The Key

Riding Through the Light, Canon Beach, Oregon, Taken by Barry Cosme, Copyright (c) 2007, All Rights Reserved

I can look at the world as I usually do or I can look at it differently/newly.  I have been thinking about the idea of God as a lens through which we can view the world (mentioned in my last post).  What more instructive and revelatory view could I choose than that of God?   Suddenly it was clear to me that this is about consciously choosing, about deciding.  The fundamental key to unity with God, is the decision to be like God and even to “be” God. 

Certainly we can break this down into some of the related aspects of this unity, the essential aspects of loving God and loving like God.  We can think about the perfection, or the culmination, of Faith.  Such reflections as this may all be helpful, yet this can also provide an excuse to build a long runway between where I am and where I want to be, where I believe I should be.

At is core, miracle-readiness (miracle-mindedness) is a choice (a decision) for a different state than the one in which I have perceived myself.  Not surprisingly, decision is also central to transformation, Christ consciousness and the New.  I am attracted to the simplicity of this answer.  I AM simply a chooser, a decider, and what I choose as valuable is a reflection of what I AM.  Best of all, a decision need not necessarily take any time at all; it can happen in an instant.  That’s potentially a very short runway and that is part of what makes it miraculous!

To be in relationship to God, to be in union with God, to be God… in each case I need only choose God.  By choosing God, I AM in relationship, union and being with Him/Her.  Such thought, such choice, such decision and the motivation of love behind them are prayer in its most basic form.  Choosing God is to some degree or another always an act of love, even of devotion or worship.

However, it has been revealed to me (time and again I must confess) that I can choose God now and then the next moment I may drift to something else.  Such a wandering mind doesn’t say much for my commitment in such instances!  There is not much value in love which only lasts for a moment.  This is where determination, discipline and practice come into play.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 Paul instructs the church members to, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing”.  Similarly, the choice/prayer/devotion I just spoke about is most powerful when it is unceasing.  When we choose God in each moment, we remain in continuous relationship and union with Him without wavering or drifting away.  Such continuity is another aspect of being like Him.

A miraculous instant (a glimpse of Heaven) is like the Pearl of Great Price, yet of how much greater value is of a string of such pearls?  When we consistently string together one moment after another of love, we are being like, and being in union with, our eternally faithful God.  He/She strings together a precious eternity filled with such love and union.

Some Conclusions

Gentle Pink Water Lilly, Giverny, France, by Barry Cosme, Copyright (c) 2016, All Rights Reserved

As we come to understand divine unity, we see that God is not outside of us, not something other than us and it thus seems more natural to accept that at our deepest level God’s will is our own.  God’s will is not that of another (an other) but is instead the will or our real-self.  It is not a will from outside forced upon us.  It is internal, indeed it is from our center, the very essence of our being.

We see beauty and value in the world of things, relationships and activities.  If we understand ourselves and the world to be separate from God, we can find our love for the world to be a false idol.  Yet when we see the value and attractiveness of the world as a reflection of the divinity of God, all things, all people and all activities can be a means to communion and unity.

Jesus’ first commandment to us was, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).  In response to this commandment, St. John of the Cross (San Juan de la Cruz) and St. Teresa of Avila taught that, to achieve union with God we must give up everything else and that this can involve great affliction, suffering and loss (Dark Night of the Soul).  Sensible as it might seem that, to love one more (God), we must love others less.  Yet, there is a contradiction between this teaching and its objective.  Despite all their brilliant and insightful work, this teaching presumes as true our everyday experience that we, the world, others and God are all separate entities existing independent of each other.  Based upon this presumption we must choose God over all else.  Yet their goal was unity with God and the point of unity is oneness.  That which is truly one, or unified, is whole.  By definition that which is whole (unified) cannot also be fragmented and still remain whole.  Similarly, that which is truly united, cannot be divided and yet retain unity.  It is ultimately as illogical to seek unity through separation as it is to seek love through hatred.  Thus, we don’t choose God instead of all else, we must choose God as the lens to properly view ourselves, the world and others as all united.

In all fairness, this concept was not completely absent in their teachings, it is more a difference of focus or emphasis.  To embrace God, we do need to release our fixations upon ourselves, the body, materialism and dysfunctional relationships.  Saint John of the Cross also rightly extend this list to include detaching from spiritual icons and practices, once we have learned what we can from these.  In the end, the only bridge between ourselves and unity with God must be ourselves and God.  All else will eventually hinder us in this journey without distance.