Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > Spiritual Aridity and Presence

 
 

One That Never Shows Up

Presence and presence and absence

Oct 16, 2021


Calendula Drenched In Sunday Morning Showers

Calendula Drenched in Sunday Morning Showers

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Today's Saying: Presence manifests as the sense of presence and of absence, and neither limits the mutual indwelling we share with Life.

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June 29, 2005 - Gainsville, Florida -


Yesterday, I was traveling down Interstate 75 and knew the closeness of the Spirit Presence. I sensed as though a touch was placed on the center of my chest. I stopped at a rest stop, walked to the back of it with my dogs, lifted my hands to the sky and knew the wonder and image of Love with and within me. Then, today, I felt deep ache and aloneness. Both experiences are part of the whole process of the Journey and are not to be seen as opposites. God is fully in both the sense of companionship and the sense of aloneness.

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We can be a spiritual experience glutton, an ecstasy chaser. We can use our spiritual path to do what we did before - sate our ego's demand for pleasure; chasing spiritual highs, we become a spiritual experience junky. We equate Grace with delightful sensations and, if we do not get that, we lament that our Beloved did not show up for us. We may question what is wrong with us that we showed up but not God.

For example, I was raised with the religious teaching that sin could separate me from my God. So, if there was a sense of dryness in my prayer, possibly God was withholding from me for something I had done wrong. Yet, if God is God, and God is omnipresent - both of which I was taught -, how could anything separate me from such a God? Simply because my eyes are closed does not mean the Light is not shining, does it? Later, I learned, especially through John of the Cross's writings, how the sense of absence is essential in detaching us from the reliance on pleasant feelings of the divine Nearness. We learn to love God for God; we learn to trust absence is filled with Presence, aridity with Living Waters.

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God never shows up, anyway, for God does not need to show up. The Light is present, while one's pursuit of a particular experience of the Light blinds them to experience itself as the experience of the Light. Entering into the present experience, we invite intimacy with Life - That unlimited by experience. All experience manifests within Life, so to touch deeply any experience is to touch God.

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We are humiliated by a sense of repeated absence, exposing and disempowering our clamoring for sensual delight. We recognize the futility of living like a spiritual sensualist. We see how misguided and self-centered was this subtle egoism - called "spiritual inflation." We feel relieved to release the vain and petty pursuit. I recall the relief I felt when I released this demand for Life to show up for me in the way I decided it should. I felt the joy of not caring, simply being present with Presence.

We learn by relaxing into the sense of presence or absence, Presence is present. Then, we worship the Beloved, for we love this Beloved. We love Presence in Presence, no longer waiting for Presence to appear in a specific way. We grow beyond our Beloved being here or not here. Even absence shines with the Good, True, and Beautiful. Grace is abloom everywhere! Knowing this, we breathe the wonder.

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* 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 consists of poems based on wisdom traditions, predominantly Christian, Buddhist, and Sufi, with extensive notes on the poetry's teachings and imagery.

 

Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > Spiritual Aridity and Presence

©Brian Wilcox 2021