The Abiding Divine Presence
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
This is a lovely and stirring passage from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, the remembrance of which captured my heart in prayer this morning, and taken up by the Holy Spirit there is a leading to share some words, some inspirations, of the reality of the Living Messiah in us.
St. Paul is speaking from the experiential knowledge - gnosis, of inward prayer and communion with and in the Living Messiah, the Holy Light and Spirit of God indwelling us; and more so, the knowledge of the soul as an emanation of the Living Word of God, the inmost part of the soul therefore being inseparable from the Messiah and Holy One. Understanding this, what power in heaven, on earth or anywhere in creation can separate your from yourself, your true self as you are in the Holy One? Indeed, neither angel, archon nor demon, neither heavens nor hells, neither being born nor dying, can in any way separate you from the Living Messiah and God Most High, the Absolute Light, for this Infinite Light is the very essence and nature of your soul, your inmost being - this Inner Light and Spirit cannot be removed from you, regardless of the forever shifting states of consciousness, of being.
As you know, it is taught in the Holy Kabbalah that the inmost part of the soul - yechidah, the unique essence, the divine spark, is so holy that only God and Godhead can enter it: not even the most exalted supernal angels can enter there, but only the Messiah and Holy One. Therein the Messiah and Holy One dwell, and that Inner Light - ‘radiance of the Supernal Crown (Keter),’ shines within the heart of those who receive the Messiah, the Anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Now, when an aspirant is lead to the Gnostic Path, receiving initiation, they are taught the way of inward prayer and communion, they are taught to go within and live within, open to the Holy Light and Spirit; they are taught to seek and find the Messiah and Holy One inside themselves, and they are taught that the place of the revelation of the Messiah and Holy One, the place of Divine Presence, is their heart and soul - their inner being. At the outset there is a period of hard labor, a struggle, to go inward and to abide inward, and there are fluctuations of states, and frequent falling back into the outside, the surface consciousness, and all that goes with it, and these ‘falls’ or periods of forgetfulness can last for significant durations during the early stages of the sojourn. This is only natural, having lived only on the surface, the outside, so long, and in a powerful delusion of lack, illusion of separation, in the surface consciousness, it takes time and significant effort to bring about a real and lasting change and for inwardness to become a habit, or ‘second nature’ to the sojourner in the Way. It is important to understand, however, that regardless of a fall or going astray, and regardless of whatever errors, or ‘missing of the mark’ might be done, this indwelling Divine Presence, this Inner Light, abides nevertheless and is there in the heart of that faithful and spiritual person awaiting their return to inwardness. Remembering this is very important early on when we are not so settled in our inwardness, our inward prayer and communion, but then it remains essential throughout or sojourn in the Way, especially in the midst of the trials and tribulations that come in life, material and spiritual. If and when there is a fall, or forgetfulness, one need only turn inward and there will be the Divine Presence, Inner Light, as before.
St. Paul is pointing to this truth, reality, of an abiding Divine Presence, Inner Light, regardless of the ever changing states of consciousness, being, and the ever changing outward display of the reality of our experience. The Divine Presence, in truth, does not come and go because of these fluctuations, but rather abides with us and in us throughout just the same; any apparent ‘coming or going’ in our experience is a result of our state of awareness of the Divine Presence, not the reality of the Divine Presence Itself. Thus, regardless of our state any apparent separation from the Divine Presence, the Inner Light - the Living Messiah and Holy Spirit, is illusory, unreal.
This of course reflects the truth of the Absolute Oneness of God Most High, that nothing has any independent or substantial self-existence apart from the Holy One, and that in reality nothing exists other than the Holy One. This is the truth, reality, of God and living spirits and souls the Messiah came to reveal and make known; hence, Oneness with God, conscious union with the Eternal One.
Here in this passage St. Paul gives a wonderful clue as to the way of this deep inwardness, this inward prayer and communion in oneness. He says that no power can separate you from the love of God in Messiah Yeshua. Understand that in this inwardness there are indeed thoughts and words of prayer that arise, but the deeper prayer is, in truth, stillness and silence in the Divine Presence, and more so, a ‘sense of feeling’ or silent love of God. In this our prayer and communion go beyond thought and thinking, into a greater intuitive divine intelligence - ‘Gnostic Being,’ and becomes a supramental contemplation of intimate nearness, oneness, with the Messiah in God, the Absolute Light.
So then, per St. Paul’s hint, we wish to learn to abide in inwardness, going deeper still through a ‘sense of feeling,’ silent love. Such an inward prayer and communion becomes unceasing, and may continue within and behind all outward activities, and is unmoved, unchanged, in the midst of prevailing conditions and fluctuating states - within and behind it all there is this repose in the Living Messiah and Holy One, and the experience of a profound and sublime peace and joy that comes with it.
This seems enough for the moment; let us wait together upon the Holy Spirit and see where the Spirit might carry our contemplation.
May you abide in the remembrance of the Divine Presence, Living Messiah, within you! Amen.
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