Unknown year, December talk, Serial 00988

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brief moment of contemplative prayer, and we shouldn't undervalue that. Then there's the special moment set aside, the quality time with God alone, when we're not doing anything else. We go into our cell, we unplug the phone, and we're just with God. Or we go into the rotunda and we sit there. That's the type of prayer that the author of The Cloud is focusing on. But then it seems to me Brother Lawrence offers this other very important dimension throughout the whole day, throughout our whole life. He just says, basically, wherever you are, whatever you're doing, whatever you're feeling inside, you can be with God and you should be with God, because again, God is really with us. He's basing it on that theological insight that comes with John of the Cross, who we celebrate today, and ultimately from St. Thomas Aquinas, and all the Catholic theologians, since John of the Cross was a


great Thomist. That is that God is everywhere, simply as God, but then as creator, and then as redeemer. And God is at the heart of our heart. God is closer to us than we are to ourselves, as St. Augustine says. And usually we're not averting to that, or we're actively running away from that. And God also veils this presence. It would overwhelm us. Every now and then, God kind of pulls a corner of the veil away and then we're aware of it. But basically, we have this brilliant diagram that's rather more understated than this. But if you think of God as something like the blackboard itself, or in this case the Greek board, then we're like people set on God, sustained by God. God is our ground. God is our milieu, all around us, just the whole of reality. Now we can try to be away from the blackboard,


but if we're these figures, we're actually there. So it's only through distraction, pulling ourselves away, illusion, that we're anywhere else than on God, in God, surrounded by God, with God as our deepest center. So if we simply avert to that through faith, through hope, through love, that's, again, not a make-believe. Let's pretend that God is in this room, we're at the deepest center, or whatever we'll be doing next after this class, God will be there and then God will be at Eucharist, etc. This is reality. So faith and hope and love are the great virtues that plug us back into reality and then just live that. It might be through a word with God, it might be through the Jesus prayer, it might be just through silence, whatever. The method, the expression is very secondary. The primary thing is just acknowledging


God in this ongoing way. Henri Nouwen, he has a lovely introduction to the classic image edition of The Practice of the Presence of God. He said at the beginning, he thought this is a little too simplistic. It's nice and it's kind of romantically fun, but it doesn't have the depths of a John of the Cross or The Cloud of Unknowing or Eckhart or something. When I was exposed to his thoughts for the first time, they seemed simple, even somewhat naive and unrealistic. But the deeper I entered into them and the longer I reflected on them, the more I became aware that Brother Lawrence's advice to walk constantly in the presence of God is not just a nice idea for a 17th century monk, but a most important challenge to our present day life situation. Then he says, when you think about it, if I come back to God's presence, I come back to


kind of the center of it all and the ground of it all and the context of it all, yet I come back to reality, the right perspective for seeing everything else. So it's not an alienating thing. It's not a flight into the clouds or something. It's where I should be to be truly present to reality. The great mystery of prayer, as the life of Brother Lawrence shows, is that this single-minded concern for God does not lead us away from people, but on the contrary, closer to them. Brother Lawrence's life shows clearly his great openness for his fellow human beings, for work and everything else. So again, it's not something that closes us up in anguish and tension, et cetera, inside ourselves or something. In that sense, it's a great realistic spirituality. Just wherever I am, whatever I'm doing and whatever, again, psychological state I'm in, the larger context to see the whole thing,


the deepest meaning and fulfillment of it all, et cetera, is ultimately God. And so in this sense, prayer is not a work, as the author of The Cloud would have it, or an exercise or something. It's just who we are. It's just being and acknowledging our living context. It's our deepest center, to go back to that language. From that center in which we are all rooted, the force comes forth that makes the wheel turn. Brother Lawrence lived this knowledge and gave it very concrete form in his daily life. One of the most stimulating aspects of this precious book is Brother Lawrence's deep conviction that prayer is not saying prayers, but a way of living in which all we do becomes prayer. We indeed are called not just to say prayers, but to live a prayerful life. So it becomes kind of our very being, our very breathing. The Jesus Prayer is a very powerful vehicle and practice to strengthen this throughout the day.


