Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Play of Love

Read this post on A Sea of Glass and Fire.

Now because every single thing remains in being from the Divine, that is, is constantly coming into being from Him, and every single thing from that source is inevitably a representative of the real thing by means of which it has come into being, the whole visible universe is therefore nothing else than a theatre that is representative of the Lord's kingdom. And this in turn is a theatre representative of the Lord Himself. - Emanuel Swedenborg, "Arcana Coelestia," 3483
Have you ever noticed that things in your life happen just the way they're supposed to happen? You meet that person, you read that book, or you run into an idea at just the right time? Or maybe things don't happen so easily; your boyfriend might break up with you or maybe you fail a class. But have you still discerned the way those painful events are good for you? I have. The world is on my side; if I'm on the wrong track, it will remind me in blunt or sometimes painful ways. But if I'm going in the way I'm supposed to go, things will happen in surprisingly easy ways. I'll meet the right people, I'll find the right books, and I'll say the right things
But though the world is on my side, the world isn't what's really on my side. The world is a theater. Every person, book, website, idea, or tree is a part played by something more real than it, something spiritual. The relationship between the spiritual world and our lives is the same relationship as between an actress and the character she plays.
‘Each grain of sand,
Every stone on the land,
Each rock and each hill,
Each fountain and rill,
Each herb and each tree,
Mountain, hill, earth, and sea,
Cloud, meteor, and star,
Are men seen afar.' - William Blake, "To Thomas Butts"
In each "tender mercy" that pops up in your life, whether a smile from a stranger or a book that tells you just what you need to hear, there are "spiritual actors" doing their work in it. When that person smiled at you, they may not have known what they were doing, but you can bet that angels were subtly pushing her to help you in that way. Even chance meetings on the sidewalk are managed by those angels working together to help you. This means that you play a part in the "spiritual drama" as well. Though your conscious mind doesn't know even a tenth of what's going on, it "portrays" the purposes of angels in the actions you deliberately choose to do. Your good deeds are the deeds of higher, wiser beings than you.
And even these angels are "characters." Like a play within a play, the angelic actors that play in our skins are also "acted out" by a higher being: the divine fire of love, what some call God.
I say móre: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is —
Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men's faces. - Gerard Manley Hopkins, "As Kingfishers Catch Fire"
Your life is a dance. This dance shows up in each "role" you play; it is the dance between you and the fire within every being, the fire you are, but which you have forgotten you are. This fire of God is like the man who, flinging you out as the woman, separates itself from you only to see you better. This fire loves you - it delights in you, finds every part of you infinitely wonerful. And the to-and-fro movement of that dance helps each rejoice in both the ecstasy of union and the delight of the gaze that can only come when you stand apart. Both positions are needed. Otherwise, it wouldn't be a dance.
 
This dance plays out in every moment of your life. Every time you are shown a tender mercy - in each smile, each synchronicity, each inspiring word - the divine fire is revealing itself to you. The parts are becoming transparent to the love that plays them; you are remembering who you are, or, to put it in another way, who you belong to. The dance is to and from that fire: toward the ecstatic oblivion of love and from it to the consciousness of being yourself. For we can't be under any illusions: the life you are living - with all its faults, flaws, and weaknesses - is desired. The divine fire within you wanted it. But since that fire also wants what you want, and since you long for its flame wherever it shows itself, the divine shows itself to you.
 
Like two lovers meeting, the love within our heart merges with the love within the world. And in this meeting we realize that it is the same love: we are a part of the same oneness flowing into different forms and yet remaining one. Love shows us the illusion of separation and reveals the meaning of the interconnectedness that is all around us. Love can show us the patterns within life and what they mean. As love flows from form to form it leaves a trace of its source, a trace which we can see with the eye of the heart. This trace is the meaning of his love, the underlying purpose of life. When we recognize it, we become awake and directly participate in life's knowing of itself. -Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, "Spiritual Power: How it Works"
There is a love deeper than words, deeper than thought, deeper than perception. We long for it in all our desires, though we almost never realize what we want. That love is our Being, and that Being desires us as the flawed people we are. But that love isn't just in your heart. It is within everyone, in everything, but it hides itself from you both inside and outside because it doesn't want to hurt you. But if you purify yourself, making yourself a clean and bright vessel, the fire of love can show itself to you in a way you never thought possible. Your Being will become transparent to you. You will see the love in all things that loves you more than life itself. And you will realize the innocent, blissful joy that plays in everything that happens to you.

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