Saturday, September 30, 2017

All Merciful and Eternally Benevolent (Part 2.)

“Then I went to the fields of pre-eternity intoxicated and raving, and he clothed me in the clothes of his loveliness and his beauty. Here I was the beloved of God most high, and he (glory be to him) loved me and was kind to me with kindness that none of the creatures of God most high could bear to hear of if I mentioned it to them, except as God wills” – The Unveiling of Secrets, Ruzbihan Baqli, translated by Dr. Carl W. Ernst
I am drawn to this word, pre-eternity. Eternal means without beginning and without end—we tend to look at it through the lens of time, for our consciousness is of creation, but the eternal is really beyond time altogether. Time only exists for the creation and the creation is only a dream. Dreams begin and dreams end, but God is eternal. “In the beginning was the Word…” – John 1:1 this is a reference to the beginning of creation.
And what to make of pre-eternity? Pre-eternity must refer to something other than eternity. We use the prefix pre to suggest the state of before, but Ruzbihan means something quite different. Here, pre-eternity is a state—a station—a consciousness—in which all of time; past, present, and future, is experienced as being in the same moment, what can be described as the eternal now. What would that experience be like? No doubt, it is a great theme for meditation and contemplation!
Intoxicated and raving, Ruzbihan said that God clothed him in his loveliness and beauty. The three bubbles that connect the soul to creation are the gross physical body, the subtle body of energy, and the mental body of mind. Ruzbihan’s God intoxication was so powerful—so complete—that he had no consciousness at all of his gross, subtle, and mental bodies. He way naked and raving and God clothed him in his loveliness and beauty.
And in that state Ruzbihan was the beloved of God. Ruzbihan was the beloved of God! I remember, many years ago, Eruch Jessawala told us this story about a close disciple of Krishna who was troubled by the fact that Krishna said prayers. “To whom does God pray?” he wondered and found himself in Krishna’s prayer room where he saw little models of Krishna’s disciples. It is impossible to fathom the love of the Lord! To even hear of it, let alone to witness it unveiled would be unbearable—unbearable in the sense that all the illusion and delusion—all of the Nothing—that the un-realized soul associates with and identifies with, would be annihilated!

(To be continued.)

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