But he doesn't propose it or anything like it. He just says, whatever comes natural. So the Jesus Prayer added to this can be doubly powerful. But this alone would be the deepest ground for what the Jesus Prayer is trying to get at in proposing that we fulfill our Lord's command to pray without ceasing. This simple but difficult way of Brother Lawrence is indeed a great challenge for us today. It is a hard way, but a way worth following. It is the way to God. So at the beginning, now he begins by saying he felt it was kind of unrealistic and naive. But at the end, he says, no, if you take it at its most simple and its extremely simple practice, it is the way to God, simply the way of a faith, of abandonment, of love. Just something about his life. He lived in the 1700s, a long life that expanded, that covered almost the whole of the 17th century.


Born in France in 1610, he joined the army in that bloody war of religions, the 30-year war. He was shocked by the brutality of the war. So he dropped out and became a footman for the treasurer of the King of France. But he said he was a clumsy ox and he broke everything. So he went off to the Discalce Carmelites. He was a brother with the Discalce Carmelites and doing simple work like shoe repair and cook in the kitchen, etc. His first decade at it was spent really in darkness, even in anguish that he was damned to hell, that he had no possibility of salvation. This was a big thing then. This was when Janssenism was ripe, etc. It was this concern that very few are saved. And you don't have much to say about it in any case, because God predestines a few, and even in a kind of a double predestination,


he damns from all eternity, from the very beginning, of the great majority of humanity to hell. So it doesn't matter what you do. Well, he lived in this dread and anguish as some of the other saints did, the St. Francis de Sales, etc. But then he found this way, simply of bare faith. Some of you have this packet of his writings that I handed out, some don't. Instead of going through the whole thing, I'll just read the quotes and give the pages, and then back in your room, look them up and follow them. And if you don't have it, they'll be here afterwards. But on page 36, he's saying this is it. Just stir up your faith. This is in the indirect quote, because this is a relating of his conversation with his superior. The superior then writes down. This book isn't really a book written by Brother Lawrence.


It's a collection of some of his letters that were then gathered after his death, and some four conversations he had with his superior. So we're quoting now from one of his conversations, that we should enliven our faith, that it was a pitiable thing that we had so little faith. And then instead of taking it as the rule of conduct, people amused themselves with petty devotions, which changed from one day to another. That the way of faith was the spirit of the church, and could lead to the highest state of perfection. So this is just basic. This is very John of the Cross, who says the whole of our mystical life, also in its highest reaches, is simply faith. So it's faith without conditions. I'll be with you, God, if you keep me safe from too much suffering, and too much darkness, etc. Put aside all the conditions. I'm just going to believe in God, whatever, without conditions.


That we should surrender ourselves in things temporal and in things spiritual, entirely and with complete abandonment to God, and take our happiness in doing as he wills, whether he leads us by suffering or by consolation. For they are all the same to the soul truly resigned to his will. So I'm really there on the blackboard, and I'm not saying, I'll acknowledge the blackboard in, if and when it's all rosy or something. No, I'm really there whatever be happening in my psychic states. That we must hold fast to our faith in those periods of spiritual aridity by which God tries our love for him. It is then that we should make proper acts of resignation and abandonment, a single one of which advances us spiritually. So this is just the royal road. And with Teresa, John, any of these people, it's just faith. Total abandonment.


And inevitably, we'll be regularly distracted from God. Don't anguish over that. Don't kind of bash ourselves because of that. Again, we spend our silent prayer, half our time distracted, and half our time anguished that we were distracted sometimes. But if we'll just gently come back to God, that's the way to go. So this might seem like a very rigorous, perfectionist spirituality, but he's really very patient. It took him 10 years to get into this life. And then the next 30 years were this sense of God's presence, whatever and wherever. Concentrate on keeping your mind in the presence of the Lord. If it sometimes wanders and withdraws itself from him, do not let this upset you. Confusion serves rather to distract the mind than to recollect it. The will must bring it back calmly. If you persevere in this way, God will have pity on you. So don't have as your project within this next week


to be always consciously in God's presence or something like that. Just when you find that you're wildly distracted with this series of thoughts or that, just gently come back. And one way of easily recalling a mind during prayer and keeping it at rest is not letting it wander during the day. So he says this practice very much deepens the special moments of union with God. And the author of The Cloud says this is all presupposed for that. This is the wider context. So gently and calmly to come back. And he stresses that again. I am not saying that it is necessary to curb oneself unreasonably. No, we must serve God in holy freedom. We must do our work faithfully without distress or anxiety, recalling our mind to God calmly and tranquilly whenever we find it distracted from him.


