Inner  Frontier
Cultivating Spiritual Presence

 

Inner Work


For the week of July 6, 2020


Welcoming the Sacred Light

(Serving Our World Soul: 7)

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When considering the idea of opening ourselves to the high spiritual worlds, we may reasonably conclude that this is not for us because we are not ready, not pure enough, not complete enough. Though all that may be true, it ignores the possibility of rising above our usual level temporarily. This is the Sufi notion that distinguishes between hal and maqam, or state and station. Our station is our normal level of being, the range of qualities of experience and action open to us. One purpose of our personal inner work is to raise our own station to a new normal.

Our state is our temporary level of being, which may be above or below our station. A high state may occur apparently randomly by grace, or somewhat less randomly by effective inner work creating an opening for a moment of grace. So it is that we may temporarily come into very high states, especially if there is a good reason for it. Serving our World Soul is a good reason.

There is a high spiritual realm, filled with the energy of the Sacred Light, the Creative Energy. [1-3] That realm lies beyond consciousness. Please consider that for a moment. Everything we experience is within consciousness or one of the lower energies. How can we open to something beyond consciousness? Does such a thing even exist? The first challenge is to accept as a working hypothesis, as a tentative article of faith awaiting confirmation from us, that the world of Sacred Light does indeed exist, though beyond space, time, and consciousness, [4] and that it is possible for us, for you, to come into contact with that world. Accepting this possibility may be hard if we are among those who reasonably believe that consciousness is the ultimate. It is not.

Yet there are no roadmaps, no straightforward, infallible instructions for opening beyond consciousness into the Sacred Light. It calls for all our heart and intelligence to find this other direction and move ourselves into it. Partial measures will not suffice. We need to come with the whole of ourselves, all in, with body, mind, heart, and will. And we need to come empty-handed, as a spiritual beggar, with longing in our heart, longing for completion, longing for the Sacred. The stronger our need, the more it purifies and empties us, and the more room it makes for the Sacred to enter, to open to us, to open in us.

Prayer brings our relationship with the Sacred into the foreground. We are accustomed to being active in our will, to being the doer. This is necessary but not sufficient. We need also to be receptive to the greatness that is beyond consciousness, beyond our mind. We direct that receptivity, aiming it like an antenna of longing, toward the Sacred, toward the within. If we engage in this with enough heart, something, a ray of Light, starts to filter back to us.

Here is how the great 13th century Christian mystic John Ruusbroec put it: "Christ comes to us from within outward, while we come to him from without inward."[5] Thus, our movement toward the Sacred is inward, toward the within, while the Sacred comes to meet us by moving outward, from the within, toward us.

Having received a trickle of Light and thereby a sense of the direction, we move further inward, following the Light toward its source, opening even more, asking with greater need and sincerity. We move toward harmony with the Sacred. And when the harmony is right our whole being resonates with the Sacred, with the Light. From our inward depths, we let the Light fill us. "In the abyss … an incomprehensible light is born and shines forth … This divine light is shed upon a person in the simple being of his spirit, where the spirit receives the resplendence which is God …"[6]

Harmony and resonance also refer to sound. We can employ words or melodies to help open our yearning heart. We can work with one of the many names of the Sacred or a melody that evokes the Sacred. We choose one that calls to us, that resonates with us. We let it draw us beyond our mind, beyond consciousness, and into the Light. We let the Light touch us, infuse us, and warm us, inside and out. We abide in the Light. We become Light

A remarkable characteristic of the Sacred Light, the Creative Energy, is that it can be concentrated in individuals and in groups.[7] We envision an evolved future human race that is much more unified, much more enlightened than we are today. Even a little more Light among us and our fellow human beings would have profound, beneficial impacts on our common life on this planet. We can contribute to that by means of the spiritual, meditative exercise presented below. Along with the practice of Raising Consciousness, this exercise of Welcoming the Sacred Light is a second method of direct inner service. In actual practice, we take as much time as we need to fully realize each step in the following.

    1. We find a quiet place and begin our sitting by building up robust, complete sensation of our whole body. We keep our attention focused in our whole body. This grounds us in the present, our first step inward.
    2. We turn toward one of the higher emotions, we turn toward Longing. Let your longing for completion, for the Sacred, well up from deep within you. Welcome the Light of Longing as it comes to meet you, even if only as a trickle, as a bittersweet glimmer of Longing for the Sacred.
    3. We turn toward another of the higher emotions, we turn toward Faith. Let confidence in the Sacred well up from deep within you. Welcome the Light of Faith as it comes to meet you, even if only as a trickle, as a warm glimmer of Faith in the Sacred.
    4. With all your being, with all your will, open to the Higher, to the source of Longing and of Faith, to the creative energy of the Sacred Light. Inwardly repeat a sacred word, phrase, or melody, if it helps. Let your heart guide your move inward, beyond your thoughts, beyond your mind, beyond consciousness, beyond time and space. Inward in depth. Inward toward the Light. Inward into the Light.
    5. Opening even more, let the Light pour into you, into your body, flooding your whole being.
    6. As you are opening to the Light, also be there in your whole body to receive the Light.
    7. Let the purity of your wish-to-serve guide you into welcoming the Sacred Light onto the entire Earth, so that all our fellow human beings everywhere can be touched by more of it. This does not mean that all that Light must pass through us. Rather we act as a catalyst for it. We cooperate with a higher, sacred will, which can act at the scale of the Earth. We welcome the Light for all of us.
    8. Rest in the simple presence of non-doing.

References:

[1] "Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart." Psalms 97:11

[2] "I am the light of the world" John 8:12

[3] "God is the light of the heavens and the earth." Koran 24:35

[4] "The revelation of the eternal light is therefore ceaselessly renewed in the hidden depths of the spirit. This … occurs beyond time and space in an eternal now, which is ever received with new pleasure and new joy." From John Ruusbroec: The Spiritual Espousals and Other Works, translation by James A. Wiseman, Paulist Press 1985. The Spiritual Espousals, Book Three, Part Two

[5] Ibid., Book Two, Section A.

[6] Ibid., Book Three, Part One

[7]  J.G. Bennett; The Dramatic Universe, Volume 4: History, page 383.


        

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