Dwelling Under Spacious Sky
Today's Saying: The Word is the speaking forth of Truth as Presence and through being housed in flesh. The speaking forth is in silence; no word is spoken. It was so then, and it is so now. This we learn in the Silence; this we become in union with Life. Where spirit and Spirit are, the Word is.
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In morning readings for today, I read the Gospel of John 21.14ff, a portion of the final chapter of that Gospel. The post-resurrection Jesus is preparing to leave. Here is written: "And this was the third time Jesus was revealed to his students (followers, disciples)."
Initially, what dawned on me was how Jesus is still, after from one-and-a-half to three years with his students, being shown to them. That is, his self-revelation continued, as though they had not been able to see him fully, only partially. Do we not see slowly and progressively, also?
Whether the writer had this in mind or not, the more salient factor is that Jesus himself was being shown to his followers. So, as before the resurrection, Jesus is the principal revelation, not what he did or said. In fact, the Eternal in Jesus is called the Word in this Gospel. At the start of the Gospel, this Word takes on human appearance. We can only catch glimpses of this Presence, never directly meeting it in unmanifested appearance, but intuiting it through the clothing of earth and sky. This is the way for us as long as we are in the body.
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In contemplative spirituality, the primary Word is not spoken with the mouth or with good works. The Word appears first and most importantly as Presence. This Presence is not a presence; it is the Presence. This Presence manifests in and through matter - bodies and the universal Body.
Simply put, the less my ego shows itself, the more the Presence is shown. One could say the contemplative way is a progressive diminution of the self as what is presented to others and, hence, more one becomes a presence through whom Presence is manifested as the first and essential Word. The separative self - what we call the individual - recedes, and the unitive Self, clothed with Love, comes forth spontaneously.
One does not push to have this Word be shown, as though one can by effort force this appearance. One draws close to the Word, and, thereby, the Word replaces the self as the principal revelation.
This Self-revelation is not a once-for-all happening. The self progressively recedes, and the Word increases in its Self-manifestation. The Word reveals the Word, not you. The less you are seen as a person among persons, the more the Word shows Itself as Love the fount of all loves. Then, finally, there is no difference between your appearance and the appearance of the Word, for such is the sacred marriage, when the word you are is drawn into unity with the Word the Word is.
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*(C) Brian K. Wilcox, 2021
*Brian's book, An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, can be ordered through major online booksellers or the publisher AuthorHouse. The book is a collection of poems based on wisdom traditions, predominantly Christian, Buddhist, and Sufi, with extensive notes on the poetry's teachings and imagery.