So he was able, certainly in jobs that are a bit more simple and don't require a lot of concentration, to see again God is kind of there around the job and in and through the job and why we're doing the job, etc. It is more tricky with the jobs that take close attention to the specifics of the job. But even there, through intervals, through pauses, through seeing the larger context, something like this is perhaps what we're called to. So he calls, he challenges us to this, to make a kind of a vow never intentionally to depart from God's presence. We're there, we're in God's presence. So either I allow myself to be there in distraction and in awareness, or I make a conscious determination, this is too much for me, I'm just going to take a break and go away from God. I've given up all my non-obligatory devotions and prayers and concentrate on being always in his holy presence.


I keep myself in his presence by simple attentiveness and a loving gaze upon which I call the actual presence of God, a simple habitual presence. Um, where is this vow thing? That's not even, I guess it's 62. He challenges us to that. And I vow. Believe me, from this very moment make a holy and firm resolution never to be willfully separated from him and to live the rest of your days in his sacred presence. Deprive for his love, if he deems it proper, of any heavenly or earthly consolation. Get going on this work. If you do it as he wishes, be assured you will soon see the results. Now this is kind of demanding, and before you do this you should think it over. I think it may be that some of us still at the stage we're at


need times when we consciously take a break from God, and God can handle that. Like the mother who allows her teenage son to go out and kind of really take a break from mother and then come back, that kind of thing. But still the time might come when one might want to make that determination. No, I'm not intentionally ever going to separate myself. I accept that I'll be very often, maybe the majority of my life, distracted from God. That's another thing. But not intentionally. But at least it's the challenge. It's putting enough meat to this thing. And he's saying ultimately it is simply Christian love. Love doesn't flee the beloved. Love rejoices in the presence of the beloved. Well, if the beloved is really with us always, my act of Christian love is simply being there, simply acknowledging that, simply returning this loving presence. So the second conversation with his superior, that he was always governed by love,


with no other interest, but having resolved to make the love of God the end of all his actions. He found this decision most satisfactory. He was gratified when he could pick up a straw from the ground for the love of God, seeking him alone and nothing else, not even his gifts. So I'm not after love. I'm not after faith. I'm after God. For that, I'll do everything that is ahead of me today and tomorrow, et cetera. And I don't care what it is, et cetera. But this is it. And so it's really, again, very, very simple in its shape. And when the author of The Cloud says it's by love that we're united to God, this finds its direct echo in Brother Lawrence, though there's no evidence of direct influence or anything like that. "...that his spirit had been deeply troubled since he was certain he would be damned, that everyone in the world would have been unable to convince him otherwise."


This was at the beginning of entering into the Carmelite house. "...but that he had reasoned about his feeling in this way, I have entered the religious life solely for the love of God. I have tried to live only for him. Whether I am damned or saved, I desire always to continue to live only for the love of God. I shall at least be able to say right up to my death that I have done my utmost to love him." So this is the way he slowly came out of this dark chanceless anguish and then came to 30 glorious years of just wonderful serenity. It's a little way, and here he reminds me of the great Therese of Lisieux, who will follow him in the marvelous Carmelite lineage. This isn't fancy, profound reflections or wonderful models of progress. This is just believing in God and loving God, whatever.


