Reflect on the truth of that sentence for a while. Said differently, it is painful, for example, to come into a realization that you have been living a lie and doing harm through using that lie as a basis for life decisions. Realizing that truth is brutal but it liberates you to then act from truth. Like what? They have an active consciousness. They feel gratitude for human kindness and horror at human cruelty. They are terrified to be hunted down and mourn the loss of their young.
Birds communicate through bird song messages of fear about the loss of the trees and the trees note through a subtle vibration that their own community is seriously diseased.
One Soul's Journey, a Mystic's Way Home.
This time, the fear of your fellow creatures — their fear — has imprinted into your heart. You have felt it, realized it, become one with it. They have reached out to you in some mystical way. The pain of it nearly crushes the life and breath out of you. Days — no, weeks — are required for you to recover. Your world looks the same, but nothing is the same.
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You feel as if every tree is looking at you where once it was you looking at the tree. Are you going mad? You cannot help but wonder this. Then you think that you will go mad unless you find a way to respond, to contain a truth so unimaginable but so real. You could easily go mad on this path.
You realize it now. As Muktanada said, you cannot undo this realization. If you stop, you most certainly will go from madness to insanity. Pickup not available. Add to List. Add to Registry. About This Item We aim to show you accurate product information. Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it.
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The purifying action of God in the midst of such trials is seen as much today as in John's time, and his counsels hold sway in the twenty-first century, as they did in the sixteenth. Having followed the mystical path so far, the contemplative now enters into the unitive way. The deep and searing desire for union with God leads the devotee to the permanent state of spiritual marriage which is the 'highest state attainable in this life' SC12, 8.
This is illustrated by means of the resurrection myth, which is a ' … summons to, and assurance of, new resurrection life for the disciple, wherein guilt, alienation, hostility and meaninglessness are transcended by deliverance, reconciliation, love and faith' Gualtieri Finitude is transcended, and the deeper and richest levels of the personality come to light and freedom.
The higher realms of consciousness are realised and the self is transformed and remade. This increase of strength enables the mystic to cope with often extraordinary and demanding circumstances which previously would have seemed insurmountable. Now, however, because of the inflowing life that is greater than that of the individual, there is, in alchemic terminology, a transmutation of the salt, sulphur and mercury of the personality into spiritual gold. The mystic is now in a state of abiding peace and emotional equilibrium, totally absorbed in the Divine.
Such 'transformation in love occurs in this life; transformation in glory belongs to the life after this life' Waaijman Transformation in love is a sketch of what is to come. That is possible only when this life is relinquished in death' Waaijman The state of spiritual marriage in John's doctrine effects greater psychological harmonisation and integration than the previous states. Doohan delineates the effects of this union: inter alia , mutual rejoicing; peace; virtues; constancy; disinterest in whatever is not of God; seven degrees of this union; mutual surrender between God and the spouse; value of this loving union; growth in virtue; and longing for eternal union in the transformation of eternal life.
Whereas previously there were periods of alternation between the presence and absence of God, the unitive stage is characterised by a certain permanent substantial union. The new self glows love everywhere. John loved the metaphor of fire to describe this dissemination of love: ' … love is never idle, it is always emitting flames everywhere like a blazing fire' LF 1,8. The new self is the individual who has crossed oceans of delight, to realize that at each moment one's life is ultimately lived within the mysterious Other we call God'.
Perrin Partaking directly in the divine nature, the mystic is deified , or transformed in God. This is not to be confused with loss of differentiation, annihilation of the self and equality with the deity, but rather a sharing in the divine life, to the extent that the individual is an expression of divinity. According to Howells :. The soul now understands itself as Christlike, that is, within the 'loving activity' of the Holy Spirit which is shared by the Father and the Son' and virtuous works proceed seamlessly from the interior union, as they did from Christ's own union with the Father.
Howells The fact that the individual has faithfully followed the mystical path and reached the sublime state of spiritual marriage does not mean that this is the end of the journey and that all that remains is to bask in glory. This is far from the case. Mystical marriage leads to spiritual fruition and necessitates a return to the world, and an increase of activity cf.
Teilhard de Chardin The material universe … has produced us as creatures of reflection and action, and this creaturely nature mediates to us the presence of the mystical milieu. At the same time, we contribute to the ongoing creation of the universe and of Christ's body through our activity of creating or building.
Hefner The history of mysticism is replete with examples, inter alia , Teresa of Avila who, when more than 50 years of age, embarked on the reform of the Carmelite order; or Catherine of Siena who after a period of intense withdrawal, dominated the political scene of her time, are well known.
