Sunday, April 30, 2017

In the Heart of Heaven


Are you feeling restful? We usually take this question as meaning that we are being asked if we feel at ease and contented, if our thoughts are peaceful and untroubled. If all is well with us then it is nice to be able to reply in the affirmative. These are the states of wellbeing in our everyday world, but supposing that we alter the question slightly.

Supposing instead the question is: are you at rest within yourself? Now there is a deeper meaning implied: something which hints at a state of rest beyond simply ‘feeling restful’. The key word seems to be ‘within’. This, we sense, is something beyond feeling merely at ease about things. It carries the promise of a deeper world that is somewhere accessible: a peace beyond even ordinary contentment. But do we even have to feel good about things to reach this inner level?

Even when the ocean is a raging storm on the surface and great white-foamed waves are tossing and rolling, we know that deep beneath those waves all is calm in the depths, where the silent blue waters remain indifferent to the fury of the weather above. So perhaps it is possible that in our own lives we can reach this deeper peace, even when the events around us are filling our every thought with stress and confusion. The storm may rage around us, but these still, quiet depths within ourselves are always there and always accessible. But how are we to access them?

In one of the Gnostic texts known as ‘The Paraphrase of Shem’ the creative Light utters the mysterious phrase:


AI EIS AI OU PHAR DOU IA EI OU


This strange phrase seems to be beyond translation: unrecognisable as a known language, perhaps it is intended as a magical incantation. But in spite of this ambiguity we need not wonder about what is being said, because the following passage in the text gives us the intended meaning: ‘I am in great rest’, is what the Light is saying. The text further explains that in this blissful state all impurities are burned away in the presence of this purest of lights, and a state of rest like no other is offered.

Perhaps only in the heart of heaven is such perfect rest attainable, although we still may taste its sweetness, perhaps through the practice of meditation, or maybe we might use our own methods, such as listening to a favourite piece of music, or reading some choice lines of poetry, or being in a particular place where we feel contented and at home, whether in deep woodlands or by the sea’s shore.

Such places, such states, might seem to be a solitary activity, but always they are a dialogue, a communion with the Divine. In such moments, and without words, the Light is speaking to us, reminding us that even when we are by ourselves, even when we are only one, we still remain, and always will be, One.






Painting by Vasily Polenov

4 comments:

  1. Such a moving reminder that peace of heart is always within reach for us. Thank you, Emma.

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    1. You are welcome, dear David ♥♥♥

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  2. Sweet reminder that we are never to be alone, enriched by the presence of those with us now, as much as by the full memories of those long gone years ago... we are still very much part of the history that has been made, still engaged in the present moments passing by, while being connected to the future in the making... Either sides, there is a little thread extending indefinitely, infinitely linking bygone times, to current events, taking us along the route we hope to reach one day... A beautiful flow of Human Feelings and Spiritual Beings, evermore interconnected within the same Breath, a wave pulsating the One & Same Life 💗✨💗

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    1. Thank you so much, dear Wassila for your loving words. ♥♥♥

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