"...that he gave no thought to death, nor to his sins, nor to paradise, nor to hell, but only to doing little things for the love of God." That all the mortifications and other exercises are useful only insofar as they bring us to union with God through love. That after having given much thought to the matter, he had concluded the shortest path to God was by a continual exercise of love, doing all things for the love of God. So that's basically it. You can sum it up in that one agape word, and that simply puts you there where God is, which is intimately with you and desiring your presence. So that's a kind of a brush through Brother Lawrence, and he doesn't get much more complicated than that, but there is the fuller extent of his letters and conversations, comments, questions, objections. Yes? About that vow of his, is it quite certain that that's a vow


never to take his mind off God, or is it a vow never to go against the will of God? It's never to intentionally separate himself from God. That could be the will of God. In other words, it could be a vow never to abstain even minimally, rather than this matter of intention, which is what seems to be so central to him. The idea of never turning to a diversion or something like that, or turning to any, I don't know, even anything entertaining, let us say, that would take his mind away from God. Yeah, I think he would say that it would be most entertaining if you kind of enjoy it very serenely in that broader context. Yeah, which means, practically speaking, psychologically speaking, it means that you allow your attention to go to something else, to be, because I don't think we can split our minds in that way. Yeah, I think the image of the wider context is helpful, you know.


Like, I can focus on this book knowing that I'm in this room and in breathing this air, etc. I don't consciously intend to stop forgetting about the room, etc. I'm just, but I'm aware kind of through peripheral vision, etc. That's one thing. The other thing is a determination, I want to get away from God. I think he's saying, I'm not going to do that anymore. Which would be sinful, I think, in the strict homesteads, you know. I guess so, yeah. But there remains a little bit to interpret. Yeah. I think so. I think we want to avoid scrupulosity there. Yeah, one could get into scrupulosity if one were to take that in too narrow a way. And I don't think he intends it. I think he just wants to challenge us to say, hey, I shouldn't want ever intentionally to get away from God. Yes? Well, if there's, if you follow that notion of praying constantly,


that's also trying to keep oneself in the presence of God, like through all one's activities. So if there's always that constant undercurrent of, you know, prayer going on, then you sometimes could still misinterpret and do something accidentally wrong without consciously deciding to sin, and still be attempting at least to stay in the presence of God. Yeah. Yeah, that would be the fuller impression if, the fuller expression of this, if in fact there's some kind of real prayer going on as the Ezekias tradition, but then you are living it. If there's simply a non-denial of God, I think that would be the minimal way to keep this going. There may be a presupposition that if, that there needs to arise a certain point in which you become aware that, look, this is going to take me away from God at the point of decision. Yeah. And I think that can come to us rather regularly. You know, if I go into that bar and start drinking heavily,


this is not going to deepen my communion with God kind of thing. People into the 12 step are sometimes much more sensitive about what's really taking me astray kind of thing, where people will, but yeah. I think sometimes thinking about God can actually take us away from God. That could be, certainly with certain categories. Yeah, that's right. Or trying too hard, yeah, it gets very subtle, trying too hard to be a great saint or to say devotions, etc. Yeah, religion, one of the mystics said, can be our great defense mechanism against God, you know. As we see with certain deviations, yeah. But I think at this simplest level of just, you know, pistis and agape, just biblical faith and love, if that's being lived authentically, and then if you give it form and shape, again, through the Jesus prayer or through particular acts, he says sometimes he dialogues with God, he expresses his anguish, concern, fears, hopes, joys.


One can express one's anger, that's a very Semitic thing, kind of shake your fist at God, for instance. That's a very intense way of being with God. Good. Other questions, comments? So he's... Yeah. I think kind of brief evocation of kind of Christian mantra a certainty of great help in this maintaining a more or less constant union. Absolutely. Quiet, peaceful mantra. Does he make use of them? I'm not aware of any reference to something like that. He talks of a very free conversation sometimes, just a quiet awareness. But I know no passage, maybe I've overlooked it, like in the terms of the author of The Cloud, of a short word that's just gently repeated or something like that, a short phrase. So he's...


Oh, Cast in Bacon also is a test, yeah. That's right. Certainly Cassian has it, and certainly in the East. It doesn't take that practice form for him. And in a way, I think that's charming. But in a way, that can very much, again, reinforce and strengthen and enrich this, I think. Okay, but ponder it. And I first read it as a little Anglican treatise when I was about in high school. And it's very followed by our brothers and sisters in the Reformed tradition, etc. I don't know if it's known in the Eastern Church, but it's just so simple and basic and evangelical that it challenges us all. It's now out in a critical edition, if you want to go fancy. But there's not much change between the critical edition and just the image edition. It's extremely flexible, extremely simple, extremely holistic at its best, extremely practical.


