Brian Wilcox 'Androscoggin River - Brunswick-Topsham ME'
Disciple: Why is it you seem to be so gracious to everyone?
Sage: To be dizzy with the Wine, be filled with the Wine.
Disciple: And what is this Wine?
Sage: One who drinks It, becomes It, so knows It. All else is hearsay.
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An aged man, an Abba who had served God many years in the desert, prayed, "Lord, let me know if I have pleased you." An angel appeared to him and spoke, "You have not become like the gardener in the city." The Abba marveled, saying, "I will go off to the city to see both him and what he does that surpasses my work and toil of all these years."
The Abba walked to the city and asked the gardener about his manner of life. When they were getting ready to eat in the evening, the Abba heard people in the streets singing disreputable songs. He asked the gardener, "Brother, wanting as you do to live as pleases God, how do you live in this place and not be troubled hearing them singing these songs?" The gardener replied, "I tell you, Abba, I have never been scandalized by it."
When he heard this, the Abba spoke, "What, then, do you think in your heart when you hear these songs?" The gardener rejoined, "That they are all going into the Kingdom of God."
When the Abba heard these words, he was astounded. He said, "This is the spiritual practice surpassing my labor of all these years."
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I Peter 3.8 -
Last, all of you be united in heart, sympathetic and considerate, friend-like, kind-hearted, and humble of spirit.
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All aspects of love can coexist with the personality, and the identity can be maintained, except in the presence of one particular aspect of love. This is called universal love, Christ love, or Divine love. When our beingness manifests as universal love there is no personality. It is this love that spiritual teachers refer to when they say that as long as there is ego, there is no love. They are talking about universal love.
*A. H. Almaas. Diamond Heart Book 2.
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The sympathetic insight the gardner lived is reminiscent of a poem by Rumi - translated by Coleman Barks in The Essential Rumi:
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.
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The Spirit is nonjudgmental Presence. To embody this serene equanimity is a fruit of walking in the Light. To invite this quality downward into the self, shaped to have various prejudices and, so, reactivities to others, means cultivating the graces of pure Spirit. Rather than striving to be kindly accepting of others, we engage a life centered in communion with Spirit, Who is Love.
By intimacy with the Beloved, which is devoid of ill-will, the self is spiritualized into nonemotional benevolence. The Grace of Spirit purifies the discordant affections and attachments by Itself, Love, returning the disharmonious passions into quiet service to the Light. The self cannot do this. Only Presence, the Harmony, can enact this rite of transformation, so that our feelings are transmuted into a suprasensual sacrament of the Light - the feelings no longer dictated by the fluctuations of bodily passions, but aligned with and graced by pure Spirit.
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(C) Brian K. Wilcox, 2020