The All-One Being Who Permeates All
It’s strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you. John O’Donohue
What does it take to appreciate how very strange it is that we are alive, and running around on this planet? The sense of strangeness itself is close to, or is a form of, the I AM awareness – which could just as well be called the IT IS awareness or the YOU ARE awareness. It’s the astonishment that there is anything at all, and what there is, is precisely this: you, it, I.
O’Donohue’s own beloved Meister Eckhart suggested what it takes, at the start of the 14th century (apparently imitating O’Donohue, with his love of solitude):
Whoever wants to hear the eternal wisdom must be inward, and must be at home there, and must be one. That’s how you hear the eternal wisdom.
(“Alone,” a favorite term of Eckhart’s and O’Donohue’s, though not in this quotation, is a contraction of “all one” – German allein – hinting at a universal multiplicity-in-unity. Steiner: When we think, we become the all-one (alleinige) being who permeates all.”)
“… and must be one:” the I AM as a formula may sound separatist but it entails an all but unendurable intimacy of things and beings. The magic key, according to Simone Weil, is attention. Spiritual practice is an athleticism, an intensification and nimbleness, of attention. When you focus intensely on anything, you become it -- and simultaneously your true self. The utterly devoted attention becomes radiantly unique in the very act of giving itself up.
How central this feature is to the great traditions! But since it’s so demanding (“costing not less than everything” – T. S. Eliot) we tend to forget…..
Next week, another neglected I AM from John 6:20:
I AM; fear not.
What is a boat, in the context of this story? What is water? What is it to receive the I AM? What are they afraid of? The message is timely.
All blessings to all,