So the only question is to what extent we want to do it. And he would suggest it can be our foundational practice. We go to liturgy, we try to obey and live in poverty and do our work. The whole range of things. Kind of the ground and base of it all would be this. Just being with God in faith and love, he would argue. You might at least think about that. I think it's convincing. It's simply living the first commandment, to put it in our Lord's first commandment. All right, now given this, we come to the conclusion and we want to bring together in some way these two rich dimensions of the Christian experience, of Christian wisdom and Christian love. We don't want to leave them seeming to be in some kind of hostile con... Pardon me? Why don't you turn this on?


In some kind of hostile conflictuality or something. So without looking at the board, or maybe we should just go to the board, I can propose these first models of how to bring them together in a wonderful complementarity. Does anyone else, before we get into this, want to suggest something? So here are two possible models. This is at any given moment, I think we want to ask ourselves, aren't they profoundly in complementarity? And this isn't just a theoretical thing, hopefully, like how many angels have a pin's head or something. But hopefully in our daily experience, there are moments where we particularly experience a knowing God, an awareness of God, something that seems to come out of that kind of language. The other moments, it might seem like just a blind stirring of love,


as the author of The Cloud would say. What's the relation of these two? Is the one kind of a distraction from the other? Is the one an obstacle to the other? Is the one higher than the other? How do we put them together? So hopefully this isn't just theory or beautiful models, but really at any given moment would help us. And one is this famous symbol out of the east, that's ever more known out of, as I understand, both the Confucian and the Dao tradition. It's pre-Christian era. But one of the basic points it wants to get across is the profound complementarity of forces and dimensions of life. It might seem very contrary. It might be darkness and light. It might be death and life. It might be active and passive, the male and the female, etc. These, instead of destined eternally to just battle with each other,


might, if we can see them in a moment of insight, arrange themselves in a profound complementarity so that the one balances out and makes possible the depths and the beauty of the other. And that's what the yin and the yang symbol wants to suggest. So when we're deep into the wisdom side of spirituality, there's a whole series of mystics who particularly use that language, language of faith and knowing and wisdom. At its deepest level, it will be a loving wisdom. It will be a wisdom of love. In the yin and the yang, there's this mysterious little heart or circle in the one side that is the color of the other side. So this gets to its most intense heart when it finds the other right in its heart. So wisdom is the fullness of wisdom


when it is the wisdom of love. And I think that semantically makes sense to know God in the Jewish sense is knowledge also taken from the model of physical love and physical union, et cetera. You know your wife, et cetera. So the fullness of wisdom is not some kind of abstract Gnostic thing or something, but it is this experience of communion with God. And on the other side, the deepest love is a wisdom love. It's a wise love. It's not just a silly, sentimental or fantastic love. So that would be one approach that very much wants to insist on complementarity. It's not either or. It's not necessarily one higher than the other or something. The one particular mystic might find one dimension more congenial to himself or herself, but it's this complementarity.


Comments, objections, affirmations. Hooray. Pardon me? Hooray. Hooray. Father Joseph is our expert on the yid and the yeng, I think. Does this work this way in Singapore? Actually, we can say that, for example, the whole thing is either wisdom or love, not simply one side and the other side. For example, we can present the whole diagram as that complete wisdom, which we say knowledge through love. So we are believing in knowledge and knowing and loving. Together, they constitute wisdom. Or you can also present that as love. This is agape. Then you've got the wisdom and compassion together


forming the agape. Agape is really knowing and compassion. Together, you form the agape. So that's another possible way of looking at it. Yes, in any deep reality, it would have its own yin and yang. In wisdom taking itself or love taking itself or whatever the Christian quote. Simply, to take today's feast, darkness and light, darkness is so important to St. John of the Cross, but simply because it's the superabundance of light. But it's a powerful model. Is this now incorporated in our Easter Institute logo? Or something, you know? It was going to be, but it's sort of been mainstreamed between here and now. Hopefully. Hopefully, it will be.