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Thus, there is an increase in creative good works which often unite compassion with political insight, pragmatic concerns, and economic progress. The goal of mysticism is. The person who has passed through all the stages of mystical development no longer distinguishes between sacred and secular, church and stable, cloister and world, prayer and work, action and passivity, suffering and joy.
To such a person, everything is holy … Jager Whilst this loving transformation is, as noted above the highest degree of perfection that can be reached in this life, yet:. Although the fire has penetrated the wood, transformed it, and united it with itself, yet as this fire grows hotter and continues to burn, so the wood becomes much more incandescent and inflamed, even to the point of flaring up and shooting flames from itself.
LF Prologue 3. Value of John of the Cross for today. Having discussed in some depth the Sanjuanist stages of the spiritual path, certain questions arise as we consider the value of this sixteenth century mystic for an era vastly different from his own. Inter alia , the following objections are worthy of note: Is not John's threefold path overly rigid and artificial? Are not the ascetical practices and techniques contrived and inhibitive?
Are not the various stages with the concomitant phenomena open to subjective and arbitrary verification?
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Does not John's teaching on mystical marriage veer towards a heretical position of ontological identity with the Divine, which is contrary to theistic orthodoxy? In particular, is not the emphasis on detachment and the dark night too stark and negative, pointing to an impossible ideal? Whilst space does not allow for an in-depth response to each and every question, the following remarks will hopefully facilitate a greater understanding of the value of John's teaching for today.
Firstly, it has already been noted that the threefold path has not been universally accepted. Indeed theologians, such as Karl Rahner clearly reject this method. The current rise of interest in meditation and centring prayer is a clear example of the latter.
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Opposition to what is considered an overly contrived schemata of the spiritual life has also resulted in an 'anti-technique', or what could be called a 'techniqueless technique' in which one lives truly in the present moment and in the perpetual flux of reality. Clearly, such a 'method-less' method suits many twenty-first century women and men who do not have the time or inclination to follow the Sanjuanist path. John also states that his teaching is not for everyone A:Prologue, 9.
In addition, it is clear that mystical experience is not dependent on any particular schemata. Secondly, notwithstanding the aforementioned, there are those who find John's teaching of particular value in the field of psycho-spiritual development cf. Tyler John's treatment of the dark night has been of particular relevance for an understanding and treatment of depression Turner ; ; cf.
May Thirdly, John's entire mystical schemata must be seen holistically; the various stages may well overlap, and the path is unique to each individual: 'God leads each one along different paths so that hardly one spirit will be found like another in even half its procedure' LF 3. John wishes to lead his readers to the summit, transformation: he is Doctor del Todo, Doctor of the All, in addition to being Doctor de la Nada, Doctor of Nothingness.
Fourthly, whilst the concept of mystical marriage 25 may sound strange to some, nevertheless for John, this is the outcome of his mystical reading of scripture, as noted above, with respect to Paul's statement, 'I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me' Gl Union with God implies a profound fulfilment of human potential. Both union and renewal of personality go together, in John's vision … Having previously emptied oneself, an individual receives enjoyment and delight when filled with God. F, 3,18 Doohan In line with many religious traditions that posit a way of purification and development in the spiritual life, John of the Cross illustrates the fact that an individual is often originally in a state of psychological, moral, physical and spiritual disequilibrium.
By means of ascetic endeavour and efforts at self-reform, the person begins to move into a higher state of consciousness and a new contemplative mode of awareness, which ideally blossoms into the experience of enjoying God in the state of spiritual marriage. Although at first sight, John's teaching on the mystical way may appear daunting, on closer examination it becomes clear that in this corpus of writing the higher levels of transcendent possibility and realised human development are delineated with great perspicacity by John.
Although the outlines of the pattern of Christian growth had been established for more than a thousand years before John penned his mystical ascent, nevertheless his crowning literary and mystical achievement is his systematic filling in of the salient details regarding the path of spiritual progress. Although it is readily accepted that mystical realisation is not limited to those who choose to follow a particular path, nevertheless, in the Sanjuanist journey, the psycho-spiritual energies generated harness the mind as it passes through the various gradients of the journey, effecting what could be called a 'voltage' of energy bursting onto the field of consciousness.
There is a resurrection of the person, whereby finitude is transcended and higher and richer levels of consciousness come to light.
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This new ingression of energy empowers the mystic as she or he returns to the market-place. John describes the observable course of healthy spiritual development, based on his experience of guiding a large number of both cloistered sisters, brothers and lay persons of diverse personalities. The transforming union that he describes so profoundly effects enrichment and personal integration at all levels of the personality.