Immortal Diamond by Richard Rohr

Immortal Diamond by Richard Rohr

Author:Richard Rohr
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Wiley
Published: 2012-11-09T16:00:00+00:00

The meaning of this saying is that the True Self, in its original, pure, primordial state, is wholly or partially identifiable or even identical with God, the Ultimate Reality that is the ground and origin of all phenomena. That which you long for, you also are. In fact, that is where the longing comes from.

Longing for God and longing for our True Self are the same longing. And the mystics would say that it is God who is even doing the longing in us and through us (that is, through the divine indwelling, or the Holy Spirit). God implanted a natural affinity and allurement between himself and all of his creatures. The limited and the limitless would otherwise be incapable of union; the finite and the infinite could never be reconciled into one.

Religion has only one job description: how to make one out of two. For Christians, that is “the Christ Mystery,” whereby we believe God overcame the gap from God's side. God does all the work, the heavy lifting, and always initiates the longing. Some called it “prevenient grace,” which makes the point quite well.3 The deepest human need and longing is to overcome the separateness, the distance from what always seems “over there” and “beyond me,” like a perfect lover, a moment of perfection in art, music, or dance, and surely a transcendent God.

Yet God is saying in all incarnations that “I am not totally Other. I have planted some of me in all things that long for reunion.” It is mimicked and mirrored in erotic desire and the sexual pairing of all animals, which is why the Song of Songs, Rumi, Hafiz, Kabir, and John of the Cross could use only highly erotic images to communicate their mysticism. Absolute otherness will create only absolute alienation. (Add to that any notion of God as petty, angry, or torturing, and the mystical journey is over.) So God created human sameness and compassion in the human Jesus to overcome this tragic gap. God-in-you seeks and loves God, like a homing device that never turns off.

It should be no scandal or surprise that sex is so obsessive, scary, and fascinating. It is the most dramatic way that we all try to overcome our separateness. The French phrase for that return to separateness after sex is la petite mort, or “the little death.” The good, the true, and the beautiful are always still beyond me, outside me, and above me. We all seem to feel incapable and unworthy of perfection, and after every moment of experienced union, we sadly fall back into the more familiar distance. Yet we keep trying, and that is good. Even our clumsy amorous attempts give us a taste and a promise now and then, and there is not much point in always calling them “sins.” God is not going to waste anything and will use everything, even our clumsy amorous attempts, to bring us into union with God and ourselves.

Re-ligio (“rebinding, re-ligamenting”) is not doing its job


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