Yeah, we don't want to slip into soggy new agency. Still, it's a powerful model. But we are going to put a cross in that. You need to bring us the cross. Oh, that's good. Okay. Oh, my goodness. So, it's a key item. Yeah. That's like an iron. We're going to go with those. We must have this. We have to put it in a loving embrace. Now, this would then obtain at any particular moment, as we live out our knowing and loving of God, as God knows and loves us, I think you said it, our last kolatsio, we can rejoice in God because God rejoices in us, which I thought was quite lovely. So, we can know God in God's knowledge of us, and we can love God in God's loving of us. So, this is another model, which kind of incorporates this at the heart of it.


But it's in terms of these two primary subjects involved in either loving or knowledge. Loving and knowing are verbs, and they're dynamic, and they presuppose subjects, sources, persons. St. Catherine of Siena talks about the two abysses, the abyss of everything that is God's eye, and then the abyss of nothingness, which is my eye. So, this can get into a kind of like an energy flow between two powerful electric poles, the positive, which is the divine eye, and then the human. And then you can get into all these subtle distinctions that we were looking at, that scholastic philosophy and theology presuppose. Anthropology, that there, again, there are these two basic spiritual faculties of intellect and will. We have our lower capacities of imagination and memory and emotions and sentiments and senses.


But if I want to get into my deepest capacity to communion with God, it's through intellect and or will. And intellect leads to the deepest kind of knowing, which at its deepest expression is wisdom. And will leads to love, which in its highest form is agape love. So, through these two faculties, I'm united to God, as we've just seen in Reverend Lawrence. If I, this is expressed at the supernatural level through faith. Faith is a knowing of God in the darkness. And this through love. So, through these great work of theological virtues, I'm united to God. I know God, I love God. Just as God embraces me in God's wisdom and love. And here you could do a kind of a Trinitarian thing, a God's logos, which is the wisdom of God so full that it is subject.


It is person. And that the love of wisdom for the father and the father for the wisdom, etc. This is an Augustinian kind of Trinitarian theology, which is so full that it becomes a person. It becomes divine love. So, you can do all this. The kind of distinguished to unite, as the Thomas say. But they're ultimately brought together in the subject. It is not my intellect that knows God and arrives at wisdom. It is I who know God and arrive at wisdom through my intellect. We don't want to personify the intellect. Intellect is simply a faculty of my I, my deepest who I am. That's a deep mystery. This is such a confining, unhelpful model in some ways, because this isn't just a little container.


This isn't just a little container. But if we have any model of divine transcendence and mystery, it's the human person. But this just wants to get some boundaries. So that wisdom and love are ultimately one thing, not simply in the complementarity of the fullness of living them, but in their source and in their fulfillment. In my I, it is I who lovingly know and knowingly love, and it's just one ultimate reality. This is, Father Joseph said, it's what Karl Rahner says, their deepest roots, their one reality. So if we try to pit one against the other, that might be our kind of phenomenological experience, et cetera, but that's not the way it is at the deepest level. And so in the divine I, the Father, who's the ultimate subject, the Father knows in and through the logos.


Here we have to be careful of a certain subordination to some contradictory material. But I think in some kind of analogous way, we can say that the Father loves in and through his wisdom and loves, I'm sorry, knows in and through the wisdom and loves through the spirit. But it's ultimately brought together, certainly in all three persons of the Trinity, but in some special way, perhaps we could say, in the source and fulfillment of all, of the Father God. So this is another way of talking about how we bring them together, not simply in complementarity and interpenetration, but in the deepest source and the deepest fulfillment of wisdom and love. Does this make sense? Is this convincing? Comments, objections? You're practically gonna mongo there.


