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Love, pure and simple

May 2, 2011

Thou hast made me endless,

such is Thy pleasure.

This frail vessel Thou emptiest

again and again,

and fillest it ever with fresh life.

This little flute of a reed

Thou hast carried over hills and dales,

and hast breathed through it

melodies eternally new.

At the immortal touch of Thy hands

my little heart loses its limits in joy

and gives birth to utterance ineffable.

Thy infinite gifts come to me

only on these very small hands of mine.

Ages pass and Thou still pourest,

and still there is room to fill.


– Tagore

All the love in human nature, all powers of affection and devotion, all joy of intimacy and self-surrender are manifestations of a love which is hidden in the depths of the godhead. We can experience love in our bodies in the intimacy of sexual union. We can experience love in our souls in an emotional melting one into another. All these are partial experiences of divine love. But beyond these, there is the capacity to experience love in depth, to go beyond sense and feeling and affection, and to discover the power of an infinite love, transcending our human capacity and awakening us to the presence of the divine being within us. This is mystical love, the point at which the human and the divine meet.

This divine being, this absolute reality, is love – it is a communion, a self-giving in love. In love, we give ourselves, communicate ourselves to another, transcend ourselves in self-surrender. So also in the divine being, in the absolute reality, there is a movement of love, a self-giving, a self-surrender. God gives himself to man, communicates his own spirit, his inner self to man. The very purpose of creation was that the One should be able to commu

nicate himself to the many, that finite and temporal beings should come to participate in the infinite and eternal being and consciousness of the One and experience the bliss – the Saccidananda – of the Supreme. And this bliss is a bliss of love. Love seeks to communicate itself, and the purpose of love would not be satisfied if there were no one to share that love.

The divine mystery is ultimately a mystery of love, and it reveals itself to love alone. It is only if we are prepared to give ourselves totally in love that love will give itself totally to us. By love we communicate ourselves to other persons and they communicate themselves to us. There is a mutual self-giving, and at the deepest level of consciousness, there is a complete in-dwelling: I in you and you in me. In human life this communion is never fully realized, but in the divine life this is realized in its fullness.

When human nature is taken up into the knowledge and love of the divine, then human consciousness is opened up to the divine mode of consciousness. It is expanded so as to embrace all other spheres of consciousness. There is mutual interpenetration at every level. Every being becomes transparent to every other being; each one mirrors the other and the whole. All is transparent, light runs through light and each contains all within itself, and at the same time sees all in every other, so that everywhere there is all, and infinite the glory. [Extracts from Father Bede: The Marriage of East and West]



Article by Leela Verity, director of Sat Chit Anand Retreat Centre, Plettenberg Bay. |

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