man who is well adorned with the most virtues of the outward life, and has risen into nobility and divine peace by inward practices, he possesses the unity of the spirit, enlightened by supernatural wisdom, flowing fourth in generous love toward heaven and earth and lifting itself up by its reverence and its merits, and flowing back into that very ground, the most high Unity of God, from which all things proceed. For each creature, according to whether it has received more or less from God, has more or less of ascending love and inward tendency towards its origin, for God and all His gifts invite us into Him, and through charity and the virtues and resemblance, was designed to enter into Him.

“Through this loving inclination of God, and His inward working to the unity of our spirit, and further through our glowing love and the pressing of all our powers together into the very unity in which God dwells.” ~John of Ruysbroeck

Well Adorned With Virtue

While most people will interpret “virtues” as meaning social things, I think it is spiritual virtues that are meant here. Social virtues like being polite, kind, helpful and so on are all good things. We should all have a virtuous social life. But a virtuous spiritual life is something different.

Spiritual virtue can be summarized in a few words: but the soul first. In other words, when life forces you to choose what is good for the material world, the physical body, the mind, or the soul, the soul should be priority number one. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of the body and mind. You should. But you should always be thinking when you do, “Is this harmful to my spirit and soul”. If the answer is yes, then you should avoid doing those things, if possible. I know that we can’t always do what we want in all circumstances. That doesn’t mean we should just forget the soul and give in to materialism.

Unity of Spirit

Ruysbroeck says that unity of spirit brings us divine peace, enlightenment, and divine wisdom. This is all true. It doesn’t happen overnight, however. And it doesn’t happen all at once. We have to be persistent and patient, and gradually the changes will happen. It is very much worth the time and effort.

Unity of spirit means we are one complete being. Our physical, mental, psychic, and spiritual parts are working together as a whole. Our left hand will know what the right hand is doing. More importantly, the body will know what is good for the soul. So will the mind. But unity of spirit goes beyond that. It also means we are united with other spirits. We are united on a spiritual level with other living people. We are also united with purely spiritual beings like angels. And we are even united with the plants and animals, for they have spirits as well. We are part of spiritual oneness. It even means that we are one with God and the spiritual universe.

Inward and Outward

One thing that so many spiritual students of today miss is made clear in the quote. I put the word “and” in bold print just to emphasize it. So many spiritual students today say that spirituality is all about turning within and totally ignoring everything without. On the other hand, many popular churches of today have become all about what is the outer world and completely ignore the inner. In the quote, Ruysbroeck makes it clear that the successful student develops both.

It is fairly obvious why dealing with the outer world only isn’t the best path. That is the way of the materialist. It is the path of modern science that can only half explain things because they ignore anything spiritual.

It is not so obvious why turning within, and only within, isn’t the solution. Let’s start with what often happens in countries where a large percent of the population starts doing this. Their governments will almost always take advantage of the situation and essentially enslave the population. The people don’t care about their rights or the rights of others, so they are taken away, or limited. They don’t care to get involved in politics, so their governments become corrupt. Or their governments also lose interest and let their enemies overrun them. They ignore international affairs and become (or remain) third-world powers. Now you might say that materialistic, outward-looking governments and nations can be like that also. That is true. Both inward and outward is the key.

Inner and Outer Energy

Another reason is energy. I see on social media group a lot of individuals asking others to send them energy when they are ill or depresses, or otherwise feel they need energy. That alone is looking outside yourself for energy, but only in a small way. The truth is that the absolute best source of energy for us on Earth is the sun. Physical energy from the physical sun, spiritual energy from the spiritual sun. We don’t need to beg others to give us energy. The sun shares it’s energy at all times. That is its job. Why turn elsewhere? But you won’t find much energy by turning within. The energy comes from without. Then it has to be channeled and directed from within. As above, so below; as within, so without. Unity of spirit also means uniting the inner with the outer, and the outer with the inner.