by Ted Meisner
Recently, we shared with you our understanding concerning the difference between living a life according to the Law and living a life in unity with the Holy Spirit and her Gifts. Those of you who read it probably experienced all kinds of feelings, both good and bad. It was not an easy article to read, mostly because we Christians in general haven’t experienced much of the loving presence of the Holy Spirit within. May we share some more ideas that may help in your understanding of this wonderful mystery of Divine Love.
Dr. Kornfield, in his book After the Ecstasy, the Laundry, quotes Eduardo Galeano saying:
The church says: The body is a sin.
Science says: The body is a machine.
Advertising says: The body is a business.
The Body says: I am a fiesta.
This passage lays before us our basic problem. People in general live as though the body is separate from our inner self, and that both are separate from everyone else. For the most part we acquire our self-identity from the things outside of our inner self, maintaining at the same time our separation from one another so that we can continue to possess whatever, especially, that which we used to create our self-identity. Knowingly or unknowingly, we have accepted separation as an underlying principle in all existence.
All this has been so strongly imbued within us that we have even attributed the same to our God. We “see” Him up there in the heavens, separated from us “down here,” always outside of ourselves. We see ourselves as having to make homage of worship to Him “up there” and amendsfor our transgressions since He keeps tab of how we behave and is ready to punish us when we fail, at least until we repent. Because of our sinfulness He is always separate from us. We say that this choice of separation comes from both sides, we from Him and He from us.
As a result of this attitude our living primarily by the Law seems natural to us since the Law by its very nature separates us one from the other. It separates those of us who are “good” from those of us who are “bad,” those who “have” and those who “have not.” It doesn’t matter which comes first because both the attitude and the Law reinforce each other. But this is not the truth concerning the nature of God and ourselves.
None of us will deny that our God is totally infinite. Yet, at the same moment, we accept all the separation described above concerning Him without comment. We don’t even see the fallacy in this thinking.
The truth is that when we acknowledge that God is infinite, then, we, and all of creation, must therefore exist within God. That means that God is not out there somewhere. Rather, it means, and only means, that both He and we are totally within each other. It cannot be any other way. We are one.
Our Heavenly Father said to Neale Walsch in Conversations with God that we are an individualized point of His very Essence. We cannot deny that either. If nothing can exist outside of Him, then it is true that all things that exist are also made of His very Essence. It cannot be otherwise since nothing can be made of something outside of His Essence which is infinite.
This means that the same mystery that exists within the Trinity exists within each of us. Just as in the one and only Essence of God there are Three distinct and individually different Persons in the Trinity so also in the same one and only Essence of God there are also distinct and individually different human persons. We all are individual and yet only One.
The Father is not the Son or the Holy Spirit, and yet the Three share the same Essence and therefore they are One. So also, you are not I and I am not you, and yet all of us share the same Divine Essence and therefore we are all One. There is no other possibility. Nothing can exist outside of God’s Divine Essence because our God is totally infinite and omnipresent. However, as “persons” there is one difference that must be acknowledged: the Three Divine Persons were never created, whereas we as persons are.
This means that since we all are of the same Divine Essence there is no separation ever between us and our Beloved Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They are always present in us. It also means that since They are total Unconditional Love by their very essence as God, then their very presence in us is one of total Unconditional Love. There is no way that God can put conditions on Their Love for us. To do so would be to not accept his own “body,” his own Essence. Our body, like all of creation, is His Essence. He, as God, cannot conditionally love any part of Himself.
Consequently, when we adopt the attitude that our Beloved Father, Son and Holy Spirit are separate from us, and live accordingly, we are not living in the truth. And when we live primarily by the Law, be it the Law of the Old Testament or that of the church, we keep ourselves bound up in that mental conflict of separation. The unfortunate outcome is that we have blocked our growth in Divine Unconditional Love.
When we live with this attitude, we cling to our need to share our love with conditions, conditions between us and our body, between all of us, and between us and God. Conditional love of its very nature maintains the separation flowing from the Law and our cultural attitude until it is transformed into unconditional love by our awareness of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us.
Perhaps now we can better understand Galeano’s words concerning the body. We human and dark spirit beings continue to create our problems in life when we live by that which separates us. We find ourselves using one another for our own ends, either to increase our possessions or to better establish over others our superior self-identity. Neither the Law nor separation of itself can awaken in us the life of Divine Love no matter how much we obey its demands. It simply does not have the power to do so.
The Christian mystic, Symeon, wrote that we are to “Awaken in Christ’s body as Christ awakens in ours.” Notice that the verb awakening implies that our God already dwells within us, the christedone. We in Him and He in us. We are already one, united together. Always have been and always will be. However, in this world, such awareness of being christed is not immediately visible to us and that is why we need to awaken ourselves within so that we can see the Divine Lover who dwells within us, or we need to allow Him to awaken us to His wonderful compassionate unconditional love that is already within. The later usually happens with a crisis in our life.
Thomas Merton said it this way: “Life is this simple: We are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and the Divine is shining through it all the time. This is not just a nice story or a fable. It is true.” We only need to open our eyes and look within ourselves and around us to see and experience that we are truly One with our Beloved Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
In order to do that, we need to face the fear of being their Unconditional Love. That is the same fear experienced by all married couples and religious men and women dedicated to God. We all fear being completely annihilated by the Other/other if we truly open to their Unconditional Love. We instinctively know that such a Love is so powerful that it could totally absorb our body in every part of it.
That experience I know. Several years ago Our Father embraced me with an experience of His Unconditional Love that was so powerful that I froze in fear. I was absolutely sure that the experience of such tremendous pleasure had to be or would lead me to sin. In order to avoid such a sin, I withdrew from my body and took no part in what was happening to it. In other words, I could not accept my body as a fiesta, even from the hands of our Heavenly Father who was loving me, as I realized later, in my totality, my whole body, soul and spirit. That’s the problem of all of us living on this earth, living our life in union with every part of our body, in union with others and with our Beloved God.
The truth that will set us free dwells in our awakening to Unconditional Divine Love! And that truth dwells in the very being of each of us. It does not dwell only in our head and intellect where basically concepts dwell. Love dwells in our hearts as persons.
The Unconditional Divine Love that dwells in our whole personal being can and will unveil the original darkness that keeps us from being aware that we are united as One within ourselves, with our God and with all of creation! We are all One because God is One.
Our bodies are beautiful gifts from our Heavenly Father and Holy Spirit which They created in its totality, sharing it with joy! When we awaken to their constant presence in every part of it, then we will know our bodies as a fiesta, a Divine Fiesta!
That, beloved Brothers and Sisters, is what our resurrection from the dead promises us: our resurrection from death to our egoistical desires that separate us from God and others, and then finally our actual physical resurrection from our physical death that takes place on the Last Day. Death, no matter what type of death, is never the end. It is only the beginning of a new life.
This is the living of a true Christian life, a Life that is powered by the Divine Essence of the Holy Spirit and Her Gifts, especially Her Gift of Unconditional Love. We are truly a Divine Fiesta!