Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > Making Love Beyond Religion


Making Love Beyond All Places

Beyond the Edge of Religion

Feb 22, 2017

Saying For Today: Sated by the body of religion, first coming, one is led to and beyond the edge, to an inner glow that manifests in a brightness of face and flesh.


Everyone is Welcome Here

Living in Love beyond Beliefs

Resta con noi Signore, si fa sera ! Stay with us my God, is coming night !

But those who possess not only the faculties of sensation and intellection, but have also obtained spiritual and supernatural grace, do not gain knowledge only through created beings, but also know spiritually, in a manner beyond sense and intelligence, that God is spirit, for they have become entirely God, and know God in God.

*St. Gregory Palamas, Discourses (b. 1296)

Sharon Olds (b. 1942), poet laureate 1998-2000, in “The Knowing,” tells of lovemaking beyond lovemaking.

When I wake again, he is still looking at me,
As if he is eternal. For an hour
We wake and doze, and slowly I know
That though we are sated, though we are hardly
Touching, this is the coming the other
Coming brought us to the edge of—we are entering,
Deeper and deeper, gaze by gaze,
This place beyond the other places,
Beyond the body itself, we are making

Prayer of Heart leads us to the edge of this Unknowing. Heartful Prayer, lovemaking with the Other in the now leads us beyond the now. We are in the now; indeed, we are both in and outside the now. The now has become another word for its opposite, as eternity has become another word for now.

This is a fulfillment of the first coming of prayer, the prayer that opens the veil that has led us to believe there is only this world now for us. Jesus, intent to lead us beyond the first coming of religion to the other coming, spiritual and within, says, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets (i.e., the Hebrew Scriptures); I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5.17, ESV). Christ is fruition, even before the first coming of religion then or now; Love is fruition.

This "place beyond the other places" is an intensely inner journey, though radiating outward silently. Says St. Dmitri of Rostov (18th Century, Orthodox):

To kindle in his heart such a divine love, to unite with God in an inseparable union of love, it is necessary for a man to pray often, raising the mind to Him. Far as a flame increases when it is constantly fed, so prayer, made often, with the mind dwelling ever more deeply in God, arouses divine love in the heart. And the heart, set on fire, will warm all the inner man, will enlighten and teach him, revealing to him all its unknown and hidden wisdom, and making him like a flaming seraph, always standing before God within his spirit, always looking at Him within his mind, and drawing from this vision the sweetness of spiritual joy.

The consummation of this inner conjugal unioning, Spirit in spirit, spirit in Spirit, is "sweetness of spiritual joy." Sated by the body of religion, first coming, one is led to and beyond the edge, to an inner glow that manifests in brightness of face and flesh. The body is being, now, transformed by Grace, as the Light arises from the inner spirit and permeates the flesh. So, the journey is from flesh to spirit, then from spirit to flesh.

For the mature spiritual being, trained years in this inward Grace, he or she lives in lovemaking day and night. And mind does not have to participate knowingly--and usually does not--, for mind participates by being drawn into the heart.

Yes, sate yourself on religion, if you wish. Sate yourself to opening to the inner Light, Light of Christ. Then, you stand in the Divine, you rest nowhere, for you are one with One everywhere: you no longer make or share love, for you are Love and, so, share yourself as Love Itself. You enter fulfillment of making love to externals of faith and belief: you die to all that--now you enjoy religion by the consequence of death to it, so you do not abandon the body of faith and Grace--, for it no longer is in the mingling with the Light, and you resurrect a spiritual person.

The Light is Christ, source of Grace, very Light hidden and, yet, manifested in the flesh of Jesus of Nazareth. This Christ is Grace. As the Church Fathers have taught, you become en-goded, or divinized, by participating in God--we can say, "You become Love by participating in Love," and to be in Love is to be in Christ, for Christ is Love. Indeed, you become the shining flesh of Christ, a tabernacle of Love moving about in the desert of this world, witnessing by simply being and shining to the inner Life beyond religion, the true Promised Land, the New Jerusalem.


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©Brian Kenneth Wilcox 2017. Brian is a Hospice Chaplain, living out his vow to serve all living beings by serving those preparing to die and their friends and family. Brian lives a vowed life, alone in a quasi-hermitic life, and integrates varied religions, but most especially the contemplative paths of Buddhism and his native faith, Christianity. Brian received a 'mystical' Christ-experience at age 9, and was introduced to a peace untouched by pain and suffering. Later, in his mid-30s, after surviving a dark night of despair, Brian was vowed to a contemplative Christian way of life on St. Matthew's Feast day, 1995, by Greenbough House of Prayer, in Georgia, USA. This began many years of ardent reading, spiritual practice, and exploration of many spiritual paths, including publication of his book An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love. The Journey has led Brian to the joy beyond the ache, a contentment in experiential union with Grace. Brian lives with the affirmation that Love, not as emotion but Divine Presence, transcends all paths of religion and is our Source and Destination. As St. Paul writes in the Christian Bible, "Now remain always, faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love." Peace to All!


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