Saturday, November 11, 2017

All Merciful and Eternally Benevolent (Part 4.)

“Then I desired the station of passionate love until I saw myself in the abode of majesty. I saw the Truth—glory be to him—arrayed in the form of divinity, and I remained in the station of intimacy for an hour, hidden from all that is other than him. Many ecstasies overwhelmed me, with agitation and weeping for the station of intimacy, and applause for witnessing with the eye.”The Unveiling of Secrets, Ruzbihan Baqli, translated by Dr. Carl W. Ernst

In the state that Ruzbihan described, only he, arrayed in the form of divinity, existed and Ruzbihan was hidden from all that is other than him. But what is it that is other than him? The answer is that in Reality nothing is other than him—that nothing was other than him—that nothing ever will be anything other than him. The key word here is nothing, for this nothing was, is, and always will be latent in the everything!

EVERYTHING by virtue of being everything embodies even ‘NOTHING’ or else Everything can never mean everything. This Nothing is latent in the Everything. But Nothing, being literally nothing, the very being of being nothing is nothing at all.” God Speaks, by Meher Baba, 2nd edition, page 81.

Or, as Hafez said; “There is no barrier between the lover and the Beloved; Hafez, lift yourself aside, you are yourself the covering over Self.”                      

Oh what a game it is that the all merciful and eternally benevolent one plays in which the greatest tender—perhaps the only tender—is love!

He called me repeatedly and I prostrated myself then and saw on my back the weights of the lights of magnificence. I said, ‘God, what is this?’ He said, ‘The lights of the sitting.’” – Ibid.

 What is God’s magnificence? Ibn al’ Arabi, the great Sufi saint, quotes God as saying, “Magnificence is my cloak!”  

Why does God even need a cloak? Because if God ever manifested His radiance un-cloaked, all of creation would be extinguished in that light. God manifests His magnificence out of compassion for His creation; it is an expression of His mercy and benevolence.

“I said, ‘God, what is this?’ He said, ‘The lights of the sitting.’”

There is not much commentary to be found on this expression in the usual traditional sources for Sufism, but I offer these points given by Meher Baba to Bhau Kalchuri for his book, The Nothing and the Everything, regarding the state of consciousness that is represented as a celestial throne called Ars-e-Maula:

Bhau Kalchuri writes:

The Seventh Heaven is Ars-e-Maula, the Seat of God or the Throne of God…

“In the beginning of time Infinite Consciousness Itself was established as the divine state or Seat of Impersonal God Who had no consciousness of illusion…

“In the beginning of time this throne remained to be filled until Infinite Consciousness was gained through the medium of Infinite Unconsciousness…
“The first to occupy that throne, who eternally remains enthroned, is none else but the Nameless Ancient One…

“By occupying that vacant seat filled by Infinite Unconsciousness, He established the eternal aspect of Personal God when His Infinite Consciousness filled the Vacuum of Impersonal God’s Infinite Unconsciousness…

“Ars-e-Maula represents the vacuum that was filled by the First Soul when He realized God, and when He realized Himself to be Infinite Consciousness.”

This helps me to understand the statement, “the lights of the sitting,” though as Kabir once said, “Until you experience it, it is not true!” Ruzbihan experienced the lights emanating from the state of God sitting upon the throne called Ars-e-Maula which is located in the vastness of consciousness at the divine junction between reality and illusion. To occupy this throne eternally is the responsibility of the Avatar—the Christ—that Nameless Ancient One. It is His responsibility, but it is also His joy—and our joy as well—the joy of man’s desiring!

“He took on the responsibility for each creature in creation. He became responsible for each drop-soul that was pouring out of the ocean of Infinite Unconsciousness to help make them merge with the Ocean of Infinite Consciousness through the very processes that He Himself had to pass through—that are evolution and involution.

“Thus He became, and is, the only One who is responsible for each soul from its beginning in evolution to its end in involution; and though He is eternally free as the Infinite Consciousness, He is also bound eternally as the Infinite Unconsciousness by this responsibility.” – Bhau Kalchuri, Ahmednagar, 1982

He is indeed, “All Merciful and Eternally Benevolent!


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