Kundalini Splendor

Kundalini Splendor <$BlogRSDURL$>

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

More on Action vs. Contemplation 

The friend who sent me the earlier quote from Meister Eckhardt added some further reflections:

> I understand her (Dorothy's) distress with knowledge getting in the
>way (of the transcendent moment). At the same time, love without knowledge doesn't
>"do" much. We need a love which "knows" what we ought
>to seek in life with others. Love alone will never
>cure physical or social ills, will never cure the sick
>or write a wise law, nor save an imperilled social
>order. To quote St.Paul. Your love must be more and
>more rich in knowledge. to quote in full; "And it is
>my prayer that your love may grow richer and richer in
>knowledge and perfect insight to the end that you may
>have a sense of what is vital."

This interesting response raises once again the important question of the relation of action and contemplation. Some of us seem called to active, intense engagement in the affairs of this world, striving through deep dedication, to change, amend, restructure,heal and thus redeem our social order. Others seem primarily called to witness and receive the influx of divine love, to "carry the vibration," as one friend puts it.

True, if we huddle in caves in continual prayer, never paying heed to the chaos and catastrophes occurring without, then we must ask, Is such withdrawal from the world and its struggles justified, especially in the light of the current global crisis? On the other hand, those who throw theselves fully into the realms of social action and change, without some sense of divine connection and purpose, seem (to me) to lack a crucial element--a dimension which says, "There is more to us than the "merely human," the palpable and visible realms." These are wonderful people, and I count many among my dearest friends, but still I long for the "added dimension," the secret sense of belonging to something more, beyond, within--well, it is difficult to word this undefinable essence, but it is that which the mystic feels and affirms and longs for.

Perhaps the answer is to combine the two--to engage in "mystical activism," as many now term it. Carolyn Casey, the amazing astrologer who has a radio show on current affairs, is such a "mystical activist." Andrew Harvey, in his presentations, urges his listeners to become such spiritual actors in the world.

I want to say, however, that no one can choose to become a "mystic" (in the sense of embracing on a personal level the concept of a higher reality) by dint of desire alone. You cannot force yourself into such states of awareness. They are, I think, a gift of grace. (You can, of course, have religious belief and live a life of spiritual commitment, without becomeing a full blown mystic.) And you can live with a sense of openness to possibilities beyond your present experience, and thus prepare for deeper awakening. And all of us can choose to join the ranks of the activists, who, whatever their personal beliefs, often demonstrate fully the principles of compassionate service to humanity.

But the mystic is not, as is often charged, one who is seeking to "escape" reality. The mystic is called on to confront a truth that is indeed terrifying and often overwhelming--that we are in fact more than we seem, and are a part of that which is more than we know or are capable of knowing. Surrender to the mystic embrace is the final act of courage. Perhaps some are afraid to know god (the divine reality), especially the intellectuals who use mind as a defense against deeper revelations.

Sometimes I think we each inwardly know what our "world assignments" are. Some are called to become dedicated activists, others to explore the mystical realms. Certainly both are needed and both make major contributions to a humanity in extreme need.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?