Why don't we take the final step? What's the final step? What's the campaign? You can, from this, you can derive this figure. I'll read back to that. Which is both a picture of the human person, okay, with his spiritual center and with his body, and with his wills. So that is a picture somehow of God and cosmos together, because this would be material creation, manageable creation. This would be like the Father, the Brothers, and the Spirit. And somehow, had we as an image of God, reproduced this whole thing within ourselves, it's as if the center of this thing, the whole of this thing would be Christ and would be the human person, but also would be God and cosmos together. Partly in order to avoid that, it's kind of impossible to talk about the world


as a human being, that is, because you can make a non-dual representation of that, so which one are you looking at, when you're looking at the other? When you're looking at the other person, you're also looking at the other. You could almost say that this is looking at this, this way, kind of. That's right. This is the human, beyond that is the divine. That's right. And the idea that whatever level you're on, whatever level you're on, you're participating in the other level. On a human level, as you realize the fullness of the man in Bethlehem on earth, you're also, you're participating in the divine, which is God and cosmos. Strange as that, I don't know why. All right. So we've got it all together. Any model limps and any model excludes more than it includes, but we want models that suggest the richness of the diversity and also the profound inner penetration.


We want a model that ultimately is not dualistic, but is not reductionistic. So really, you need lots of models. And so these kind of show different dimensions. I think this is good. This is just how we are simply an image of God. Other comments? Yes. Actually, also on this side, you can have the whole trinity on the Tai Chi diagram. The yin and the yang? Yin and yang. Oh, be careful, Father. All right. How is that? I think I made the suggestion that the whole thing can be wisdom or the whole thing can be a method, but perhaps I take back what I said. This is better to integrate. Wisdom and agape are integrated,


because on either side, if you take wisdom this side, then you have agape in the middle of the heart. Then if you take this side as agape, then you have wisdom also in the center of agape. Better penetrating, integrated. But here I can also see somehow a symbol for the trinity. Of course, it's just a very tentative, audacious attempt. So if you take that, you try to look at the Tai Chi diagram as a symbol for the trinity, then God the Father would be the circle. The circle would be the source of the contact, the source of divinity. And it's totally hidden, silence. And if it manifests itself,


then it's through the locus and the pneuma. So either side would be the locus or the source. This is the yin and yang. Actually, this would be the pneuma, this would be the locus, the yin and yang. Yang is the characteristics of... Yang is closer to the characteristics of the locus in our Christian thinking. And yin is more close to the pneuma, the spirit. Because the locus is the one, the active elements, the manifestation, the offer, the truth. And the pneuma, according to the reflection of Brahma, would be the more receptive, the feminine aspect, the receptivity, the openness. So somehow we have the holy trinity. With the Father mysteriously in-gathering


the locus and the agape. Lovely. And again, bringing them together, locus and pneuma. And then actually then the whole cosmos is also included because the cosmos is the outcome of the interaction of the locus and the pneuma. Lovely. Other things? What do you think, Father? Yes, very good. Especially fascinating is the point where the two become one. Which is true in God as well as in us. That point where as spirit and locus emerge, still undifferentiated from their source, just that point, but also the point where love and knowledge become somehow the same thing. And wisdom has always, I guess, been seen as loving knowledge. It seems to me that's at its most intense. That particular point is very fascinating. Because it seems to be the point of non-duality in every sense.


Where everything is one at that point. Where we know things by unity rather than by distinction. Where knowledge itself is knowledge in non-distinction. Knowledge in complete participation. Knowledge through unity. And that's what the mystics are all talking about. Yeah. Yep. That's what the experience of love can be. Just this total fulfillment of one's self and the other in one incredible experience of union. But the language of our tradition is often very timid and cautious. It's always edged around by saying, well, essentially, the difference remains, you know. Afraid of pantheism. So we can, if there are not other questions or comments, we could end with a quote from MacLeod. Again, he is very much one who finds it helpful to lean on the love side.


But he regularly breaks into the wisdom language to bring them together. And again, they just come together at the end. So he says, as time goes on, however, you will feel a joyful enthusiasm for this contemplative work. And then it will seem light and easy indeed. Then you will feel little or no constraint. For God will sometimes work in your spirit all by himself. Then perhaps he may touch you with a ray of his divine light, which will pierce the cloud of unknowing between you and him. He will let you glimpse something of the ineffable secrets of his divine wisdom. And your affection will seem on fire with his love. I am at a loss to say any more, for the experience is beyond words. Amen. So let's conclude with that. Thank you.