Insistence of Mystery
What has relentlessly pulled me forward into my lifelong pursuit of spirituality, theology, philosophy, cosmology, psychology, and the like? What now draws me to the writings of the Mystics?
In today’s morning meditation, after yesterday being introduced to The Insistence of God: A Theology of Perhaps by John D. Caputo in a dynamic conversation with my dear friend Jack Furlong (Professor Emeritus, Philosophy, Transylvania University), I landed on “Insistence of Mystery” as that relentless pull forward. By “Insistence of Mystery” I mean the ever-present “NOT THAT” for any idea, insight, or concept my unconscious might offer up into consciousness for these topics and thereby rob Mystery of its Mystery, or of its Transcendence, or of its inherent nature of being beyond what a human can know.
Of course, this Mystery ultimately includes the inherent mystery of Love, Beauty, and Truth. And this builds on the realization that Love, Beauty, and Truth, like Mystery, are not static nouns but ever-expanding verb forms.
What about experience being a source of understanding of Mystery? But whatever I experience in any now of my state of human dualistic consciousness is inherently incomplete. Experience is interpreted by my quite limited conscious knowing in the moment and does not include the vast reservoir of the unconscious and the reality of nondual levels of consciousness that can be glimpsed from time to time but not fully integrated into my dualistic human consciousness. Conclusions from experience, thus, would again be challenged by Mystery’s insistence on, “NOT THAT.”
Can I trust Mystery? To answer this question I draw on the description of Basic Trust given by A.H. Almaas. I notice that I seem to have been graced (through Love from Source?) with this Basic Trust, even in the Mystery that life is for me. I have no explanation for that basic trust, but it has felt real most of my life. This trust has allowed me to adopt a guiding life principle of “being faithful to the river of life that flows through us and of which we are a part.” And living this way I find myself “Opening to Truth, Beauty, Mystery & Love.” Life in this world is a kaleidoscope of unfolding life experiences – some pleasant, some painful.
My ego self, in fear, wants to stop the flow of life. It rigidizes and confines life, hoping to make life “safe” by holding on to fixed ideas of truth, clear concepts, and rigid metaphysical frames. My ego likes nouns, not verbs when speaking about truth, beauty, and love. It wants NOW to be a noun in the dualistic world of time, not the verb that NOW is in the timeless eternity of Ultimate Reality. This dualistic noun form of NOW blocks the kaleidoscopic flow that life is and gradually leads to death on many levels, robbing life of its inherent vitality.
I realize that this way of thinking may make me a mystic! This realization surprises me. I have often wondered what a mystic is, never thinking that I may be one. But perhaps I am a mystic.
This exploration has been an enlivening way for me to begin this day. But I see the “Insistence of Mystery” stepping in, smiling, and gently saying, “Gary, NOT THAT.” I get it and smile back as I step into my day, enlivened and full of gratitude.