I have to thank one of my friends (you know who you are), who sent me a message on Facebook with their personal musings on the nature of the Divine. This friend’s brilliant insights provided the inspiration for today’s blog. These shared insights illuminated my friend’s willingness to set aside convention, personal bias and societal norms and simply be open to how the Divine might reveal itself to him in a very intimate and personal way. It stuck me as obvious that my friend has fully embraced the contemplative life and it was through this commitment that he was able to see beyond our conditioned images of the Divine to experience something vastly more infinite. Congratulations!
Talk about the nature of the Divine can be risky business in our world today. As is the nature of humanity, ever seeing the world through the lens of perceived separation, God is often thought of as existing in some heavenly kingdom, “in a galaxy far far away,” unattainable in our human state. We then take this perception a step further, and go about creating a God in our own image. Applying our experience of the human condition and our human relationships onto God, we image God as judgemental, fickle, jealous, coveteous and wrathful. It is our job to earn God’s approval so that when we die we might get an opportunity to see God in heaven….or at the very least make it to purgatory where we can pay our debt for the evils committed in our human life. While these images of the Divine may support the needs of some, the spiritual journey invites us to examine these closely for their source. Is this the truth of the nature of the Divine and how God wishes to reveal God’s self, or is this the creation of our limited human perception.
The contemplative path challenges us to explore this question more deeply. Who is God really and what is our relationship to this Divine Source? Through active as well as receptive contemplation, we allow ourselves to be open to the possibility that we do not know everything there is to know about God. We risk the loss of our perceived surety and allow ourselves to be open to an infinitely deeper and more profound understanding of God and as a result a more intimate understanding of our own truth. In the contemplative path, there is no end to this process. Understanding the infinite and vast nature of the Divine, we cease our attempts to define and categorize and simply rest in the wonder and awe of the infinite revelation of God. From this perspective, the Divine never ceases to reveal itself in more awesome and wonderful ways.
So the invitation today is to simply be open. Can we be open to allowing God to pierce through our limited human perceptions to reveal something more infinitely wonderful? Can we take the risk of setting aside what we thought we knew so that the truth can be more fully revealed in each and every moment? Can we sit in awe-filled wonder at a Divine that defies limitation and bask in the ever expanding nature of God? Can we?