Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I am He whom I love, and He whom I love is I.
We are two spirits dwelling in one body,
If thou seest me, thou seest Him;
And if thou seest Him, thou seest us both.

- Husayn ibn Mansur el-Hallaj, Sufi mystic, 10th C

This is going to sound ….. weird - maybe. But there will be some out there who will resonate to what I am saying. Now, I am not a great pray-er. Or meditator. Or practitioner of the “mystical ways”. But I understand exactly what el-Hallaj is saying. Exactly. I “understand” it intellectually. But I understand it more in my gut and in my heart.

Now, it has taken awhile. I have had to ponder. I have had to have many internal arguments. I have had to wrestle with institutional “church” doctrine and regulations and creeds, etc. And though it has taken 30-40 years, where I have had to struggle with things such as pride and presumption and the “opinion” of “orthodox” church people, I can now say without any hesitation: I am He whom I love, and He whom I love is I ….. If thou seest me, thou seest Him.”

I am not special. I am not great. I am not saintly, as the World or the religious authorities define such things. I don’t say Morning or Evening Prayer daily. I don’t follow a rigorous “spiritual discipline”. I just join the community for the Eucharist each Sunday, and I try to be a faithful priestly presence to people. Do my work as a teacher and pastor and “sacramentalist” as occasion comes along. But I know without any reservation whatsoever that I am one with God. It is a very simple thing. No flashing lights, no celestial music, no attending angels. Just a feeling that brings a smile to my face and a quietness to my being and a peace to my heart.

So what is the Good News here?? The Good News is, if I can sense this truth, you can too. You don’t have to be exceptional. You just have to be yourself, delight in life, be naïve, “be not puffed up”, believe that being a human being is intrinsically a holy thing, do your best to care. It won’t be long! You’ll be singing, along with our Sufi friend: I am (S)he whom I love, and (S)he whom I love is I.

Your fears will dampen and your blood pressure will go down. You will be thrilled by every opportunity to give a hand. You will understand that you are not the Saviour, but can assist when appropriate.

Believe me. It’s a much better way to live.


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