LORD's Prayer 3
We meditated a sentence during our last group that I incorrectly attributed to Jakob Boehme, while it is actually a famous sentence from Meister Eckhart. Many thanks to the group member who pointed out my mistake!
The sentence is:
“The eye through which I see God is the eye through which God sees me.”
Here is its fuller version:
“The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God's eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love.”
Now, this may sound like an early Rastafarian, and in fact all monistic strains in the world religions tend to overlap or merge. But Eckhart is serious about the cognitive turn here: that the thing known is the knowing.
Here is the same issue, filled out slightly differently, in the midst of a Rilke poem:
“Who pours himself forth like a spring
is known by knowing.”
Recall that “God” in English, as in German, comes from a root that means “pour.”
The pouring forth of existence is a pouring forth of understanding. God understands the world into being, you could say. And when we pour ourselves forth in acts of creative awareness or expression in any sense, holding nothing back, we participate in this same flow of superlinguistic meaning: the Logos. Being is utterly devoted to being, and when we are utterly devoted, we feel kinship with an immediate presence. We are known by the Knowing.
So to address God in the 2nd person as in the LORD’s prayer, “Our Father, who art….,” is not to stand over against God as an other or Other. Recognizing that we remain distinct from each other and from the Source, we also find ourselves in a unified field, where seeing and being seen are a single act. This is a cognitive, expressive act that does not take place within some surrounding creation, but rather is itself the creating.
Well, these things are not much fun to wrestle into inevitably inadequate verbal expression. What is delightful is to feel that a shared group focus on such a theme is possible and fruitful. Our initially unsatisfying efforts turn out somehow to be enough, after all, to draw the attention of the theme toward us; our sails are filled with unfamiliar breezes, and we course along in directions the compass can’t track.
Next week, we continue to the issue of the “heavens,” as in, “Our father, who art in the heavens” – plural in the original Greek. But why are they plural? And what are they anyway?
All blessings to all,