Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of July 5, 2010

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World 1: The Ultimate

(Part of the series Worlds of the Spirit)

When we practice threefold presence, behind and supporting that threefoldness we have our own singular will. We are fully there in each of three, in our body, our heart, and our mind. Yet our unique will stands prior to the three and invests itself in them, working through them. We can be in all three, yet not be divided. With some effort, we can be wholly in our body, wholly in our mind, and wholly in our heart, simultaneously, and still be wholly ourselves and undivided.

In the same way, the great traditions tell us that behind the Sacred Trinity of World 2 there is the Divine One of World 1. This is beyond all, beyond creation, unknowable, unreachable, and utterly transcendent. But we can relate to that Transcendent One, through complete surrender, through a yearning to serve, through a longing to allow the One to be in us, as us, to allow the One to be us. Just as we, our will, can be wholly in each of our three parts simultaneously, so the Divine Will can be wholly in each human being simultaneously and without dividing or diminishing that Sacred Wholeness. This is one of the sublime wonders of will.

The Divine Will descends to create and sustain this universe and then begins Its long journey back home from Its outermost reach, from rocks, dust, and water up through life to us. The One Will completes Its grand circuit when we rejoin the will that is in us, ascending through and as us, back to the great Will that descends from and as God. In doing so, in the beautiful Kabbalistic imagery taught by Isaac Luria, we reassemble the broken shards of Divinity.

That circuit of will, outgoing and returning, completes itself in those rare people who are able to attain it. For the aspiring rest of us, the effort itself infuses our life with meaning and value, love and joy.

Imagine that your will, the will that rises from below and is gradually unified in the fires of your life and inner work, meets the Divine Will that descends from above. Imagine that your will is really the Divine Will returning to its Source from its long, tortuous journey. Imagine that the circuit completes when the Divine Will coming up through and as you joins the Divine Will coming down from above, and that you find your own completion in this act of reunification, of utter surrender of the separateness of your own will.

Though this consummation may be well beyond our purity and capacity, it behooves us to practice such surrender, at least for a few minutes each day. In the depths of prayer, we give ourselves over to the Unfathomable Oneness. Try to see, using your imagination in a positive way, that behind all that is, behind all that you see and hear, all that your senses report to you in this moment, behind even your body and you, behind your consciousness, back along the ray of your attention, there is the One Divine Source, creating, sustaining, and permeating all of this in every moment. Make room. In your formless core, empty yourself. Again and again, empty yourself, further and further. Long after nothing is left, the One remains behind. In your emptiness is your hope. Empty yourself as an invitation, as a silent plea toward the One, the Within of your within. Give way. Beg. Or do nothing at all. But find a way for that Unfathomable Oneness to become you. Not that you enter there, but that the Sacred Source enters you.

Many names have been given to the Divine One. And they all point to the same Reality. For this week, practice moving closer to That.


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